Despite headlines touting the rise of plant-based diets, an intrepid 77 candidates applied to be new entrants to BC’s dairy industry this winter under the BC Milk Marketing Board’s New Entrant Program.
The program provides successful applicants with 15 kgs of Continuous Daily Quota in order to start milk production (enough for about a dozen cows), plus up to 8 kgs of matching CDQ on a 1:1 ratio basis during the 10 years of the program. Producers are no longer considered new entrants after 10 years, and are expected to be self-sustaining by that time.
The last selection process for the New Entrant Program attracted 95 applicants, with Edward and Melanie Dyson of Port Alberni, Jonathan and Eleny Quapp of Rosedale and William Romeyn of Chilliwack announced as the successful candidates last summer. The three were chosen from a shortlist of eight candidates.
A shortlist for the current competition was the result of a random draw on February 7. The eight candidates to begin production in 2021 include Adriel Westeringh; Kelvin and Katie Lagemaat; Jeremy and Melissa De Bruyn; Marlayna Van Hoepen; Breanna and Jarrod Simpson; Nelliese Klop; Coral Anne Dueck; and Cody Larson.
The eight candidates must provide documentation, including a business plan to the board by June 1, in order to be interviewed and considered by the selection committee. The committee will recommend three candidates as new entrants to the industry, with the announcement set for later this year.
Applicants who fail to be selected have the option to apply again when the board undertakes its next selection of candidates in 2021. Details of the process will be announced in fall 2020.
With files from David Schmidt