OK. Here I am: a Native American (Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians) limited financial resource (our household AGI is below our county's poverty level) beginning (vegetable) farmer who is converting to organic. In 2009, using biointesive farming methods and hand tools alone, I managed to produce little more than $1,000 worth of crops.
I applied for the high tunnel and organic conversion EQUIP funding and was recently approved. However, it was not until AFTER I'd signed the contract that I discovered the Catch 22: I've got to buy the high tunnel (I've been approved for a 30X72 foot unit) and set it up FIRST in order to obtain my (so-called) 90% REIMBURSEMENT!!!! (Just how did they expect their limited financial resource applicants to fund this thing? If I had the funding or the credit in the first place, I wouldn't have needed to apply!)
As if this weren't enough, it turns out that the shipping cost (I live in Monroe county just south of Ann Arbor) on the high tunnel alone is equal to or in excess of my so-called 10% share of $500 (which is all I've been able to scrape together thus far.) And that doesn't even account for the lumber I'd still need to buy for the basebords and ends.
Further, I've also got to come up with 100% of the funds to pay for the organic transitioning certification/verification.
Please understand that I was never given any written or verbal information about this being a reimbursement rather than a disbursement until AFTER I'd signed the approval document; nor was I provided with any information about what the organic conversion part of the program would or would not finance. Otherwise, I would have also been working on obtaining additional financing/help these past two months.
Sooooo... If anyone has any ideas - no matter how far fetched - I'd sure appreciate it. I'd truly hate to miss out just because I don't have the up-front money to complete this process.
Thanks in advance. You guys are all wonderful!!
Martha (Dindoffer) Dopkowski +X+
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