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I belong to … Club Brown Swiss du Québec

Published on 02 September 2021
Dave Labrie

My great-grandparents, Charles and Marie Labrie, arrived here in the late 1890s and began Ferme Charluson Inc., located in Saint-Cyprien, part of the Lower Saint Lawrence region of Quebec, in 1901.

In 1953, my grandparents, Lucien and Stella Labrie, took over operations of the farm, modernising and expanding the herd. Then in 1977, my parents, Gleason and Carole Labrie acquired the farm, once again expanding and modernising. Finally, I took over in January 2009.

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The farm has 50 milking cows, with 75% of the herd being Brown Swiss. In total, there are 100 animals in the herd. The first Brown Swiss cows joined the herd in 2007, and it was love at first sight. I have always been passionate about genetics, like my family before me, who began using artificial insemination in 1967 to breed 100% of their herd.

Labrie with his nephew Xavier and mother, Carole

‘If I wasn’t a dairyman, I would be …’

I would still work in the industry; I love animals and would likely be a veterinarian or something similar.

How long have you been a member of this organization and why did you join?

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I officially joined the organization in 2014. I love the Brown Swiss breed, and I wanted to get involved to help shed more light on the breed.

How has the organization grown since you’ve been involved?

Thanks to everyone involved in the organization, the Brown Swiss breed has never stopped growing in Canada. When I joined the organization in 2014, there were 107 members in Quebec; by 2020, we were up to 134 members. There are certainly more producers working with Brown Swiss cows on their farms, but for economic reasons they choose not to become members or enroll in milk recording. In terms of number of cows in Quebec, there are 580 Brown Swiss cows enrolled in milk recording and 1,327 across Canada.

Labrie's cows out on pasture

I feel valued as a member when …

Producers reach out to me directly to acquire Brown Swiss cows, whether it is for the first time or for new replacements.

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My favourite representative or employee of this organization is …

Serge Bilodeau. He is the technical consultant for the organization in Quebec. Firstly, he possesses boundless enthusiasm for the breed, something he has passed on to me. Secondly, he was there to help me find a Brown Swiss herd after a fire destroyed my farm on Nov. 11, 2011.

The dairy industry’s greatest opportunity is …

To further educate the public on the quality of milk produced by Brown Swiss cows and to share the fact that, in Canada, animal welfare is a top priority. In terms of showing cows, only two events welcome the Brown Swiss breed, Victoriaville’s show and Supreme Dairy in Saint-Hyacinthe. The club organizes events like the Brown Swiss picnic and the Brown Swiss Cup, which has taken place during the fall over the past few years. A recent development over the past year has been the Passion Brown Swiss contest, which is highly appreciated by producers.

dave Lavrie and his husband Charles Darveau

I hope my dairy legacy is …

For the breed, I would like to see Brown Swiss cows continue to win over producers. I want the breed to prove its production potential to anyone and everyone; give it a try and you will love it.

My advice to tell all dairy producers is …

Establish your goals, believe in yourself and work to achieve them. end mark

PHOTO 1: Dave Labrie President of the Administrative Council 

PHOTO 2: Labrie with his nephew Xavier and mother, Carole.

PHOTO 3: Labrie’s cows out on pasture.

PHOTO 4: Dave Labrie with his husband, Charles Darveau; their cows and dog, Mimi. Photos provided by Dave Labrie.

Dave Labrie

President of the Administrative Council
Club Brown Swiss du Québec
brownswissquebec.com

Founded: The first Brown Swiss cow was imported into Canada from the U.S. to Quebec’s Eastern Townships in 1888. At a national level, the Canadian Brown Swiss and Braunvieh Association was created in August 1914. The “Club Brown Swiss du Québec” was then founded in 1976 by M. Karl Rohlfs, comprising of 21 members; membership has steadily increased ever since.

Members: 134 in 2020

 

Mission: The mission of the Club Brown Swiss du Quebec is to promote the breeding and development of the Brown Swiss breed, as well as informing and meeting the needs of its members. Its objective is to ensure the recognition, availability and maintenance of the breed’s quality. Its mission is primarily realized through the implementation of activities and communication tools, promotion and development, as well as by supporting sales networks.

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