New Entrant Program (NEP) Results 2022-2023
The policy objective of a New Entrant Program (NEP) is simply to encourage and facilitate people to enter the dairy industry as new producers. The Board’s NEP program provides 15kgs of Continuous Daily Quota (CDQ) as incentive quota to start milk production, plus up to 8kgs of matching CDQ provided on a 1:1 ratio basis during the 10 years of the program.
As per the NEP policy, a Selection Committee was engaged to review the application packages, including proposed business plans of the eight candidates and to interview all candidates before making a recommendation to the Board of a minimum of three candidates, who they consider should be invited to participate in the program. For more information on the New Entrant Program Selection Committee (NEPSC) please see below and for complete details please visit New Entrant Program. Please note, ten candidates were drawn, however 7 candidates completed the process for 2022-23 dairy year. One candidate withdrew their applications on May 2nd, 2023, while 2 candidates were disqualified due to not meeting application prerequisites.
The committee interviewed 7 candidates over a three-day period to identify candidates that showed the potential to have long-term success in dairy farming and required the assistance of the New Entrant Program to enter the dairy industry.
Every 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. The committee selected four candidates to be invited to join the NEP program for the production year 2024.
The Board congratulates the four candidates (alphabetical order), who will now be invited to participate in the NEP program:
- Adrian and Kelsey Oosterhoff
- Jessie Weststrate
- Melissa Schalin
- Peter and Hertha Muller
The New Entrant Program Organic (NEPO)
This year introduced the NEPO program tailored for those interested in the organic industry. NEPO offers an initial 19.5 kg Specialty Continuous Daily Quota (SCDQ) as a starting incentive for milk production, complemented by up to 8 kg of matching SCDQ on a 1:1 ratio over the 10-year program. Additionally, candidates receive a 30% organic bonus on first-year matching quota purchases, bringing the total potential quota to 40.3 kg.
In its inaugural year, eligible applicants secured interviews with the selection committee. Among 17 initial invitees, 10 completed applications and were interviewed by the committee over 3 days. Following their assessments, the committee recommended candidates to the Board, spotlighting those poised to excel in the organic farming arena. As a result, the following candidates have been invited to embark on their farming journey through the NEPO program:
- Brad Bennik.
In addition to that, the Board also directed the addition of three names into a wait list for future additions to the NEPO program if the demand for organic milk increases over the next 3 years. The wait list will expire at the end of three years and if required, the Board will seek new applicants for the NEPO program.
The following candidates have been added to the NEPO waitlist for three years. Please note that this is the current order of the waitlist, but it is subject to change based on the readiness of the candidates to commence production when called upon, supply requirements and accessibility of farm within the transportation zone:
- Scott Syme.
- Andrew Johnson
- Jeremy Goosen
The selected New Entrants (NEP and NEPO) have until August 18, 2023, to formally accept entry into the program and pay to the Board a non-refundable deposit of $1000, which may be used by the entrant when the entrant first participates on the quota exchange. The New Entrants will have until December 31, 2024, to start production, to qualify for the program and receive incentive quota from the Board. The New Entrants in the Organic stream will have up to September 1, 2026, to commence production.
The Selection Committee was appointed by the Board and consisted of: one agri-business representatives; one financial services representative; one dairy processing representative; one BC Dairy Association nominated producer; one BCMMB staff member, one BCDA staff member and one Board-appointed Chair. (The Chair and staff members were non-voting participants.) All 17 candidates were interviewed by the Selection Committee on July 24, 25 and 26, 2023.