Practical Farmers pursues quota exemption change

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2000 chicken sould be 3000 meet birds or 750 layers for young or beginning farmers this would help look urban markets we need small meat processing plants for thease birds and hogs and other farm animals as there is a market by many non farm consumers that we not serving well now stephen blyth

There are CFO farmers who purchased small amounts of quota to raise and direct market meat chickens. No one in PFO or Sustain Ontario wants to mention this ontario , quota is part of the "cost of doing business".

PFO has statistics showing 13,000 small flock chicken raisers are only raising average 56 birds.....why have they under ultilized the allowable they want to raise 2000-3000-4000 ...whatever number??

According to OMAFRA website information, live chicken pricing is determined by the cost of feed and chick, and producer margin. If quota is part of the "cost of doing business", as stated above, then I don't think I'd be wrong to suggest that would be part of producer margin, and would be factored in when determining live chicken pricing. Therefore, since quota is continually on the rise, and many farmers are paying for quota, especially the ones who haven't been 'in' as long, the price of chicken will continue to climb further out of whack with reality. I wonder what the price of chicken would be on store shelves if quota had never had $ value. Raube Beuerman, Dublin, ON

Without quota, the price of chicken on store shelves would be the same as it is in stores in US border cities. Even though quota isn't part of this particular cost-of-production formula, the dirty-little-secret about any cost-of-production formula has to do with the considerable liberties taken when calculating the so-called "reasonable return", a term which masks many sins.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

I am almost certain the writer of this better farming post about a 3rd option is actually a lady with quota, ???? because this argument sure sounds familiar to me,

At one time a former NFU leader in Ontario was all for raising the limit to 2000 birds but since he has now purchased quota he is now dead set against the idea of empowering smaller farmers as they might create some competition for him., funny how greed and money change peopl's out looks.

I love how people are so afraid to share their names when there defending supply management. It real goes to prove how most of the supply management supporters are well aware of how little support they feel they have from the rest of the community...

Its not that farm the community doesn't support the idea of supply management, its that the farm community doesn't support the greed that has over taken many Quota holders.

Sean McGivern

Greed must be the only reason that farmers won't even acknowledge improvements to a system that has made them Rich.
I actually agree with supply management.
The USA could use a bit of SUPPLY management to SAVE taxpayer money instead of purchasing every excess gallon of milk.
Just don't put a $$$ value on the RIGHT to Supply.

The only way supply management works is with tariff barriers - and the chances of anyone erecting any new tariff barriers in 2013, are absolutely zero. Furthermore, the only way massive over-production can be avoided when tariff barriers are implemented, is with offsetting supply limitations. Therefore, in order to make tariff barriers work, there will always, by definition, be a dollar value placed on the right to supply. This means that anyone who "agrees" with supply management is now more-completely out-of-touch with basic economic reality, as well as common sense, than ever.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

While I wasn't alive when sm was introduced, I would like to believe there was good intentions on behalf of all involved for the most part. I remember reading recently in one of Don Cayo's articles that there are 4 elected farmer's and 1 non-producer elected by the province on the 'board'. As I have said before, if there had never been a dollar value attatched to quota along with a cap of units one can own, the sm industry would be facing only a fraction of the scrutiny it is now. Raube Beuerman, Dublin, On

Very few people are alive today when the current form of marketing rights was introduced in Ontario.

The year was 1928 when permanent marketing rights were awarded.

Ask Mr. McGuinty. I believe he is aware of those licenses.

joann vergeer

Nobody cares what happened in 1928, nor should they - that was the time of Smoot-Hawley protectionism in the US, and it is to be expected that this type of regressive economic thought migrated to Ontario, and promptly died, everywhere except at the NFU, and possibly the CFFO, as soon as people realized how dumb it was. I mean, really, I've been an ag economist for almost 45 years, I've taught ag economics at the undergraduate level, and nobody, anywhere in the ag economics community places any credibility whatsoever in your beliefs about marketing rights - nor, once again, should they.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

It would appear you made an mistake Mr. Thompson. The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act (1930) had nothing to do with Ontario marketing rights being awarded in 1928.

If you knew just a little about quota you would know those rights were awarded for reasons exactly opposite to the intentions of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act.

But, a cautious farmer would be asking other questions first before demonizing agricultural history.

One would ask how Ontario farmers were awarded quota in 1928 a full 8 years before Ontario was even granted marketing powers under the Natural Products Marketing Act, 1936?

And, more importantly, what is the relevance between those 80 year old marketing rights and the June 2008 signed agreement between Mr. McGuinty and Mr. Harper?


Quota and protectionism are exactly the same thing - the mentality behind protectionism hasn't changed, especially in the farm community, since Noah was in diapers, which, in your mind, would appear to have been sometime between the reign of King George III, and 1928, give or take a day, or so. And, the lobbying, in the US, for the actual Smoot/Hawley Act, or equivalent sorts of protectionist legislation, had been going on almost literally as long as the US had been in existence - people who don't understand economics, particularly in the farm community, just never stop calling for protectionist measures. As for "knowing" about quota, all anyone needs to know is that it is, and always has been, by definition, net-negative, and therefore always bad economic policy and bad public policy. That you seem to prefer to dwell in the past, and hide behind irrelevant scribblings in an attempt to ignore, and/or subvert, both common sense, and economic reality, serves no purpose, except to increasingly marginalize whatever it is you are trying to illustrate. Please stop.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Quota is a license with a quantitative value.

I believe you are familiar with licenses? How many do you have?

As for respect for history... maybe you should read the recent Federal Court ruling concerning First Nations Peoples. The judge noted that the long history of the peoples was of extreme importance in understanding certain rights.

History played a major part in the court ruling.


Dairy quota can be sold, and/or inherited, my drivers license cannot. In addition, I can't hold multiple numbers of drivers licences the way dairy farmers can have multiple units of quota. In addition, I can't use my drivers license to prevent:
(1) other residents of Ontario from getting a drivers license
(2) Michigan residents from driving in Ontario
Furthermore, to imply that Canadian farmers, in any way have, or should have, "rights" which somehow equate to the rights available to indigenous people, is simply ludicrous to the point of being insanity. Farmers have the right to go broke, the right to health care, the right to be educated, and some currently have the "right" to screw 30 million consumers and the rest of the farm community, but, other than that, they have no more, or no fewer, rights than anyone else, nor should they.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Opposite? I read a few articles online about the Smoot-Hawley tarriff act. It appears to me it is an example of protectionism, similar to sm. Both demanded high tariffs. Here's what was written-"The act, and the ensuing retaliatory tariffs by US trading partners reduced American exports and imports by more than half". What farmer's were awarded quota in 1928? Dairy quota started in the sixties, others followed in the seventies. Raube Beuerman, Dublin, ON

The licenses were awarded, permanently attached to qualifying lands, as a result of near-monopolized trade concerns. Federal legislation was created to address those concerns......opposite and before the intentions of the Smoot-Hawley Act.

Quota is a license with a quantitative value.... if I am not mistaken... dairy licensing for marketing purposes date back centuries. I believe you are making reference to the recent marketing scheme created under OFPMC of which received the basis of their marketing powers in 1936. Where do you think the federal government acquired their legislative rights for agricultural marketing? (HINT: it's buried in the constitution).

May 1868, the Privy Council passed legislation for licensing requirements for enumerated agricultural products.

1842, Upper/Lower Canada addressed agricultural boards, associations and societies..... legislated agricultural corporations.

More people should look into the history of agriculture to really understand the 'rights' of farmers and their role in protecting the public's interests.


But now those "near-monopolized trade concerns" are here with the quota/sm monopoly. I would say not here with land-grain markets. Land and quota are not the same thing, land is a physical asset, quota is paper value. Raube Beuerman, Dublin, On

When farmers have the "right" to supply management, the public interest is not being protected at all, in fact, it is being abused in the amount of a 38% price gouging for milk that even DFO admits. And, you're right, you are completely mistaken about virtually everything you post about this irrelevant, and completely-insane, topic. Farmers simply do not, regardless of what you insist, have some long-standing right to abuse consumers, although, at present, through both supply mamangement, and ethanol, they do. Get over it for about the umpteenth time - farmers do not protect the public's interests, never have, and never will. The only thing about which farmers have ever cared, is themselves, and supply management, and ethanol both make a sliver of our population quite wealthy, while the "public" pays for it - and that's definitely NOT protecting the public interest.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

I had never heard of the Smoot-Hawley tariff until today. Glad we are moving away from that type of thinking.

All those people, and farm organizations, who "agree" with supply management and even the mandated use of ethanol, still, by definition, believe in the completely-discredited protectionist principles of Smoot-Hawley. Just to be clear, even though the Smoot-Hawley Act didn't cause the Great Depression, it un-necessarily deepened, and prolonged it. And even though we may be moving away from Smoot-Hawley type of thinking, Canadian agriculture is one of the last "temples" in which it is still worshipped.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

What were they thinking? At the time of the Smoot-Hawley tariff act, the U.S. was exporting more than it was importing from Europe. Hard to believe they thought it would be a good economic move. Raube Beuerman, Dublin, ON

At the time, the US was still largely-agricultural, and farmers are, by nature, protectionists. In addition, Smoot was from Utah, and Hawley was from Oregon - neither was considered to be a huge intellect - nor was Herbert Hoover, the then President.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

I'm sorry that i didn't post our name...McSmiths Organic Farm, St Thomas.
We are not presenting an "Argument" ...we are just stating what we did to make a viable business on our diversfied organic farm.In 2004 we purchased a small amount of quota in order to fill the demand we were experiencing for our organic meat birds. We have purchased a bit more quota 2 more times since then.
We have reached the scale of operation that suits our farm size. We grow all the organic feed for the birds and we direct market all the birds. CFO has been very co-operative with us ....realizing that Organic Standards supercede CFO regs.
We remember suggesting that other farmers purchase quota and do the same.
It was the best business decision we have made for our organic farming operation.

It seems if i have it figured out correctly and forgive me if i don't, but from Mrs. McSmith's comments it would lead one to think that she is not in favour of raising the exemption level to 2,000 birds in Ontario, if that is correct Mrs.McSmith why don't you want to give farmers the same rights here in Ontario as in other part of Canada ?

I would also like to know what your logic is for thinking it's ok for farmers in other provinces in Canada to be able to raise 2,000 to 10,000 birds annually with out any quota, but you don't feel those same levels should be avaiable to farmers in her in your own province of Ontario ?

Mrs.McSmith why is it so wrong to try and make the playing field more level for small farmers from coast to coast one province at a time ?

To me it seems there is a certian transformation one undertakes when they go from not owning quota to owning quota and that transformation seems to make them very protective of only their best interests and not the best interests of the whole farming community.

If small producers really had the desire to help other smaller producers they would be working from with in the boards to help create options that are truly realistic and affordable ways to bring new growers in to the system, so far i have not met a single chicken farmer of any size that owns quota who is publically working to improve the system to bring in new and smaller producers
Sean McGivern

It appears you come to a lot of conclusions from the owner of McSmiths Organic Farm.

The lady you make reference to is a very creditable, hard working and intellignet person.... and her name is not Mrs. McSmith.

Your assumption of her name is incorrect.

So what other assumptions are incorrect?

joann vergeer

I never once challeneged her, intelligents or her work ethic, i simply challenge her and others who share her ideas about supply management to tell me why it is not fair for small Farmers in Ontario to have the same rights as other small chicken farmers do in many other provinces of Canada

Sean McGivern

It would seem to me that the costs of owning quota, simply in order to be able to market the last units of your organic production, even at the margins commanded by organic, are marginal, at best, and if, for some reason, the demand for organic wasn't there at the moment the birds were, it could be highly net-negative. In addition, it would appear that even if you didn't have quota, you have a vested interest in seeing it exist because without quota, the price of regular chicken would decline, and people would then tend to find the increased price difference between regular chicken and your organic chicken, a tad too steep to pay.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

The PFO wants Ontario farmers to have the same rights as farmers in Alberta, Bc, Sask, NovaScotia, where they can raise 2000 to 10,000 birds per farm per year with out quota,
Why would any farmer in Ontario be against giving Ontario farmers the same rights as other farmers in different parts of Canada ????

2,000 birds is a number that makes it worth the time of the farmer to do it properly and not just see it as some summer job for the kids at a loss.

Sean MCGivern

lets just think about this for a second,

There is no way that a farmer charging $2.50-$3.50 lb for their broilers weighing 6- 10 lbs is any kind of competition to a quota holder, you can buy a whole already cooked chicken for around $12.00 in most be retail stores,

Stop trying to make small farmers look like their the ones going to be destroying farming ....

Sean McGivern

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