Mary Mackinson Faber is the fifth generation of her family to be involved in her family’s dairy farm in central Illinois, Mackinson Dairy Farm, which is home to a herd of Ayrshires. Mary enjoys being an “ag-vocate” and keeps a blog and facebook page dedicated to sharing the real story of dairy and agriculture. She has completed her second series of “Women in Ag” profiles, and is allowing Cowsmo to share these profiles with you!To read more about Mackinson Dairy Farm, and Mary’s story, please visit her blog page and follow her on Facebook.
November 4, 2015: Ysabel Jacobs, Ferme Jacobs, Cap-Santé, QC
Ysabel is our first international woman to be featured during our Women in Dairy Series. Ysabel grew up on her family’s dairy farm with her parents, brothers and a sister. She graduated from the University with a degree in Administration Marketing International. Today, she farms with her father, Jean; her mother Marian, her husband Tyler (and their three kids: Alyson (5), Ryan (4) and Jayden (2); and her brother, Yan and his wife Vero (and their 5 kids: Elsie (8), Nellie (6), Henry (4), and Charly & Johny (2). Together, this true family operation operates two dairy farms, Ferme Jacobs and Ty-D Holsteins. At Ferme Jacobs, they have 600 head, milk 140 cows in addition to 1100 acres. Their breeding philosophy is based on type which is evident by numerous show accolades in addition to them marketing cattle and embryos worldwide. Together, Ysabel and Freder Fillion manage this part of the farming operation.
Ysabel’s Story in her own words:
What is your favorite dairy product?
Cheese. All kinds of cheese, my best nights are a wine and cheese supper!
Who is your favorite cow?
My favorite cow is Jacobs Goldwyn Valana. My favorite breed is Holstein. I love a dairy cow with lots of strength, great feet and legs and are easy to work with.
Editor’s note: Goldwyn Valana was the 2nd place Mature Cow, 1st place Bred & Owned, Reserve Senior Champion, Grand Champion Bred & Owned and Reserve Grand Champion Holstein at the 2015 World Dairy Expo!
What are 3 things you want consumers to know about the dairy products you produce?
- We do have a very different family but we do what we love and it is never quiet because we work with animals all the time.
- We look after our cows as if they were a part of our family so don’t imagine that we are hard on them.
- Population should get closer to farms, as they produce their meals every day.
As a Mom what do you want to share with others about the dairy industry?
When did you start farming?
I started as I grew up, on our family farm. Now, I manage the marketing operation of the farm and look after all the new babies until the age of breeding.
Describe a typical/average day for you.
- Start my day by feeding calves with my mom
- Come back for breakfast with the kids as they start school
- During the day: I am responsible for show planning during the fall. I manage the vaccination program and work with the cattle to get them ready for show. I also look after the workers to make sure they are all happy and then I work on selling embryos. We raise around 160 newborn calves every year and I look after them with my mom.
- At night I do chores again with the kids and come back home around 7 pm for bath, supper and homework and then it’s time to go bed…
What is the most rewarding part of being in the dairy industry?
What advice would you give someone interested in the dairy industry?
Work with passion and you will enjoy it. My grandmother use to say; find a job you like and work for it, you will find success.
What do you envision the future of the dairy industry looking like?
Lots of change is going on right now in Canada but I hope that there will always be a place for family dairy farms. Family dairy farms are a treasure for us and the next generation coming.