Agriculture

Cultivating Prosperity for the MRC Pontiac

The agriculture industry holds significant economic development potential for the MRC Pontiac, acting as a pillar of sustenance, job creation, and rural growth. The region’s fertile lands and favorable climate provide an ideal environment for diverse agricultural activities, ranging from crop cultivation to livestock rearing. 

By harnessing these natural advantages, local farmers and agribusinesses have the opportunity to not only meet the region’s food demands but also contribute to the broader market, supplying fresh produce and agricultural products to neighboring areas and beyond.

Moreover, the agriculture sector serves as a catalyst for economic diversification and value addition in the Pontiac region. With the growing trend towards sustainable and organic practices, there is an opportunity to tap into niche markets and premium product offerings. 

By embracing innovation and adopting modern agricultural technologies, businesses can enhance productivity, efficiency, and the overall quality of their products, attracting a wider customer base and bolstering economic competitiveness on regional and national scales.

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Arterre

L’ARTERRE is an assistance-based service for networking and pairing aspiring farmers with agricultural land owners. It focuses on establishing successorships by recovering farms (that have no identified successors), on the acquisition or the rental of assets, and on the implementation of partnerships with next generation farmers who share their long-term vision to ensure the continuity of farm businesses and agricultural heritage in Quebec.

How it Works

The CRAAQ ensures the provincial coordination of L’ARTERRE services. The coordination team assists the regions in the deployment of their local networking service. The CRAAQ develops and manages the central database and the Web tools. It brings the necessary support and training to the networking officers while ensuring the harmonisation and quality of services for all. Furthermore, the CRAAQ conducts the provincial promotion of the service.

L’ARTERRE services are offered in partnership with the MRC Pontiac, which has appointed an Economic Development Officer as a Networking Agent within our territory. The networking agent offers many services such as: recruitment, assessment and preparation of the candidates, identifying and connecting the candidates, as well as professional resources referencing.

L’ARTERRE contributes to community’s vitality and land occupancy by:

  1. the development and maintenance of regional agricultural momentum through successful pairing that will lead to sustainable agricultural enterprises;
  2. exploiting new entrepreneurial and economic opportunities;
  3. providing support in setting up or taking over a farm business;
  4. the development and sharing of knowledge useful to the networking process, the setting up of next generation farmers and the transfer of farms between unrelated parties.

There are various scenarios:

  • the start-up of new businesses by the acquisition or rental of assets;
  • business partnerships for exploitation or acquisition;
  • the identification of a potential young farmer or an assignor for the transfer of a farm business.

Networking services cater to the following clients:

  • aspiring next generation farmers who want to settle on a farm, whether they be from the agricultural community or not;
  • agricultural producers wishing to retire, who have no successors, and who want to ensure the continuity of their business by the operation of their assets by young farmers;
  • landowners wishing to leverage the value of their property and their assets.
For more information, contact our Economic Development Officer for agriculture, Shanna Armstrong. Shanna Armstrong, Economic Development Officer 819-648-5689 ext. 304 s.armstrong@mrcpontiac.qc.ca

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History of the Project

The rise of L’ARTERRE is a result of the fusion of two innovative projects: Banque de terres agricoles (Land Link network) established by the MRC of Brome-Missisquoi and Banque de fermes created by the Centre of Social Innovation in Agriculture (CISA). These projects were designed to facilitate the access to working farms or unused land to next generation farmers.

This merger was made possible with funding from the Department of Agriculture, fisheries and food, under the Canada-Québec agreement Growing Forward 2, and of the Secrétariat à la jeunesse, in relation to the 2016-2021 youth action strategy.

 Through this merger, the partners decided to integrate the strengths of the sector and develop a cooperation climate by entrusting the Centre de référence en agriculture et agroalimentaire du Québec (CRAAQ) with coordinating the provincial service of L’ARTERRE.

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PDZA

In October 2014, the Pontiac MRC adopted its Agricultural Zone Development Plan (PDZA), whose objective is the sustainable development of the MRC’s agricultural zone.

A follow-up committee, composed of key players in the MRC Pontiac’s agricultural sector, ensures the implementation of the PDZA, and closely monitors recommended actions, such as the organization of agricultural services, succession planning support, and the development of new sectors.

The marketing and processing of products derived from agriculture are also major issues around which the entire MRC Pontiac agricultural community must rally.

Download the Plan

Refer to the PDZA for more information on :

  1. Geographic, demographic and socioeconomic portrait of the MRC Pontiac;
  2. Context of land-use planning in the agricultural zone;
  3. Portrait of the land, agriculture and forestry activities;
  4. Summary of the consultations held with farmers, woodlot owners, municipalities and other key players;
  5. Assessment of the land, agriculture and forestry activities;
  6. Shared vision for the development of agriculture in Pontiac municipalities
  7. Action plan; and,
  8. Requests to government and other authorities (Quebec government, government agencies, municipalities, UPA).

For more information concerning the PDZA, contact our Economic Development Officer.

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