Friday, June 14, 2024

When agriculture harmonizes with quality of life

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Maria Gill
Maria Gill
"Subtly charming problem solver. Extreme tv enthusiast. Web scholar. Evil beer expert. Music nerd. Food junkie."

Neuville – At Ferme JP Côté, the generations follow each other and are not alike. At least not when it comes to maintaining a balance between family and work. Representatives of the next generation, Janie and Demsey Cote, use all means at their disposal to save time while managing priorities.

technical card

farm name
JP Cote . farm

Dairy and horticultural products

Year Founded
The company was founded
In 1987.

owners names
Jean-Claude, Janie and Demsey Cote

number of generations

Cultivated area
170 hectares

130 heads, 65 of which are lactating

Sister and brother are the parents of two sons and three girls aged between two and eight years. Well, in their day, they did not want to perpetuate the model of a working producer without being able to give themselves the slightest moment in the family. The secret of their love for the profession lies in their desire to maintain a satisfactory quality of life in spite of their many tasks.

They run the dairy farm in Neuville in their own way even though their father Jean-Claude still owns 50% of the shares and is still very active in all areas of the company’s business. Fifth generation at the helm of the operation, Janie and Dempsey confirm that they took the lead with enthusiasm. In 2013, the shareholders’ agreement was revised to recognize their obligations.

“Dempsey and I currently own 25% of the property,” Janie says. For my part, I officially joined the farm in 2005. I initially thought about joining the vet; I even did the natural sciences at CEGEP. I finally started studying agricultural engineering only to find quickly that I didn’t like it. So I preferred to go back to the barn to eat my cows! ”

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If a young farmer says dairy is his “domain,” Dempsey holds a degree in agricultural mechanics. Their older brother, Kavin, turned to dairy farming before changing his course to become a paramedic. Occasionally, he would still lend a helping hand to the family, but soon after, after his initial training, he realized that the schedule required to work on the farm was not right for him.

By becoming contributors to Ferme JP Côté in 2013, Demsey and Janie also went on to collect their kilos of new generation milk.

Canadians in Jersey

In addition to milk production – from 60 to 65 Canadian and Jersey women out of a total of 130 heads – cats grow vegetables (turnip and cucumber, to which sweet corn is added), cereals and make fodder. In the winter, they also offer a snow removal service. Two foreign workers are hired in the low season and seven in the summer, as well as local young farm workers for two years.

“On the issue of profitability, in April we had to make the decision to gradually raise Canadian cows with jersey,” explains the duo of buyers. Unfortunately, we had to face facts: Our options vanished and preserving Canadians was not compatible with the sustainability of the farm. For our barn, the jersey size was perfect. “

Over the years, Coates regularly purchased land. The barn has also been enriched with an additional wing, and a new dung pit A shed appeared to store agricultural machinery. In this regard, a major modernization of the equipment has been carried out over the past few years, which saved time and efficiency.

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“Land acquisition is still the issue of the hour for us,” Dempsey says. We manage our priorities by giving ourselves the means to facilitate our existence; We try to work on tasks that take a lot of time on a daily basis. “ “The business model dictates that everything is done right the first time,” Jani says. This is one of the conditions for securing our future and the ability to thrive. “

company success

Janie and Dempsey insist: They want to set an example for their children by showing that it is possible to reconcile farming and family life. They do not hesitate to make every possible effort to light up their daily lives. “As Treasury, Janie sometimes has to slow me down a little bit in my ambitions to buy equipment, but if it’s to save time, overall, things are going well,” Dempsey says. Taking advantage of the extended family’s help at work, the brother and sister are often accompanied by their young children.

Janie and Dempsey's children regularly accompany their parents to the farm.  From left to right: Florence, Olivier, Alexander, Charlie and Angelique.

Janie and Dempsey’s children regularly accompany their parents to the farm. From left to right: Florence, Olivier, Alexander, Charlie and Angelique.

3 tips to gain efficiency

Long term planning

Usually, in agriculture, we don’t have much leeway in terms of profitability. When making investments, you need to know how to place pawns in the right places. Building construction requires large sums of money and we must make it as profitable as possible. If the door isn’t closed to increase the herd, we’ve chosen to wait to stabilize what we already have,” Jani suggests.

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Know how to surround yourself well

While mutual assistance and exchange of ideas are among the preferred practices at Ferme JP Côté, we also advocate for all external resources that can be used to ensure the health of the business. Also involved in their community, Jenny is the Director of the Sweet Corn Producers Association in Neuville, while Demsey is the President of the Union of Agricultural Producers (UPA) in Portnov..

Use techniques

“Before, you had to go back to the pages of newspapers or tourist farms to find the used equipment you were looking for. Today, with social networks, everything is at your fingertips and saves a lot of time,” argues Demsey. Jani adds that farming methods also take advantage of new technologies to save money while protecting the environment.

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