Ferme Estermann in Dundee is among an elite group of farms inducted into Agropur’s Club de l’Excellence as regional champions for their excellent milk quality.
The Club de l’Excellence contest recognizes the exceptional work of dairy producers who undergo a year-long analysis of their milk outputs and an inspection of their facilities. Only 14 farms among Agropur’s 3,000 members in Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador received this coveted title for 2023.
Ferme Estermann began in 1997 when Thomas and Rita Estermann established the farm upon their arrival from Switzerland. In 2009, their son Martin joined the enterprise, followed by his sister Regula in 2017. The two children now head the farm, which also employs several temporary foreign workers.
The siblings explain that the nature of their work has changed over the years. “The level of difficulty is different because we have to work on many fronts, such as labour and technology. Automation can facilitate the work, but it requires a lot of surveillance; you can lose control quickly if you’re not vigilant on a day-to-day basis,” they explain.
Ferme Estermann has been named regional champion on two occasions and has obtained the best performance index of Canadian dairy herds in 2018, 2019 and 2020.
The 14 regional champions are now vying for the title of Milk Quality Grand Champion, which will be revealed in February at the Agropur general meeting.