The Gleaner

FMT students visit Valley farms

New students to the farm management and technology (FMT) program at the McDonald campus of McGill University experienced a first this year: two days of field trips to start them off, including visits to several Valley farms.

According to the program’s Facebook page, visits took place on August 25 and 26. Students were first introduced to organic beef and cash cropping at Ferme Agriprises in Godmanchester, which is run by Douglas McColm and his partner Martine Miller.

The second stop during the day brought students up close to the world of apple production with a tour of Enderle Farms in Hemmingford, where the Enderle brothers – and program graduates – Nick and Chad offered them valuable insight into their operation. They discussed marketing as well as plans for future technical and operational improvements.

The day ended with a tour of Fermes Reyla, a family-owned-and-operated dairy farm in Ormstown, where co-owner and FMT graduate Pat MacDougall milks a herd of 65 Jersey cows. Students enjoyed a tour of the barns while MacDougall explained how the farm operates as well as its future plans.

The itinerary for the second day of visits featured a stop at the Jardins Jean-Simon Théoret in Île-Bizard, which produces sweet corn and string beans, before returning to the MacDonald Campus Farm, where the students will gain practical experience during classes and labs. They were introduced to the cattle complex, the Lods Agronomy Research Centre, and the Horticulture Centre.

On September 14, those students enrolled in the beef and sheep management course were able to visit Ferme Miclem in Saint-Anicet. Simon Trépanier, the owner of the beef and cash crop farm, provided the group with a tour of the farm and its 700 head herd of cattle, as well as the feedlot and barns. (SR)

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