Agri-food technologies | “Either I sleep, or I give 100%”

Félix-Antoine Couture, 18, is not afraid of work. A first-year student at the Institut de technologie agroalimentaire du Québec (ITAQ), the young man from Beaumont, east of Lévis, works on two farms outside of class. His goal: to become versatile enough to own his own dairy farm one day.

Posted at 8:42

Samuel Larochelle

Samuel Larochelle
special collaboration

When did you start working on dairy farms?

I don’t come from an agricultural background at all. Both my parents work in education. When I was 14, my father signed me up for a one-day course at the Young Milkers Training. It was not a favorite from the start, since it takes time to adapt. No one is great at the start. But I liked it.

What made you consider making a career out of it?

I like to touch everything, work manually, manage the animals and always have a problem to solve. I also understood that farm owners are their own bosses: they make all the decisions and they make their own schedules. I’m a working guy, but I like to have time for myself and for the people I love. Having a farm is extremely demanding, except that it remains the entrepreneur who chooses his battles. You embark on projects that interest you to improve your farm. We never run out of work. We can always do better. Me, either I sleep, or I give myself 100%!

Why did you feel the need to study animal production technology at ITAQ?

I didn’t grow up on a farm like many of my friends. I registered for fear of lacking knowledge. The program allows me to study the five main animal productions in Quebec (pork, poultry, beef, dairy, goats) and it helps me to become versatile. Afterwards, on the farm, I can apply what I have just learned in theory. I am convinced that I belong. I never got bored. All my classes interest me.

What are your projects after the DEC?

I’m pretty sure I’ll continue my studies at university. If I took over a dairy farm with my DEC, the succession quota gives me the right to produce 8 kilos of fat a day. If I am a management training, it goes up to 10 kg. To give myself a chance, I will surely do a one-year vocational certificate or diploma in management. I could also study agronomy or go for several certificates.

What elements will need to come together for you to feel ready to have your own farm?

It’s going to be long term. I’m going to start by working with producers who don’t have a new generation and get used to working in the industry. I imagine that after five years, I will have a better idea of ​​how it works.

Do you reflect on the impact of your work on your way of life, your friendships and your loves?

Currently, I am in a relationship with a girl who was born on a farm. It helps me see the daily life of a farm family. I really see myself in this environment. They work a lot. It impresses me! I think it conveys very good values ​​to young people. I am convinced that I can have a beautiful family on a farm.

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