Advantage Capital Partners, which will manage the new fund, and their partners from eight Farm Credit institutions have pledged to invest nearly $150 million into the new effort.

As part of the Obama Administration’s new “Made in Rural America” export and investment initiative, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the creation of a new investment fund that will help propel the growth of small businesses across rural America. The new Rural Business Investment Company (RBIC) will now allow USDA to facilitate private equity investments in agriculture-related businesses. Currently, USDA programs exist to help provide loans or loan guarantees to help rural businesses grow, but many small cutting-edge businesses also need equity support in addition to or instead of borrowed funds.