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CFO encourages new farmers in Ont.

CFO encourages new farmers in Ont.

The organization has a range of programs geared to help people get involved in chicken farming in the province

By Jackie Clark
Staff Writer

The application window is now open for folks interested in the New Entrant Chicken Farmer Program run by the Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO).

Successful applicants receive support from CFO in starting their chicken farm.

The program is open to “anybody who’s interested in (starting) a poultry farm,” Ed Benjamins, chair of CFO, told

Applicants must reside in Ontario and be Canadian citizens. The CFO gives priority to individuals without a previous connection to a supply-managed sector.

Farmers, representatives from financial institutions, and other stakeholders independent of CFO review the applications. Reviews consider the applicants’ eligibility, business plan, demonstrated need, knowledge, commitment, and other factors, Benjamins explained. Those third-party reviewers then submit recommendations to the CFO board.

In addition to helping successful applicants acquire quota, “our field staff go over the regulatory requirements and timeframes for submitting paperwork (with the new entrants) … to bring them up to speed,” Benjamins added. “We started this program in about 2012 and, since then, the program has welcomed 28 new family-run farms.”

The CFO leadership wants to encourage other people to “join what we think is a very successful business,” he said. The New Entrant Chicken Farmer Program is just one way the team at CFO supports folks in getting involved in the sector.

“We have some very unique, much smaller community and artisanal programs,” he added. “We have a suite of programs for new processing, new innovation. We’re definitely open for business. … We made that commitment as a board and it’s really important to us that we continue to do that.”

Interested parties can apply for the New Entrant Chicken Farmer Program until Oct. 30. Find more information and the application form here.

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