Julie Bissonnette, the next generation of the Future

Julie Bissonnette, la relève de l’Avenir

The next generation of the Future

In a century, the average size of Canadian farms has tripled * . For its part, over the last 75 years, the number of farms in Quebec has declined by approximately 90%. And as in 2020, the price of agricultural land increased on average by 7.3% and up to 32.4% in Estrie, no need to draw a picture to understand that new farmers are experiencing difficult times.

Never mind, don't count on Julie Bissonnette to figure things out. On the contrary. The young president of the Federation of Young Agricultural Workers of Quebec ( FRAQ ) has energy to spare. And we're not talking about the energy of despair.

Yes, land prices are soaring. It's also true that the machinery is extremely expensive. And it cannot be denied that it is difficult for new farmers to purchase enough production quotas to be competitive in the market. But the 28-year-old woman who was raised on a dairy farm in Verchères turns over all the stones in her field of expertise to help young people aged 16 to 39 who are passionate about agriculture to take up the challenge. There are 2,000 of them within the FRAQ.

Since the age of 17, Julie, who obtained a diploma in Management and agricultural business technologies of the ITA, is interested in the fate of the next generation. At the beginning, she mainly enjoyed developing contacts for social activities, but she quickly got hooked on the game. In her early twenties, she became president at the regional, then provincial, level. She showed all the more enthusiasm because at the time, she met Olivier Fleury who had started a dairy farm shortly before they linked their destinies. Today based in L'Avenir, the couple cares for 45 dairy cows. And Julie is thrust into a whirlwind of nationwide political representation.

The agricultural schools are full. The next generation is there, but it is having difficulty establishing itself. We are looking for ways to make purchasing land easier. We want to improve existing programs so that more young people can benefit from them. There is no shortage of demands. For example, we are taking steps to ensure that the transfer of family farms is as tax-effective as it is for those who are not related to each other. We also demand that there be no more difference between full-time and part-time farmers with regard to the establishment bonus. »

The issues identified in each of the 13 regions represented by the FRAQ go up the chain to the provincial or national level where representations are developed. Julie Bissonnette says that it is often the government itself that comes to consult them. But the federation is not waiting for a knock on its door to set the record straight on the realities on the ground and submit its demands.

MAPAQ, MEES, MELCC, SADC, FADQ, UPA, AJRQ, FIRA, you want some, here you go! All these beautiful people and many other organizations are called upon to negotiate with the movement which watches over the interests of the next generation. Why would Julie stop halfway? She is also involved at the international level. In recent years, she has participated in two summits in France and Germany. Every two or three months, she shares with groups from around fifteen countries the problems and solutions that ultimately concern all the world's new farmers. Without a doubt, Julie Bissonnette embodies the next generation of… L’Avenir and elsewhere!


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