Dairy Farmers of Ontario

Dairy Farmers of Ontario

April 30, 2009 15:23 ET

Dairy Farmers of Ontario Announces Program to Assist New Dairy Farmers

MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 30, 2009) - Dairy Farmers of Ontario is launching a new program that will make it easier for new dairy farmers to get into the dairy industry in Ontario.

The program will work in part by loaning quota for up to 18 years to 10 new dairy farmers each year. Successful applicants in the program will be loaned a maximum of 12 kilograms of quota which they will be required to match with a commercial purchase of 12 kilograms of quota. This means a new farmer under the program would be starting with between 25 and 30 cows. The program was designed to help ensure these new farm businesses can be viable.

The New Entrant Quota Assistance Program is part of a package of changes to quota polices developed through an interprovincial approach. The goal of this approach is to move towards a common set of policies for dairy farmers in Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

An administered cap on quota prices is another element of the policies aimed at keeping costs down for new farmers entering the business, as well as the long-term sustainability of all dairy farmers. The changes to policies were finalized in late March after consultations with dairy farmers across the province.

"We have worked with our farmers and our partners in the other four provinces involved during the last year to develop policies that focus on maintaining viable and healthy dairy farms vital to our provincial economies," said DFO Chair Bill Emmott. "These changes will make it easier for young people to get started in dairy farming and help foster the sustainability of the Ontario dairy production sector."

Applications for the first year of the New Entrant Program will be accepted between August 1 and November 30, 2009. Applications will be required to include a financial business plan verified by a certified accountant and a letter from a lender indicating that they agree to finance the operation as outlined in the plan. An independent third party will review applications and conduct a random draw if there are more than 10 eligible applicants in a year.

More details about the program and application forms will be available on Dairy Farmers of Ontario's website at www.milk.org and also available by mail.

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