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Ont. dairy farm hosts international visitors

Ont. dairy farm hosts international visitors

Benrise Farms will welcome about 50 Russian dairy farmers and processors

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

A Bowmanville, Ont. dairy farm family will welcome a group of visiting farmers later this month.

Benrise Farms, a 450-acre operation with 260 Holsteins, will open its gates to about 50 Russian dairy farmers and processors on July 18.

The visit is a chance to highlight Canada’s dairy industry, said Tom Benschop, owner of Benrise Farms.

“We’re hoping to showcase Canadian genetics and how they can be a benefit on their farms back home,” he told today. “We’ll also highlight how supply management works really well here.

“Many of the visitors do the milk production and processing, so they understand that if you produce the milk you have to be able to sell it.”

The Russian farmers are touring Canadian dairy farms as part of Motor Rally Canada, a five-day 1,200-kilometre car tour through Ontario and Quebec.

The DairyNews, a Russian dairy publication, organizes the Motor Rally each year. Until 2017, the tour only took place within the country.

Since 2010, about 910 local farmers have visited 35 farms in 22 of the country’s 89 regions.

But, last year, organizers decided to expand the tour beyond Russia’s borders.

They chose Canada for several reasons, said Vera Mozgovaya, chief editor of The DairyNews.

“Canada is very interesting from the point of dairy business,” she said in a release Tuesday. “In this country (there) is (a) well-organized policy and scheme of work among farmers and processors. Moreover, it is exciting to understand Canadian dairy philosophy and lifestyle.”

The visit is also a chance for the Canadian dairy industry to establish relationships with Russian customers.

A group of Canadians attended last year’s Motor Rally and highlighted opportunities for potential growth for Canada’s ag sector, Benschop said.

“We were told that some products we have here would greatly benefit the Russian producers,” he said. “We’re hoping by them coming here we can do a lot of business by marketing different products in Russia and introducing them to some of our manufacturers.”

Motor Rally Canada kicks off July 15 in Montreal and wraps up July 20 with stops in Jerseyville, Ont. and Niagara Falls, Ont.

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