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Don’t Move the Quota

Letter Asks DFO to Not Allow UoG to Move the Kemptville College Dairy Quota to Elora

By Amanda Brodhagen,

Members of the Eastern Ontario farming community are trying to keep the dairy herd and quota attached to the Dairy Education and Innovation Centre at Kemptville College  in the region.

Concerns about losing the robotic dairy facility were raised after the University of Guelph announced this spring that it would be closing the agricultural institution by 2015. The fairly new dairy centre is only three years old and opened on May 27, 2011.

Shortly following the announcement, university officials expressed that it planned to move the college’s dairy quota to its state-of-the-art $25-million dairy facility in Elora, Ont. The dairy centre is in the midst of being built and is expected to open sometime in 2014.

A group which formed to devise a solution to continue agriculture programing at Kempville College is asking Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) to interfere and not grant the university permission to transfer the quota over to Elora.

“We are trying to stop the cows and quota from leaving there because it’s one of the most important parts of the college,” Marty Derks Vice-Chair of the Kempvillge College Task Force said in an interview.

The letter dated April 2, 2014 addressed to Bill Emmott, Chair of DFO highlights the importance of maintaining a dairy research barn in Eastern Ontario.

“The Task Force is of the view that this dairy herd, and associated quota, is a keystone element in maintaining a sustainable agricultural education program at Kemptville and trust that the Dairy Farmers of Ontario would be in agreement with this objective,” the letter said.

The quota is owned by DFO and was provided to the university for the purpose of research and education. DFO says it plans to wait to hear about future plans associated with Kemptville before making a decision on the quota.

"DFO has requested details from The University of Guelph's decision regarding the closing of the University of Guelph's Kemptville and Alfred campuses. The concerns of the producers are being addressed by the Board and Staff at DFO,” Bill Emmott DFO Chair said in an emailed statement.

Meetings have been scheduled with University of Guelph officials and local stakeholders to discuss the quota situation. Emmott says DFO will “not be rushed into any decision” until more information about the status of Kemptvillge College becomes available.

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