BC Milk has chosen five candidates to become new dairy producers as part of this year‚Äôs selection process.
The board chose four producers from a shortlist of seven candidates selected by random draw earlier this year to enter conventional production and one producer was chosen to meet the demand for organic production out of pool of 10 applicants. A further three producers were placed on a waitlist to begin production ‚Äúif the demand for organic milk increases over the next three years.‚ÄĚ
The successful candidates, who have until August 18 to formally accept the opportunity, include conventional producers Adrian and Kelsey Oosterhoff of Smithers; Jessie Weststrate of Delta; Melissa Schalin of Armstrong; Peter and Hertha Muller of Langley; and organic producer Brad Bennik of Langley.
The organic waitlist includes Scott Syme, Andrew Johnson and Jeremy Goosen.
All candidates were required to submit business plans and were interviewed over the course of three days to confirm their potential for ‚Äúlong-term success in dairy farming‚ÄĚ and their need for assistance under the New Entrant Program to enter the dairy industry.
‚ÄúEvery candidate was asked questions that allowed the committee to conduct an evaluation of their skills and assessed their abilities for successful long term on farm operations and financial/policy administration,‚ÄĚ BC Milk states.
Conventional producers who accept the opportunity to enter the industry will have until December 31, 2024, to start production, to meet the requirements to receive incentive quota from BC Milk. New entrants in the organic stream will have until September 1, 2026, to commence production.
Conventional producers receive 15 kg of Continuous Daily Quota (CDQ) at startup, plus up to 8 kg of matching CDQ provided on a 1:1 ratio basis during the 10 years of the program.
New entrants under the organic stream will receive an initial 19.5 kg Specialty Continuous Daily Quota (SCDQ) as well as up to 8 kg of matching SCDQ on a 1:1 ratio over the 10-year program. Additionally, organic candidates receive a 30% organic bonus on first-year matching quota purchases, bringing their total potential quota to 40.3 kg.