by SUSAN MANN
Brampton-area dairy farmer Alan Cunnington wants to transfer all of his 23 kilograms of quota to his daughter but Dairy Farmers of Ontario policy prohibits this kind of transfer.
That’s because his daughter, Leanne Chesmond, is married to a dairy farmer, Tomas, and DFO policy states that children who hold quota or purchase quota as part of an on-going operation or purchase quota on an exchange aren’t eligible to receive a quota transfer from a parent.
“I could have transferred it to her if she wasn’t married to a dairy farmer,” he explains, noting DFO’s policy is wrong.
Cunnington has gone through hearings and reconsideration hearings with DFO board and staff and was told he still couldn’t do the transfer. He’s taking his case to the Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Appeal Tribunal. The hearing is scheduled for April 3 at 9:30 a.m. in Guelph.
The family has been planning for 10 years that Leanne would take over the Cunnington operation. Cunnington had planned to retire from dairy farming.
“The timing is right,” he says. Leanne and Tomas farm with Tomas’s parents near Arthur where they built a new barn that’s now up and running. “The line of thought was our cows would go there.”
Cunnington says he thinks within family quota transfers should be allowed. “If you can’t give it to your children what’s the point in doing all this? Farmers typically work most of their lives and pass it on to their next generation. They have done that forever.” BF