The current program, in place for three years, limits new entrants to two per year and 20,000 units of quota.
It's a significant step in the right direction. The chicken board has also introduced several initiatives to supply chicken for niche and specialty consumer demands. It's an amazing and welcome change in chicken board politics.
But it's not without its challenges. As usual, processors are opposing the initiatives, including appeals to provincial supervisory bodies in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan; they don't want Ontario to get more chicken to serve the niche and specialty markets.
“Our goal is to ensure that new farmers are welcomed into the Ontario chicken industry,” said board chairman Henry Zantingh.
“The success of the program in attracting applications from so many qualified men and women in farming convinced us that the program should be expanded even further,” he said.
“The program enhancements being announced today will ensure that the ongoing need for opportunities for young farmers continues to be addressed and that these farmers have a full range of avenues of entry into the Ontario chicken industry,” said Rob Dougans, the board’s president and chief executive officer.