by SUSAN MANN
Dairy Farmers of Ontario has yet to decide what it will do with the 97.95 kilograms of quota it assigned to the University of Guelph’s Kemptville and Alfred campuses for education and research purposes.
The University of Guelph is closing those two campuses by 2015 but other groups may step in and offer programs there.
Graham Lloyd, Dairy Farmers communications director and general counsel, says they own the quota and issued it for educational and research purposes. Dairy Farmers has requested to meet with university officials plus it will hold a separate meeting with stakeholders in Kemptville. As for Alfred, “we don’t have enough information on who’s representing who yet.”
Lloyd notes “what we’re trying to answer is what exactly is happening. DFO is in the middle of this. We were not consulted with respect to the decision to close the Kemptville and Alfred campuses and we’re trying to gather enough information to find out what is happening and what plans are being developed.”
Dairy Farmers wants to ensure the quota “is used for research and education purposes,” he explains, adding it’s the board that decides what is done with the quota but “no decision will be made until it knows what the plans are with respect to those institutions.”
Richard Moccia, University of Guelph associate vice-president of research (strategic partnerships), says Dairy Farmers has loaned 35.88 kilograms of quota to Alfred and 62.07 kilograms of quota to the Kemptville campus.
What happens to the Alfred and Kemptville campuses for the longer term still has to be determined. But the University of Guelph “has consolidated some of the academic and research programs” at Kemptville and Alfred and are moving them back to the main campus in Guelph and the Ridgetown campus, he says.
The research projects conducted at Alfred and Kemptville will all be relocated “as part of consolidation planning.” The projects and animals are moving “but we don’t actually need to move the quota along with it.”
The research projects will stay in place at Alfred and Kemptville until “everything that’s currently ongoing is completed, which should be sometime in the early to middle part of 2015,” he says.
The university’s main campus has the capacity to accommodate the move of existing dairy research projects from Alfred and Kemptville, he says.
The quota “is not ours as the university’s to move or to do anything with, and we have not requested that it be moved or transferred anywhere as well,” he says, adding the university isn’t planning to request any formal transfer or movement of quota from the Alfred and Kemptville campuses. It’s up to DFO to decide what happens with its quota, he adds.
The new dairy research centre currently being built in Elora in partnership with the university, Dairy Farmers and the provincial government, will be a larger facility than the current dairy research facility in Elora. As the university decommissions the old facility and starts operating the new one near the end of this year, “it will be larger and we will require an additional quota allocation, but we’ve already determined that’s a separate thing that DFO will look at on its own merits,” Moccia says. “We’re not tying it whatsoever to anything that happens at Kemptville or Alfred.”
The university’s Ridgetown campus has a quota loan of 41 kilograms, while the existing Elora dairy research facility has 235 kilograms of quota loaned to it by Dairy Farmers. BF