We went to the region of Yamachiche to meet with Jean-Luc Bellemare, Marc Bellemare, Éric Bellemare and Louise St-Yves, the owners of Beljie Farm. 4 years ago, this company “dared to” when they decided to install two milking robots in an entirely new building. With 101 lactating cows and 149 kg (328.49 lb) of quotas, Beljie Farm knows how to face challenges head on.
In 2014, Marc, the youngest son, visited a farm equipped with milking robots. This visit turned out to be a moment of revelation for him; they had to adopt this new technology. He went back home and presented the idea to his father, Jean-Luc. Éric wanted to buy milking robots for their farm and wanted to dare to undertake a major shift for their company.
So, they started working with different professionals (a veterinarian, an accountant, and a nutrition advisor) and started looking at their options.
“It’s important to surround yourself with people who know what they’re doing.”
Jean-Luc Bellemare, co-owner
They compared, visited and analyzed different farms, so they would be able to implement a comprehensive plan for their farm. Their research allowed them to innovate and to consider different systems: cross ventilation, memory foam cow mattresses, rubber for alleyways, increasing feeding space, etc… It’s easy; they only had to imagine the farm they wanted and build it. By doing this, they could maximize the animals’ performance. It worked like a charm!
Were these changes made without any efforts and risks? “Of course not!” Have they encountered any obstacles? “Absolutely!”
“You have to support your company’s growth! It’s great to say that you want to expand the business but the rest has to follow. A company which doubles its production in a year is very demanding: you have to spend a lot of money, time and energy, and you also have to deal with a lot of stress… Everything has doubled!”
Would they go back to how the farm used to be? “Never!”, declares Louise. She strongly believes that these changes have dramatically improved their everyday life and their quality of life. They have significantly more time, fewer constraints and get better results on the farm.
As Jean-Luc’s sons clearly explain, this idea of improving the farm has gone a long way. At the beginning, when they “seeded” this idea, the ground was still frozen. But, with time, investment, research and evaluation, and with the help of the different partners involved, the ground gradually warmed up, and slowly the idea took root! Two years later, we see a big and beautiful tree standing before us.
Service Centre: Agri-Service DMR