Want to be a dairy farmer?
New entrant program has attracted 111 dairy farmers since 2010
Farmers Forum staff
TORONTO — Do you dream of becoming a quota-holding dairy farmer but lack the family connections to make it happen?
The Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) offers a way forward for these unconnected, aspiring milk producers through its annual new entrant quota assistance program. Deadline to apply is Oct. 31, 2023.
The initiative awards individual loans of 20 kg of milk-production quota for 10 years. For their end of the bargain, successful applicants must buy between 20 kg and 30 kg of additional quota from the quota exchange in order to get the loaned quota. They are granted priority access to the quota exchange to accomplish that purchase. The new entrant ends up with as much as 50 kg of quota but has to give back up 20 kg. over time.
One kilogram of quota — approximately the daily output of one cow — currently sells for $24,000 in Ontario.
After the 10th year, DFO gradually claws back the loaned 20 kg of quota by 1.2 kg annually. The dairy farmer can replace this by going to the exchange and gradually buying more quota like any other producer.
In 2023, DFO will loan out a total of 160 kg of milk quota divided between eight successful new-entrant applicants. The annual program was launched in 2010, with 111 dairy farmers entering the sector through the initiative. It has always been fully subscribed, according to DFO.
The program is aimed at industry newcomers. Applicants who take over their parents’ dairy operation are not eligible. A dairy farm must be out of production for five years before a family member from that farm may be considered for eligibility.
Download the program application through the link found at new.milk.org/Industry/Industry-News
For aspiring producers ineligible for a quota loan, an entirely separate initiative — the new producer program — offers the opportunity to buy up to 35 kg quota on the exchange, but with no corresponding quota loan from DFO.