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Contest 2018 Tournez-vous vers l'excellence!

2017 - Thirteenth Tournez-vous vers l'excellence! Contest

Top 10 Competition Finalists - Concours 2017 Tournez-vous vers l’excellence!

Maxime Bégin

Maxime Bégin

Les Fermes Bégin (Grain crops)
Sainte-Germaine-Boulé, Abitibi-Témiscamingue

To start up his operation gradually and carve out a distinctive niche, that was Maxime's vision when he co-founded his grain and cattle farm in 2012. Every day, his education in agronomics and his scientific knowledge are put to good use in his fields, where he experiments with new techniques and implements best practices. The results are tangible: his crops have almost doubled in six years. Maxime has shown he can innovate while putting his animals'well-being at the heart of his decisions.

Caroline Bélanger

Caroline Bélanger

Ferme Belle Roche (Market garden crops)
Brownsburg-Chatham, Laurentides

Caroline's plans for her life fell into place when she revitalized the family land with her partner and began growing a selection of organic vegetables using production methods that are balanced, varied and respectful of the environment. She has built a loyal clientele to whom she delivers baskets from May to December. The farm also has a small herd of grazing swine that are hormone-and antibiotic-free. Caroline is proud to run an operation on a human scale, one that is diversified and that contributes to revitalizing the local economy. 

Isabelle Lasalle

Isabelle Lasalle

Ferme Karibel (Dairy farm)
Saint-Paul, Lanaudière

When she acquired shares in the family farm, Isabelle had it in her mind to renovate the stable, maintain a healthy herd and make it more productive than ever. Mission accomplished! The quality of the operation's milk has been recognized numerous times by industry. She managed to achieve several construction, renovation and technological upgrade projects with the view of increasing the animals'comfort and their production capacity. Isabelle is a go-getter, with strong implication in the farming community and an unwavering support for aspiring farmers. 

Philippe Lemieux

Philippe Lemieux

Ferme P.M. Lemieux (Dairy farm)
Cap Saint-Ignace, Chaudière-Appalaches

Philippe took over the family farm after having acquired solid experience on other farming operations. Since then, the farm’s progress has been impressive. Crop cover has gone from 165 to 760 acres. Dairy production has almost doubled, and the operation’s revenues too! The sugar bush has been expanded, now boasting 12 000 taps. Beyond the numbers, his workers'well-being is a core value for Philippe, along with work-life balance, as he himself is the father of five children.

Marc-Olivier Harvey

Marc-Olivier Harvey

Pépinière Casse-Noisette (Horticulture/nursery)
Sainte-Ursule, Mauricie

Marc-Olivier's interest in rare trees and in nut trees led him to find his niche and distinguish himself in the horticultural industry. His nursery rapidly won market shares, here and in the United States. Having started with just a few shrub and tree varieties, the company now offers over 400 items. The Pépinière Casse-Noisette was born from Marc-Olivier's passion, despite his limited means. His motto High quality trees for a greener world! Illustrates his business vision and his concern for sustainable development.

Maxime Gagnon

Maxime Gagnon

Transport Prosper (Grain crops)
Sainte-Geneviève-de-Batiscan, Mauricie

In his early twenties, Maxime joined a shipping company that partnered with the Ferme Jean-Pierre Gagnon, with the idea of gradually acquiring the company. Now he is constantly striving to optimize its processes. Since his arrival, he has maximized the harvesting time, reduced the drying costs, improved the crop rotation and enhanced the farming methods in order to reduce the ecological footprint. His contribution has even had a positive impact on tourism, since his colourful fields are worth the detour!

Page Facebook de Transport Prosper

Bryan Denis

Bryan Denis

Ferme Denijos (Organic dairy farm)
Saint-Cyprien, Bas-Saint-Laurent

When he was young, Bryan knew that he would one day take over the Ferme Denijos, a pioneer in organic milk production in Québec and that he would strive to ensure its longevity. Since he has held the reins, the operation has picked up pace. His investments have seen production increase and revenues double. Bryan's every decision is made with the view of promoting the farm’s potential for growth, paying careful attention to human resources and the family’s quality of life.

Guillaume Pelland

Guillaume Pelland

Paysage gourmand (Landscaping, comestible plants, nursery)
Rawdon, Lanaudière

Inspired by his travels, Guillaume has acquired a unique expertise in horticultural production: the design of landscaping plans and the development of edible and utilitarian spaces that are esthetic, functional and productive. A pioneer in his field, Guillaume has created a pallet of 450 edible perennials with colours and flavours adapted to Québec's climate. His goal is to expand his services throughout Québec, while respecting the environment and the principles of sustainable development.  

Annie Marcoux

Annie Marcoux

Bleuetière Marland (Market garden crops, blueberries & agro-tourism)
Sainte-Marie, Chaudière-Appalaches

With an intuition that agro-tourism was the future, Annie acquired shares in the family farm, the Bleuetière Marland. She had a feeling that a spacious, modern accessible stand would be a focal point to attract visitors. The blueberry farm is now, more than ever, a superb site where people stop to pick and buy fresh fruit and vegetables, savour an ice cream, spend family time in the play area or enjoy the petting farm. By adding value to the customer experience, the number of visitors (and the sales) have skyrocketed. 

Fater Youssef

Fater Youssef

Verger Croque-Pomme (Apple industry)
Thurso, Outaouais

Since his establishment in agriculture in 2015, Fater has helped make his orchard the biggest in the Outaouais region and the first traditional cider house in the region. His education in agriculture and microbiology has armed him with the skills to effectively manage the farm’s production, processing methods and environmental concerns. His focus is on managing an innovative company that can produce diversified and high-quality fruits, vegetables and home-grown products while respecting the environment.

See Press releases in the Newsroom.

To recognize excellence among aspiring farmers!

This contest is for new farm entrepreneurs who, through their professional skills and management qualities, stand apart with a profile of excellence.

To win: one $5000 grant, two $2500 grants and a new grant of $1500!

Eligibility conditions:

  • Have been in business for from two to seven years
  • Be between 18 and 40 years old
  • Hold at least 20 % of your operation's shares
  • Have received a start-up grant under the Financial Support for Aspiring Farmers Program or received confirmation that this grant will be accorded

The aim of the Contest Tournez-vous vers l'excellence! is to showcase the individual contribution of entrepreneurs. Note that only one person may present a candidature per operation, even if the operation has two associates with equal shares. 

The FIRA will award a $1 500 grant to one of 10 finalists who will have distanced himself by the relevance of his formation as well as by the importance of his supervision and/or his mentorship in the success of his business project.

Application deadline: may 25, 2018

The winners will be announced in the framework of the Colloque Gestion (Business convention) of the Centre de référence en agriculture et agroalimentaire du Québec (CRAAQ), on November 21, 2018, in Drummondville.

By opening this contest, La Financière agricole du Québec, in conjunction with CRAAQ, seeks to demonstrate the importance it accords to the training and the acquisition of qualities and skills that pave the way to exercising a profession in agriculture.

Since its creation in 2005, 36 young people have received an award of excellence.

2017 and 2016 Contest Winners and Runner-Ups