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The Quota Fight that Never Was

Rumours about UoG Asking DFO to Move Kemptville College’s Dairy Cows and Quota to Elora are Untrue

By Amanda Brodhagen, Farms.com

No requests have been made to move Kemptville College’s dairy cows or quota to the new dairy research facility that’s being built in Elora. This was confirmed by University of Guelph and Dairy Farmers of Ontario officials this week.

“I would like to strongly dispel any notion that the consolidation initiative at Kemptville had anything to do with the quota,” Rich Moccia, Associate Vice President of Research (Strategic Partnerships) at the University of Guelph said in an interview. “It was not even a factor that went into the analysis.”

When the question was posed to DFO on whether or not it had received a proposal from the university to move the Kemptville quota to Elora, Graham Lloyd told Farms.com that no request has been made. Lloyd acts as the director of communications and general counsel for DFO.

Recent media reports have suggested that the University of Guelph’s decision to close Kemptville was motivated in part for the need for more dairy quota at its Elora facility. This is untrue.

Some people have jumped the gun in assuming that the university had planned to move the quota to its Elora dairy barn. Due to the complexity of the university’s announcement to consolidate its agricultural education programming, it’s understandable as to why there may have been some suspicion about what would happen to the dairy quota.

After all, Kemptville’s dairy barn was only recently renovated within the last three years with the instillation of a robotic milking unit. While the milker can accommodate up to 60 cows, the general herd size of lactating cows is between 48 and 50 animals. As of April 2014, Kemptville has on loan from DFO 62.07 kilograms of quota.

“We do in fact have a new dairy facility that’s under construction at Elora and that is a completely separate matter,” explained Moccia. “We are not requiring the quota from Kemptville and we have not made any request with DFO to move it or transfer it or anything.”

As reported earlier, there was a letter sent to DFO asking them not to consider moving the dairy quota to Elora. The letter was sent by Kemptville College Task Force, a group that was created to find a viable solution to keep agriculture education in the region.

“We wrote the letter in an effort to ask to be consulted in the decision making process,” Marty Derks Vice-Chair of task force said in an interview. Derks adds that the letter was sent in case a proposal to move the quota was on the table.

Moccia says the university has consolidated some of the milk quota from the Guelph region, and that when the Elora facility is operational it will require additional quota. But he makes the distinction that the quota situation at Elora is a completely separate business case being put forward to DFO.

“No guarantees that they [DFO] will give it to us because quota is loaned to us at their good wishes,” he said.

The consolidated quota number for Elora stands at 235 kilograms.

“The actual final amount [of quota] that we will need is still being determined because it will be based on the final estimate within the scope of the facility of the lactating herd,” Moccia reaffirmed.

Dairy quota in the province is administered and loaned out by DFO. Quota at Kemptville is on loan from DFO for research and education purposes. The dairy marketing board will determine the fate of the quota at Kemptville.
 

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