by Joan LeBlanc
An operation near Memramcook, N.B., which includes a farm and a meat market, has been named farm of the year by the Chignecto Soil and Crop Improvement Association.
Guy and Della Boudreau were presented with the honours at a special awards dinner in Sackville, N.B., in late January.
Part of a provincial organization, the Chignecto Soil and Crop Improvement Association is comprised of many area farmers and agricultural producers concerned with maintaining good farm practices and keeping abreast of new programs and government policies. The association keeps members informed through meetings, workshops, and regular newsletters.
The Boudreau farm, located near the village of Memramcook, has been owned and operated by the Boudreau family for several generations. Guy and Della Boudreau took ownership some 20 years ago, while the senior Boudreaus, Donald and Antoinette, still live on the farm and take part in the day-to-day operation of the onsite meat market.
Guy Boudreau said recently that he’s been a member of the Chignecto Soil and Crop Improvement Association for about 15 years.
“It’s a good organization to be part of,” he said. “They help us with information, they did an environmental plan for us, and there are other things they do. We share some equipment with other members in the organization and we can get some discounts on things like fuel for the farm.”
The Boudreau farm comprises some 200 acres, 30-40 acres of which is woodland, with the remainder cleared. They grow most of their own forage, mainly grass silage, which they process themselves.
“We turn the land, which we did last year, and we put in peas, and corn for a couple years,” said Boudreau. “Corn is complicated to do because it’s not easy to get it harvested. I do high-performance silage, do the peas with the grain in it, and do underseed. We cut and round-bale it ourselves. One of my two sons, Jocelyn, works on the farm with me. We do buy a couple hundred bales of standing grass a year from local farmers too.”
With a relatively large cattle herd, the Boudreaus are able to use their own manure, subsidized with commercial fertilizers, to enrich the soil. They get a two-crop forage yield each year from their land.
The operation supports a herd of about 50-60 cows and four Simmental bulls.
“We finish our own calves,” said Boudreau. “Sometimes we buy extra feeders. We usually keep between 120 and 150 head of cattle. Right now, we have the Simmentals but usually there’s not one kind of cow that we don’t have (in the herd).”
The meat shop, which stocks hormone-free beef, turkeys in season, and some chicken, has from five to 12 employees, depending on the time of the year and market demand. The Boudreaus also partner with the skills department at Dorchester Penitentiary and usually have one or two workers in the meat shop as part of that program.
“That works extremely well,” said Boudreau. “At one time, I taught a course in meat cutting at the penitentiary. Most of those guys liked learning the trade and they really like to be able to learn more working at the meat shop.”
The Boudreaus’ meat products are also sold at the Dieppe farmers’ market. The farm has two abattoirs – one of only a few farms in New Brunswick to offer this service – and processes beef, pork, and chicken for producers in the region.
Chignecto Soil and Crop Improvement Association Annual Awards
Grass/hay, round bale -
Tantramar Acres Farm,
Point de Bute (Robert and Nathan Murray)
Grass/hay, square bale -
Forks View Farm Ltd., Sackville (Richard and Harold Brooks)
Legume silage, round bale -
Tantramar Acres Farm
Grass silage, round bale -
R.A. Acton Farms, Midgic
Grass silage, chopped -
Prescott Farm, Sackville
Cereal silage -
Davis Farm, Port Elgin
Corn silage -
Davanna Holdings, Sackville (David and Anna Acton)