Holstein Québec’s Young breeders school:a rewarding and enjoyable experience
Saint-Hyacinthe, October 22, 2012 – “We were treated to a fantastic programme: conferences, practical workshops, a visit to the CIAQ and, especially, visits to elite breeding operations! It’s a real privilege to have a breed association that takes care of organizing the whole thing. Not to mention that we were a quite a group of enthusiastic young people! Simply put, all the ingredients were there to make for a rewarding and enjoyable weekend.” Such is Myriam Côté’s account of her experience at Holstein Québec’s Young breeders school, held this year in Saint-Hyacinthe, from October 5 to 8. A total of 29 motivated youth took advantage of the training offered by industry experts on the major topics related to dairy farming: reproduction, marketing, pedigrees, classification, interpreting genetic evaluations, production and animal comfort.
In collaboration with the Saint-Hyacinthe Holstein Club, participants were able to visit three dairy operations and were treated to an exclusive tour of the barns of the Centre d’insémination artificielle du Québec as well. “It was an exceptional experience to find oneself in front of the much talked-about sires Fever, Seaver and Mathis, but one rarely has the chance to see and assist in collecting semen. It was really impressive,” recounts Ariane France of Vankleek Hill, Ontario. The Maskita farm-school as well as Ferme Dubosson, in St-Théodore-d’Acton, and Ferme Lamaria Holstein, in Upton, gave the young participants the opportunity to put their knowledge into practice with some excellent herds.
For this ninth edition, the trainers set themselves a challenge: “We wanted to make sure that each person, regardless of his or her knowledge level, would learn something in each workshop, and we rose to that challenge,” explains the event’s coordinator, Frédéric Fillion. “We met some highly focused young people this year, youth who weren’t afraid to ask questions. It’s a worthwhile experience for trainers and I’m sure they all gain from it,” adds Valérie Tremblay, from Holstein Canada.
“The team project gave me the chance to meet some wonderful people with whom I really enjoyed working. By combining our individual ideas and experiences, we were able to put together a good quality project that we were proud to present, and that’s probably how we managed to distinguish ourselves,” underlines Myriam Côté, a member of the winning team and herself the grand-prize winner of this 2012 edition. Indeed, the work of Ferme Univers Holstein, composed of Pascal Cossette of Saint-Maurice, Myriam Côté of Lac-au-Saumon, Marc-Antoine Jodoin of Ste-Madeleine, and Isabelle Larivière of Bedford, made an impression. The members of the winning team are invited to take part in the next Holstein Québec Convention, which will take place in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, from January 30, to February 1, 2013.
Hence it was Myriam Côté, from Ferme Engival, in Lac-au-Saumon, in the Bas-Saint-Laurent region, who took home the much-coveted grand prize, a three-week visit to European dairy farms. Second place was awarded to Jean-Michel Leblanc, of Nicolet, who won an invitation to attend Holstein Canada’s Young Adult National Convention, in Niagara Falls, Ontario, in April of next year. Katherine Lefebvre, of Baie-du-Febvre, received a $250 bursary from the CIAQ for her third-place finish.
“In short, the breeding school is about gaining knowledge of the practical side of breeding, while having fun and learning from avid professionals and breeders who communicate their passion with a capital P,” affirm the participants. “‘Experience the tangibles of breeding’’ is a slogan that really sums up what goes on during this weekend.”
Holstein Québec would like to underline the contribution of the breeding school’s official partners: CIAQ, Holstein Canada and John Deere. As well, Holstein Québec wishes to thank its Privilege Partner, CIAQ, its Distinction Partner, Vétoquinol Canada Inc., and its Classic partners, Agribrands Purina, La Coop Fédérée and Shur-Gain, along with its industry partners, AJRQ and Valacta, who all play a key role in making this event a success.
To see the entire photo gallery, visit www.facebook.com/holsteinquebec.
Frédéric Fillion, Manager, Department of Genetics, Consulting and Member Services and Advisor for Eastern Quebec
Daniel Marcheterre, General Manager
3955, boulevard Laurier Ouest, Saint-Hyacinthe (Québec) J2S 3T8
Telephone: 450 778-9636; Fax: 450 778-9637