Désilets Family Farm
Serge, René, Mélissa & Alexandre
When the family first began farming, they raised chickens, cows and pigs and farmed potatoes. Third generation farmers, brothers René and Serge took over the family farm in 1983 and transitioned to two types of chicken farming; broiler (meat), laying hens (eggs) and they continued farming for cash crops. Today they have 125,000 laying hens in both conventional and enriched barns. The farm has grown substantially over the years and today employs 30-35 people at 3 different locations.
The Désilets invest in ecofriendly initiatives; they fertilize their crops with the 10 thousand tonnes of manure produced by their chickens each year. Their crops yield over 18 thousand tonnes of grain per year, enough to cover 80% of the needs of their chickens.
Serge is passionate about what he does for a living “Agriculture is about feeding people, I love this field of work. To me, it’s interesting to see firsthand, the progression and evolution of the technology and the techniques we use in farming.” he says.
Serge’s children Alexandre and Mélissa have also become involved in the family business. Alexandre’s works on the farm and is also the proud father of one (is she two now?) year-old Amanda, who loves riding the tractor with grandpa and adores the baby chicks. “Farming has always been a part of my life. I have always seen myself working for the family business, and I’m proud to be a part of it.” says Alexandre.
Following the completion of her degree in business management, Melissa began working for the family business and is responsible for project management and day to day operations. “Farming is an industry that is worth being discovered! There have been so many technological advancements that have transformed what we do, that has positively impacted us as farmers and our animals.” said added. In April 2018, Melissa left the family business to pursue a career in Marketing and Communications.
René has 4 children himself, two sets of twins that are still in school. He still finds time to actively volunteer at their schools. What’s the secret to producing delicious eggs? For René it’s all in the feed “An important facet of farming is feeding our hens good, quality food which in turn helps them produce good quality eggs”.
How do they make running a farm with family work for them? The Désilets share the same vision for the farm and each are actively involved in decision making.