The information below has been supplied by dairy marketers and other industry organizations. It has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hoard’s Dairyman.
Alberta Milk is now accepting applications for the New Entrant Assistance Program (NEAP). The program helps qualified new farmers enter the dairy industry in Alberta by offering a quota loan at no cost. Applications will be accepted from January 1 to March 31, 2021.
Enhancing the Program
This year, the Alberta Milk Board of Directors sought direction on how to improve the sustainability of the program. All accepted new entrants will now be allowed to use the NEAP loaned quota as equity/security with financial institutions.
“The New Entrant Assistance Program is a way our industry is trying to support those coming into the dairy industry in Alberta,” says Stuart Boeve, chair of the Alberta Milk Board of Directors. “We continually review the program to make improvements to ensure we can continue to meet the needs of new dairy farms. We’re proud that 22 new farms have entered the industry through this program.”
About the Program
The program works by matching 2 kilograms of quota from Alberta Milk for every kilogram of quota purchased by the new entrant up to 25 kilograms/day at no cost. This loan translates to enough quota to milk about 20-25 additional cows. While using the program, new entrants can expand up to 100 kg/day of total quota holdings, or about 80-100 cows. The loaned quota usage gradually expires beginning in the 11th year and reduces to zero at the end of year 19, marking the end of participation in the NEAP for the new entrant.
The process to qualify for the program consists of submitting an application that includes a two-year financial business plan, a 10-year implementation plan, a risk mitigation plan, and a signed conditional letter of approval from the applicant’s financial institution agreeing to finance their operation. Further details about the program can be found at albertamilk.com or by calling 1-877-361-1231. Joining this program is not a pre-requisite to becoming a dairy farmer in Alberta.
Organic Entrants Assistance Program
Alberta Milk is also continuing to accept applications for our Organic Entrants Assistance Program (OEAP). Similar to the NEAP, the program is designed to encourage growth in organic dairy production in Alberta but has different guidelines. You can review the OEAP requirements at albertamilk.com.