Rural Community Investment

CoBank recognizes and appreciates the innovation and ingenuity thriving in America’s rural communities, and sees financial opportunity in investing in new ventures. We also support healthcare facilities in our nation’s heartland, providing rural residents improved access to important medical care.

CoBank’s equity investments are made through a variety of equity funds in partnership with other financial providers and through USDA programs. They bolster job growth and economic development, while delivering valuable financial returns.

We invest in existing funds and help new funds get established, all focused on providing equity capital to support economic development in rural America. Commercial and local banks, Farm Credit organizations and other investors have joined with CoBank in establishing and growing these equity funds. New funds and new opportunities to partner with CoBank offer the potential to strengthen balance sheets while also creating wealth and job opportunities in rural areas.

Equity Funds

Advantage Capital Agribusiness Fund

  • Fund size: $155 million
  • Partners: eight other Farm Credit institutions
  • Focus: companies involved in all aspects of the food and agriculture value chain that grow rural economies
  • Investments: more than $116 million in 16 companies

Blue Highway Rural Capital Fund

  • Fund size: still in fundraising
  • Partners: One other Farm Credit institution, commercial and community banks, foundations and other investors
  • Focus: a diversified portfolio of growth stage companies primarily located in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic
  • Investments: none to date

Innova Ag Innovation Fund IV

  • Fund size: $31 million
  • Partners: seven other Farm Credit institutions
  • Focus: advanced technology solutions for farmers and agriculture-related businesses
  • Investments: $5.5 million in 17 companies

Midwest Growth Partners Fund

  • Fund size: $41 million
  • Partners: Central Iowa Power Cooperative, Iowa Corn Growers Association and other investors
  • Focus: growth-oriented companies in the upper Midwest
  • Investments: more than $24 million in four companies

Midwest Growth Partners II Fund

  • Fund size: $113.5 million
  • Partners: 11 other Farm Credit institutions, Central Iowa Power Cooperative and other investors
  • Focus: rural-based companies in the agribusiness sector located primarily in the upper Midwest
  • Investments: more than $26 million in four companies

Open Prairie Rural Opportunities Fund

  • Fund size: $81 million
  • Partners: 11 other Farm Credit institutions commercial and community banks, and other investors
  • Focus: growth and later-stage companies across the agribusiness value chain
  • Investments: more than $12 million in four companies
The funding we received from Farm Credit has been essential to our success. I expect many others will be able to leverage this fund in the future to start businesses and create jobs in rural communities.

– Don Stock, CEO, American Botanicals

Community Facilities

CoBank believes that America’s rural communities deserve access to top-tier medical services, but the delivery of those services is often not attainable without expanded or new healthcare facilities. CoBank helps support the bond issuances that pay for many of these facilities, and since 2012 has facilitated more than $300 million of community facility bond investments and we currently have more than $100 million in potential investments in our pipeline. We work with Farm Credit organizations as well as local banks to provide this vital debt capital to projects that will improve the health and well-being of rural residents.

We’ve had tremendous support from CoBank and Farm Credit, and I know our local bank partners are solidly behind us. They understood from the start that the changes we are making are not about luxury. They’re about necessity. Ultimately, they will allow us to stay relevant and to remain a reliable resource for this community.

– Kimber Wraalstad, Administrator and CEO, Cook County North Shore Hospital and Care Center


Chris Shaffner
David Dornbirer