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After milk quotas

French dairy farmers look for a way ahead after Brussels gives up the European supply management system

French dairy farms are in turmoil. France is the second-largest dairy producer in the European Union, and for the past 30 years, governments there had used quota to tie milk production to assigned farm regions. But then Brussels pulled the plug on the EU quota system in 2015, and now decisions about where and how […] Read more


The most hated dairy farm in France

Milk After Quotas: Some dairy farms in southern France are facing an existential crisis

The least we can say is that Michel Welter, director general of France’s biggest dairy farm, is a tough cookie. At 51, this former dairy producer works not only under daily pressure from the citizens of his village, Abbeville, located in northern France, but from the whole country for having built an “industrial farm” of […] Read more



Organic milk: 1,000 farms for one cow

Milk After Quotas: In the past decade, Biolait has seen its production double in size

When I meet him at their brand new headquarters in Saffré, a village in western France, it’s clear Théofile Jouve, director general of Biolait is a proud man. “In 2013, when the price of conventional milk was almost the same as organic milk, we had 60 farmers ask to be part of our business,” he […] Read more


Setting their own quota

Milk After Quotas: Milk producers find more success with cheese

Jean-Marie Guinchard looks across his ancestral farm located at la Sommette, a hamlet near the Swiss border. “We are cheese producers before being milk producers,” he tells me. “That’s saved us because we get a much higher return than conventional milk.” With his herd of 160 milking cows of the Montbéliarde breed, the 58 year […] Read more



Farmer Tim’s social media tips

Pointers from Tim May on how to use social media to set the record straight on farms and farming

Tim May is a fourth-generation dairy farmer near Guelph, Ont., with 27,000 followers on Facebook. That’s right — 27,000. May started his Farmer Tim Facebook page a little over three years ago when he decided it was time for average farmers to battle the misinformation about dairy farming and agriculture that he saw being shared […] Read more


The ‘insight’ bonus

More brothers and sisters: Knowing each other’s characters so well means this family is ready for almost any challenge

Brothers and sisters are working together on more farms all the time. More and more too, there are multiple siblings on these farms, not just one of each. To outsiders, it can seem like so many more chances for family to get in the way, and so many chances for old rivalries to flare up. […] Read more



Taste the future

Why is a farm that’s noted for its technological innovation suddenly getting involved in an enterprise producing Middle Eastern ice cream?

Dawne and Lloyd Grenkow finish each other’s sentences, if not each other’s thoughts. “Working with family? I love it,” Dawne says, giving her son Lloyd a bit of a sideways glance and a laugh. “Really, though, you give your blood, sweat and tears to it, but everybody does. And everybody benefits.” Dawne founded Grenkow Holsteins […] Read more


Deciding about technology

Why do some farms leap ahead in technology while others wait? The reasons aren’t what you think

Four robots at New Galma Dairy near Ingersoll, Ont., milk the cows while a second automated system finds its way around the barn feeding cows and heifers by itself and a third machine beds the cows without human intervention. Calves can decide when they want milk from a machine that identifies them and gives them […] Read more



White Revolution 2.0

While Canada and the U.S. clash over NAFTA, Cargill, Nestlé and other global dairy giants are pumping their money into India

India is the world’s largest dairy producer, thanks to the “White Revolution” that it launched shortly after the country’s independence in 1947, when it first gave itself the goal of replacing dairy imports and promoting self-sufficiency. Now, the country has embarked on a White Revolution 2.0 that will keep its borders closed to imports of […] Read more


‘Do no harm’

Canada’s supply-management farmers have three blunt words of advice for our NAFTA negotiating team

Canada’s supply management sector is experiencing its usual trade-talk trepidation as the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement gets started. Even so, dairy and poultry farmers are relying on Ottawa’s assurances at meetings through the summer that the system of domestic price setting, and the high border tariffs that support it, will not […] Read more