The family that grows together…
BY STEVEN WARBURTON
Staff When Gaetan and Sonia Martin learned that two of their children wanted to come back home to work on the family dairy farm, they knew that they had to expand.
So in May of last year, they decided to upgrade the old tie-stall barn – where they milked 61 cows – in favour of a newer facility.
Last Saturday, they invited the general public to come out and view the brand new free-stall barn, which features two milking parlours and is almost 24,000 square feet in size.
Mrs. Martin says the new barn cost $2.7 million but it was necessary if their children want to be the fourth generation in a row to look after the family farm, also known as Martville Farms.
“Our daughter, Chanelle, who studied vet tech, said she wanted to come home and work here,” says Mrs. Martin. “She says she missed the cows. As soon as she said that, our youngest son, Jeremie, said he wanted to come home too. So we knew we had to expand. We couldn’t feed three families with 61 cows.”
The bigger barn allows for the milking of 101 cows. Mrs. Martin says the new system is much easier on the body because you no longer have to bend over to milk the cows. Saturday’s open house was held partly at the request of the barn’s builder, Sylvain Cheff of Russell, but also because the Martins wanted to educate the public about dairy production.
“A lot of dairy producers are going with robots,” she explains. “But we decided to go with the milking parlour.”
The Martins are in the process of buying more quota.
OPEN BARN: Gaetan and Sonia Martin are surrounded by their children, Jeremie, Julianne, Benoit, and Chanelle, outside their new free stall barn near Moose Creek on Saturday afternoon. About 1,000 people attended the open house at the facility.