Monia Grenier and Dany Mayrand, owners of Ferme Pério in Quebec’s Eastern Townships will represent Quebec at the national Outstanding Young Farmers competition in Ottawa in early December.
The dairy farmers have 50 purebred Holstein cows and 50 registered heifers. With a quota of 52 kilograms a day, the average production per cow is 10,798 kilograms. Recognized for its high performance, Ferme Pério has kept their high performance record for the last several years.
The couple also has 450 acres, with 353 acres in production growing corn, soybeans, barley, silage and dry hay. Good drainage and continual monitoring of the acid levels in the soil are a top priority for the couple.
Both Monia and Dany are graduates of the College of Agriculture in Victoriaville, Que. Dany went on to work in agriculture finance, while Monia worked as a controller at a dairy. They took over Monia’s family farm in 1993 after the sudden death of her father.
Over the years, the couple have been updating and upgrading the farm. They’ve built a new barn, increased quotas, expanded their land ownership, updated their drainage system and renovated other buildings.
The couple feeds their herd a total mixed ration which Monia says sets up for optimal ruminant health. The proper ration mix has allowed them to increased quota without increasing the size of the herd, she says.
FOCUS ON ENVIRONMENT
At Ferme Pério, farming while taking care of the environment is a priority. The couple has recently installed a manure composter, with the product reused back on the soil as needed. Monia says they’re working to get the maximum benefit from the waste and the compost it produces. They’ve left trees lining the waterway that weaves through their farmland, keeping the animals from wading into the stream. Water for the cattle comes from a shallow well.
In an ongoing effort to increase profits, Ferme Pério is part of a co-operative agriculture equipment group. In addition, they’ve focused on growing cost-effective crops like soybeans on contract, locking in prices early.
Monia says purchases and investments on the farm are made after much research and thought — any new investments are assessed for efficiency and profitability.
Ferme Pério has been recognized for its performance dairy herd, winning several trophies in livestock improvement.
One or the other of the couple have held positions as a director or president of various agriculture organization like the general farmers’ union. These memberships, they say, allows them to be more connected with the farm community and proactively work to solve issues faced by the industry.
Their four children, Stephanie, Jordan and Veronique, ages seven to 13 years, love the farm work as much as their parents and participate in their own way.
Allison Finnamore is a freelance writer based in Moncton, N. B.