Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Will We Ever Be Permitted To Become "Farmers"?

To be an official "Farmer", you have to earn $7,000 per year from your farming activities.

CFC Databook 2012 gives the Canadian average retail sale price for broiler chicken in 2011 as $5.51/kg.  The top weight for a roaster is 7 lbs, or 3.18 kg.  If a wanna-be farmer grows the maximum non-quota allotment of chicken, those 300 birds, if they are all sold at retail without 1 dead chicken, will produce a grand total of $5,259.00 per year.  Sorry, you don't qualify to be a farmer.

To be a real farmer, all we have to do is one of the following options:

  • Get the average bird weight up to 4.23 kg (9.32 lbs.)
  • Get the average sale price up to $7.34/kg, a 33.1% price increase.
  • Get the non-quota flock exemption raised to 400 birds.
  • Convince CFO to permit you to have just 100 bird quota.
Either way, you need to boost the system by 31%.

Was this CFO's plan, to allow wanna-be farmers to get ever so close, so close you can almost taste that roasted chicken, but never get a bite?

The demographics are killing us all.  The average age of farmers is over 60 years old.  Canada has one of the oldest median ages of the OECD countries.  In the last 25 years, the number of farmers under the age of 35 has dropped by 70%.

If it wasn't for farmers, all the rich people would have to eat is money.

We have to replace the farmers who die, retire, move on, or get injured.  As the population grows, in both Canada and the world, we may need more farmers, for their is a limit on how many hours per day you can work the fields even with headlights on your tractor.

Some think Canada has a problem in recruiting new farmers.  Some think the government needs to do something about this before its too late.

Perhaps small flock farming is a solution.  Just about anybody can learn to do it.  It can start with just a few chickens for the family's personal use.  Those who like it can decide to get a few extra for friends and neighbours the next time they buy chicks.

Assuming the oppressive 300 chicken barrier is removed, they can spread their wings and fly all the way up to 401 birds.

Before you know it, they have built an even bigger coop, and have crossed that magical $7,000 barrier.  Congratulations, you're now officially a farmer.

Finally, we can rest easy, for the decline in the farmer population has been stopped.  We have food self-sufficiency in that farmer's local community.  A food desert has been eliminated.


  1. what is wrong with diversity or operating a mixed farming operation...if you calculate your farm income potential with 300 meat chickens/100 laying hens/50 turkeys/some pastured pork and 50-100 share CSA......add in some value added products ....i think you could make more than $7000.

  2. I agree with you, you have a very reasonable and sensible suggestion. There is nothing wrong with that diversified mix you propose.

    However, why should a farmer be boxed into a corner by anybody, especially the government? Should the farmer not be able to specialize in just poultry, even if it is lower earning, or riskier, or less diversified? To me, that would seem to be his right to choose, rather than being dictated to by a government agency.

    I suggest that the 300 bird limit seems to be totally arbitrary, and could be just as easily be chosen as 102 birds (the original maximum), or 300, or 400, or 2000.

    At least with 400, one has a slim hope of making the $7,000 per year. Nobody should have that opportunity removed from them without just cause.


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