November 18, 2014 - Matt and Jen McKee, of Woodstock, Ontario and Eli and Verna Weber, of Mount Forest, Ontario have been chosen as the recipients of the Egg Farmers of Ontario's 2014 New Entrant Quota Loan Pool (NEQLP) program.
The announcement was made November 18 at Egg Farmers of Ontario's (EFO's) Annual Egg and Pullet Farmers' Workshop at the Airport Marriott Hotel in Mississauga, Ontario.
The McKee's have a 50-acre farm property and they plan to expand by building a layer barn in 2015. The Weber's farm operation includes about 270 workable acres and they also plan to expand by building a layer barn in 2015.
The NEQLP is designed to encourage new farmers into the Ontario egg farming business. Each year, up to 10,000 units of quota will be loaned to the successful applicant(s). The quota will be loaned based on a 1:2 ratio (1 unit purchased, 2 loaned). After 10 years, the loaned quota will be returned into EFO's NEQLP in 10 annual installments (10 per cent each) and will be loaned to future participants in the program at that time.
"We had an excellent field of 21 applicants," said selection committee Chair Laurent Souligny. "Again this year, it was a real challenge for the committee because of the high quality of all of the applications," he said.
The selection committee was comprised of Laurent Souligny, past EFO Director and former Chair of Egg Farmers of Canada; Daryl Ball, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs; Craig Bremner, TD Canada Trust; Robert Loree, Ward & Uptigrove; and Shannon Kelly, former President of Junior Farmers' Association of Ontario. The committee selected four applicants for face-to-face interviews with the committee before selecting the two successful candidates.
This is the fourth year of the NEQLP program, which will continue to be offered annually.