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Ferme Bois Mou 2001 Inc. wins Dairy Farm Sustainability Award

Published on 21 July 2015
Lefebvre family

On July 15, Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) President Wally Smith presented the Dairy Farm Sustainability Award to Mario Lefebvre and Denise Joyal from Ferme Bois Mou 2001 Inc. at DFC’s Annual General Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The couple lives in St-Félix-de-Kingsey, Quebec, where they farm with their three daughters, who have shown strong interest in continuing the farming tradition with their parents.

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“Adopting sustainable agricultural practices is key to securing a future for next generations on many levels,” says Smith. “This year’s three finalists show how implementing proactive on-farm practices is beneficial to the community, the environment and the economy.”

Sponsored by DeLaval Canada, the Dairy Farm Sustainability Award recognizes farmers who proactively adopt on-farm management practices that are environmentally sustainable, financially viable, socially beneficial and can be replicated on other farms.

“Congratulations to all the finalists of the sustainability award, of which the grand winners are Mario Lefebvre and Denise Joyal,” says Andrew Ritchie, DeLaval Canada managing director. “Ferme Bois Mou 2001 is a great example of a progressive dairy operation adopting some of the latest technologies for greater profitability, better working conditions and greater comfort for the animals while striving for greater sustainability for the environment and future generations.”

“Making a decent living from agriculture in harmony with our environment and the people around us is an important principle for Denise and I,” says Mario Lefebvre. “It is an integral part of the mission of our farm.”

The winning couple was allotted a $2,000 cash prize in recognition of their outstanding sustainable practices.

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The selection committee, comprised of eight dairy and sustainability experts from across the country, was particularly impressed with the Lefebvre’s management practices. For instance, they have invested in waterbeds and plastic stalls, instead of metal, so that cows can move in comfort. They had a compactor made for their silage plastic waste, which they share with neighbors, before taking the plastic to the depot themselves. And since 2006, all of their field management has been using zero tillage practices.

Additionally, they have shown meticulous concern for biosecurity. For instance, access to the farm is restricted to authorized visitors only, and Mario has his own hoof trimming chute to avert contamination from other farms. These, in addition to all of the other practices on this farm, add up to an impressively sustainable dairy farm!

The other finalists, Dwayne and Becky Perry from Perryhill Farm Inc. (Perry Settlement, New Brunswick) and Nelson Dinn from the UBC Dairy Education and Research Centre (Agassiz, British Columbia) will each be granted $1,000 during their respective provincial annual meetings.

Visit the DFC website to view the finalists’ profiles.  PD

—From Dairy Farmers of Canada news release

PHOTO: The Lefebvre family. Photo provided by Dairy Farmers of Canada.

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