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FALL 2020 a BC HOLSTEIN NEWS 5 Meet BC’s Three New Entrants for 2021
By Tars Cheema
 The BCMMB announced the successful applicants this summer, along with an explanation of the program.
The policy objective of a New Entrant Program (NEP) is simply to encourage and facilitate people to enter the dairy industry as new producers. The Board’s NEP program provides 15kgs of Continuous Daily Quota (CDQ) as incentive quota to start milk production, plus up to 8kgs of matching CDQ provided on a 1:1 ratio basis during the 10 years of the program.
As per the NEP policy, a Selection Committee was engaged to review the applicationpackages,includingproposed business plans of the eight candidates and to interview all candidates before making a recommendation to the Board of the top three, who they consider should be invited to participate in the program. The Selection Committee interviewed seven candidates over a two-day period (one additional candidate withdrew from
the process) to identify candidates that showed the potential to have long-term successindairyfarmingandrequiredthe assistance of the New Entrant Program to enter the dairy industry.
Every candidate was asked questions that allowed the committee to evaluate their skills and abilities for successful long term on farm operations and financial/policy administration.
The three New Entrants accepted their invitations for 2021 and will have until December 31, 2021 to start production, in order to qualify for the program and receive incentive quota from the Board. We are pleased to introduce them here to BC’s dairy community.
Marlayna Van Hoepen Outstanding in her Field of Dreams...Marlayna Van Hoepen.
Upon graduation, she took a job in Ottawa, working in her field, doing research papers and the like, until the offer came to rejoin Springbank with increased responsibility as manager. “This was not what I thought I’d be doing...” But we know cows can have that effect on people! Earlier this year, she took a job with Ron Neels, explaining that she was also taking a run at the NEP opportunity.
It was her father who had encouraged her to apply, “It’s a long shot, but you never know,” he said. Dads can have that effect on people.
“Creating the business plan was daunting, but it was the best exercise to prove if it was feasible,” she recognized. Excited with the plan she had developed, her apprehension was long replaced with peace by interview
toworkatGrandview!“Myparentshada retail produce business, which was great training for business and working hard,” explains Katie. They agree it’s a leap to go from working on dairies to being dairy farmers. “We fell in love with cows,” says Katie. And they fell in love over cows at Grandview...they married four years ago and have actively pursued dairy partnership opportunities outside of BC. Having already crunched the numbers endlessly made it easier to produce the requisite business plan when they were selected as one of the ‘final eight.’ “We had to know our business plan and it was a thorough process; they gave us a fair opportunity to demonstrate what weknew,butalsowantedtounderstand why we wanted to farm. The numbers change constantly – even since March.
with Jakes Construction where he grew his equipment and business skills.
They spent nearly a year back in Saskatoon where Breanna worked at the U. of S. in their small animal ICU. But her heart really preferred large animals, and when Jarrod’s construction work tapered off for the winter season, they headed back to Chilliwack. This was the startofBreanna’sdairyimmersion–first milking,thenbecomingherdspersonfor Elmido Farms. She also completed her AI and Hoof Trimming courses at this time. Following their wedding in 2017, Jarrod launched his own excavating business – Earth Tech Excavating Ltd.
When one door closes, another one opens. When Covid closed Breanna’s return to work after her maternity leave (no daycare), the NEP application period was open. It was her mother – a knowledgeable agribusiness woman – who encouraged her to apply. “We had
time on July 16. One aspect seemed to look for evidence of resilience. “Life is not predictable...are you adaptable... are you able to change on the fly...?” she described. Waiting can be the hardest part. It was a four day wait, then came the crucial phone call that offered her New Entrant status – “I was really excited!”
Marlayna has already secured a farm to rent in Chilliwack and aims to purchase the additional eight kg of quota available to new entrants in time to start milking by next Summer or Fall. “Ron is supportive and flexible, so I can keep my current job, and make it work if I have a sick or calving cow of my own. I’m really grateful for this new opportunity,” concludes Marlayna with great eagerness.
It’s an amazing opportunity, but it’s still not sustainable at this initial size,” Katie admits. Kelvin adds, “You have to be prepared to work hard at it, the numbers barely make weeds out the people who think it’s lucrative.”
They plan to start early in 2021 with 25 Holstein/Jersey cross cows, purchasing the additional eight kg quota available. They have rented a farm close by, so that they can continue managing Gary Baars’ farm on Interprovincial, knowing that supplemental income is a necessity when starting up in the dairy industry. But none of this deters them, they have had a clear vision of ‘owning’ their dairy futures... “We wanted to work towards something,” Katie summarizes.
talked about applying, but I thought we would talk about it some more...” Jarrod smiles in describing the ‘done deal.’ “When I wanted to own my own company, Breanna supported me 100%. So, I was all in to support her when our name was drawn,” he adds with concrete conviction.
Breanna’s large herd intensive dairy experience and Jarrod’s successful business ownership all converged with their determination to dairy! “Being interviewed by a panel of eight was a little intimidating, but we were prepared,” Breanna recalls. “We were so thankful to get offered the NEP opportunity. We are super excited to get started!” They have rented a farm in Agassiz with room for 60 milking. The parlour and dairy are being prepared and with the additional eight kg of available quota, they expect to be milking about 25 cows before the end of 2020!
  Kelvin and Katie Lagemaat
Marlayna is no stranger to agriculture; growing up in Chilliwack she got her start in blueberry and raspberry fields from the age of 13, continuing through high school. Her first dairy introduction was milking a small herd after her berry job. “It surprised me that I fell in love with cows!” Marlayna got two degrees – one in International Development, inspired by a four-month experience with Mercy Ships in Madagascar after high school, and the other, in ‘cow science’ as she worked at the 300- cow Springbank herd! “This was such a different experience. I was exposed to the nutritionist, vet and more facets of the industry that involved science, planning and people,” she recalled with enthusiasm.
Katie and Kelvin will be even busier in 2021 as successful New Entrants, while managing a 200-cow dairy and raising young Trent and baby Whitney.
Neither Kelvin nor Katie had any dairy background in their families, but both were drawn to cows early, as teenagers growing up in Chilliwack. While still in high school, Katie was milking at Grandview Dairy and Kelvin was milking at Chilliwack Cattle. “The large herd experience was really helpful, but I got exposed to a bit of everything when I took a job at Grandview; I got a well- rounded experience in dairy there,” shares Kelvin. What he didn’t mention is that Katie trained him when he came
  BreannaandJarrodSimpson Jarrod, Breanna and even Paisley can’t wait for the
 milking parlour renovation to be completed so they can begin their Breway Farm adventure!
Breanna Pastoor’s family dairied in Abbotsford until she was 13, then they moved to Saskatchewan, switching to broiler farming. But by then, she was already imprinted with cows – taking thelatenightmilkingshiftatWildeboers during grade 10! After completing her Vet Tech diploma in Saskatoon, Breanna took a practicum in 2014 at UBC Dairy in Agassiz where she met Jarrod.
Jarrod Simpson wasn’t yet school age when his grandparents sold their dairy. But growing up in Agassiz, you can’t avoid cows and dairy farm folk – he’d agree they were a good influence on him! Working at Cordine Farm doing equipment work primarily, gave him crucial exposure to dairy farming. He eventually took a job

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