New Roots graduates receive bridge loans for EQIP high tunnels

Posted on February 27, 2019 by Alicia Alferman

New Roots for Refugee graduate farmers (from left to right) Sar Mu Na (Mo Mo Ru Tha Farm), Pay Lay (KiKoko Farm) and Dena Tu (Mama Tu’s Family Farm) received bridge loans from Slow Money NE Kansas to help install high tunnels on their farms. (Photo credit: New Roots for Refugees)

With assistance from Cultivate KC, Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas and Slow Money of NE Kansas, three New Roots for Refugees program graduates received bridge loans on their EQIP grants for high tunnel installation on their farms.

The grant pays up to $6,998 to farmers for the installation of the high tunnels, but the farmers have to first buy and build them. Then NRCS reimburses them. This can be prohibitive to applicants, since many low-income farmers can not front the money needed for this process.

Cultivate KC and Catholic Charities worked with New Roots graduates Sar Mu Na (Mo Mo Ru Tha Farm), Dena Tu (Mama Tu’s Family Farm) and Pay Lay (Ki Koko Farm) to facilitate the loan process.

Slow Money lenders stepped up and signed loan agreements with the farmers and so the process will move ahead as soon as the contractors can get into the fields to do construction.  These three new high tunnels will produce food earlier in the spring and later in the fall, which means their customers will be able to eat good, local food almost year round!