Les Producteurs de lait du Québec rewards three dairy farms for the exceptional quality of their milk
Ferme Morine of Coaticook, Ferme Martin & Renaud Boutin Inc. of Saint-Georges, and Ferme Vicain SENC of Saint-Éphrem-de-Beauce are the big winners of the 2020 edition of Lait’xcellent, a competition that rewards milk producers across Quebec for the outstanding quality of their milk. The recipients were revealed in conjunction with the 2021 Annual General Meeting of Les Producteurs de lait du Québec.
Videos featuring the 2020 Lait’xcellent competition winners can be viewed on our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/3uMWJH1.
2020 GOLD Lait’xcellent Award
Ferme Morine, Coaticook, Estrie
Véronique Lévesque and Réjean Morin have owned Coaticook-based Ferme Morine since 2001. They are the third generation to run the farm. For these two producers, it takes teamwork and a great deal of passion to produce quality milk. Every day, they check the sawdust and straw bedding to make sure that it stays dry. Twice a week, they add a drying product that also has a beneficial effect on the animals’ hooves. Milking is done with a conventional milking system and always at the same times, starting with the cow that has the highest somatic cell count and ending with the cow that has the lowest. They believe that sending cows to pasture is also an important contributing factor to their health and well-being. According to Véronique and Réjean, the quality of their milk is mainly due to the fact that they closely monitor each cow’s health as well as their milk quality results on the producers’ extranet.
In addition to winning first place in Quebec, Ferme Morine also won two Great Distinction certificates and five Very Great Distinction certificates in recent years.
2020 SILVER Lait’xcellent Award
Ferme Martin & Renaud Boutin Inc., Saint-George, Chaudière-Appalaches-Sud
For a second consecutive year, Ferme Martin & Renaud Boutin has won the Silver Lait’xcellent Award for the exceptional quality of its milk. Maxime Boutin has been the sole owner of the farm in Saint-Georges since December 2019. He relies on assistance from his father Martin, his mother Solange Labbé and his uncle Renaud to carry out the daily farm work. His young son Alexis also takes his turn on the farm. In other words, milk quality is truly a family affair for the Boutins. Maxime hopes to keep up the high quality standards that his parents and uncle have set without impacting his quality of life.
In the last 15 years, the farm has been ranked 13 times as one of the 25 enterprises with the best quality results in the Lait’xcellent competition. It has also received eight Very Great certificates and two Great Distinction certificates. In addition to being recognized for the quality of their milk, the family is proud to have received the title of Master Breeder a few years ago.
2020 BRONZE Lait’xcellent Award
Ferme Vicain SENC, Saint-Éphrem-de-Beauce, Chaudières-Appalaches-Sud
Vicky Grondin and Alain Couture are the owners of Ferme Vicain in Saint-Éphrem-de-Beauce. Thanks to the startup assistance program, they have raised hogs for 20 years and dairy cattle for 10 years on their farm. Vicky and Alain are extremely thorough in their work and leave nothing to hazard. They carefully look after their animals and monitor their quality results on the producers’ extranet. Monique Couture, Alain’s mother, also helps out on the farm several times a day by caring for, brushing, and currycombing the cattle. They are also assisted by a veterinary, a feed specialist, and a financial advisor, who they believe are the key to their success.
They have quickly risen to the top due to the quality of their milk. Before winning the bronze in the 2018 and 2020 Lait’xcellent competitions, Ferme Vicain SENC obtained five Very Great Distinctions and one Great Distinction. It also won the “Jarret agricole” award from the Saint Georges Chamber of Commerce.
Milk quality, a priority for producers
Quebec and Canada have some of the highest milk quality standards in the industry, which include very strict requirements on the absence of antibiotics in milk and a ban on using growth hormones for animals.
Quebec milk producers carry out optimal quality practices by complying with the very strict rules of the Canadian Quality Milk program, which is designed to prevent, monitor and reduce food safety risks on farms. This program is a module of proAction, the sound and sustainable governance program for Canadian dairy farms.
The Lait’xcellent competition has been held every year since 1987 by Les Producteurs de lait du Québec to reward the dairy farms in each region that achieve the best quality results as well as three provincial winners.
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