It’s time to milk the cows. And since I’m the oldest, I have to help. My family has a dairy herd from which it earns a living. The milk is used to make butter which is then sold to the creamery in the village.

Making butter
My family specializes in making butter. To do this, we take the cream and put it in a butter churn. We then take turns cranking the handle that turns the paddles inside the churn, which stirs the cream. After a while, the cream becomes whipped cream, and eventually, butter. It’s slow and exhausting work.

The economy
One day I want to have a really large herd so that I can make butter in larger quantities. Cow breeding and the dairy industry play an important role in Quebec’s economy. Products are even exported to England. Many farmers are turning to new crops based on local needs. Each farmer specializes according to the qualities of his land. Farmers in the Joliette region grow tobacco, while those in the Saint-Hilaire, Rougemont and Oka regions have orchards with a wide variety of apples. Many other farmers specialize in growing potatoes.

A new reality
As for me, I want to be a successful farmer. Next year I’ll be going to the Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pocatière agricultural school where I’ll learn new and better techniques and discover the latest inventions. Before, people used to farm just to feed their families; this is called subsistence farming. But today, farmers mainly grow crops for sale. The family is fed first, of course, but a lot of the surplus is sold. That’s why it’s important to learn the best techniques to ensure the land is very productive.

Author: Service national du Récit de l’univers social

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