Interested farmers have until March 31 to apply
By Diego Flammini
Alberta Milk is accepting applications from producers interested in the New Entrant Assistance Program (NEAP).
The program, now in its ninth year, helps a maximum of three qualified new farmers enter the dairy industry by offering a quota loan at no cost.
Interested farmers have until March 31 to apply.
The organization is “proud to offer this program to eager new farmers,” Tom Kootstra, chair of Alberta Milk, said in a statement. “There have been 18 new family dairy farms welcomed into the province through the NEAP and we hope to attract more this year.”
NEAP works by matching two kilograms of quota from Albert Milk for every one kilogram of quota the new farmer purchases, up to 25 kilograms per day, at no cost.
While enrolled in the program, new dairy producers can expand their quota up to 100 kg/per day.
The loaned quota reduces over time.
Beginning in the farmer’s 11th year, the loaned quota will gradually expire by 10 per cent annually until it reaches zero at the end of year 19, marking the end of the farmer’s time in the NEAP.
Interested farmers must meet specific requirements and submit detailed documents to be considered for the program.
Applicants, for example, must provide a detailed two-year business plan for the farm, “including projected cash flow statements and projected financial statements, to demonstrate that the farm will be viable in the short-term,” the NEAP’s guidelines document says.
Alberta Milk also has openings in its Organic Entrant Assistance Program (OEAP).
The program follows much of the same guidelines as the NEAP with a few exceptions.
Only two producers will be accepted into the program, applications will be considered on a first come, first served basis, and organic producers will receive “a transition premium of 10 cents per litre of their milk for up to three years.”
Farms.com has reached out to Alberta Milk for comment.