Panetta Announces Treasury Grant Awarded to California FarmLink

November 6, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.) announced that California FarmLink, located in Aptos, will receive a federal grant totaling $930,000 from the U.S. Department of Treasury. The funds are awarded through the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund, which provides access to capital for low-income entrepreneurs in economically distressed communities.

“Investments in support of farmers ultimately help create stronger economies and communities on the central coast of California.” said Congressman Panetta. “This award will allow California FarmLink to continue financing local small agricultural businesses, connecting producers to consumers, and supporting farmworkers in our area.”

The CDFI Fund grant will help FarmLink expand its micro and small farm business operating loans in low-income and Hispanic farming communities. It will also support FarmLink’s ability to further develop, market, and originate loans in three new markets: value-added loans to small food processors, accounts-receivable financing for small farms, and farm labor housing loans.

“With this grant FarmLink will support new and underserved farmers in developing sustainable and profitable farming businesses. FarmLink serves mostly organic farmers who supply healthy fresh food to local communities via farmers’ markets, CSAs, restaurants, direct to retail, and small distributors. These farmers have solid production skills and are working to improve their business acumen,” said Reggie Knox, Executive Director of California FarmLink.

The award will also support training for FarmLink staff to expand development services to help farmers prepare for loans, purchase farmland and apply for crop insurance. FarmLink will expand its financial education and business development services for growers as well as hire additional lending staff. Expansion of financial management and business development services will ensure that borrowers are prepared for long-term business success.

FarmLink is one of a few agricultural CDFI lenders in the United States to accompany loans with technical assistance for farmers. FarmLink’s clients receive access to small affordable loans to start, stabilize, or expand operations. In particular, FarmLink helps farmers establish strong marketing agreements and access financial tools like crop insurance that can help mitigate business risks.

About CDFI Fund

The Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund, administered by the Department of Treasury, makes capital grants, equity investments, and awards for technical assistance to community development financial institutions. Since its inception, CDFI has made more than $1.4 billion in awards to community development organizations and financial institutions.