An inspiring poultry farmer and a passionate ambassador for agriculture
Since 2004, Andréane Benoit has been the head of la Ferme Avicole A. Benoit and its sole shareholder. Her business, located in Sainte-Brigitte-des-Saults in Centre-du-Québec, has two poultry houses and produces 650,000 kg of chicken per year. As of 2015, she also owns a dairy farm with 65 milking cows where employees manage the day-to-day operations.
Although she grew up on a dairy farm operated by her parents and has always been passionate about agriculture, Andréane was not necessarily thinking about making a career of it. It was after graduating in dance and a long period of reflection that fate gave her a helping hand: a business opportunity. So, at barely 18 years old, she found her calling and started a poultry business. She chose to do so in her hometown, since her one condition was having her family nearby. She admits that her parents made it much easier to set herself up in agriculture.
An entrepreneur at heart, young and hard-working, this fifth-generation farmer has always worked hard to grow her business, carve out a respectable place for herself and establish credibility in an environment traditionally associated with men. She relies on efficient and effective management while always striving to meet consumer expectations with superior quality products. To improve her knowledge and expertise, she enrolled in continuing education. For all these reasons, Andréane Benoit was the proud winner of the 2016 Young Farmers’ Award presented by the National Assembly of Québec.
“The passion for my work has grown year after year. I am proud to be a farmer and have never regretted my choice,” says Andréane.
Despite owning a farm and having an active life, this mother of two young children manages to balance work and family life, thanks in large part to the support of her parents, brother and sister, who also run farming businesses nearby.
Andréane has been deeply involved in various projects over the past few years aimed at popularizing and showcasing a more positive image of agriculture.
“Being an ambassador for Agriculture More Than Ever is natural for me. My parents have always known the value of the farming profession and have passed on to me the desire to do the same. Besides, agvocacy is one of the priorities outlined in my company’s business plan,” she explains.
Andréane gives interviews in written and electronic media, appearing on mainstream programs such as Marina Orsini and Curieux Bégin. She has also appeared in magazine, online and television ads for KFC, Éleveurs de volaille du Québec (Quebec Poultry Producers) and La Coop fédérée. “These activities allow me to get out of my daily life in the poultry house, to feed my artistic side, but also to promote agriculture at its true value and to speak positively about our agricultural practices,” she says.
To get her message across, she also uses social media, posting photos and videos that she produces herself through applications available on her smartphone to her company’s Instagram and Facebook accounts. “For me, this showcase is an ideal and exciting way to share my passion for my profession and how proud I am of my company,” says Andréane.
For her own personal fulfilment, Andréane gets involved in her community and participates in agricultural events mainly focused on entrepreneurship, business families, women’s involvement and the next generation. She also served for 10 years on the Board of Directors for her local Caisse Desjardins.
Andréane aspires to be known as an ambassador for the agricultural industry by participating in and organizing promotional activities. Among other things, to celebrate Canada’s Agriculture Day in 2019, she has organized a friendly gathering with local product tastings to bring together the farmers and consumers in her community.
For Andréane Benoit, being involved in Agriculture More Than Ever is also a way of seeing what is being done elsewhere, expanding her network and pushing her limits.