Bernard Lepage – 2015 Robertson Associate Award Recipient
Child of a farming couple, Bernard Lepage was born in November 1954. He is a pioneer in the field of oat processing in the province of Quebec.
In 1974, at age 19, Bernard and his wife Bergerette bought a neighbouring farm because the family farm was too small. At that time the farm covered 180 acres and there were 40 dairy cows. With agricultural development in mind, his farm grew year after year. In 1980, Bernard became a seed grower and, consequently, a member of the CSGA. The withdrawal from dairy production in 1987 allowed an increase in the acreage reserved for grain production and the modernization of the screening plant.
Bernard was president of Cultures commerciales du Saguenay Lac-St-Jean from 1985 to 1996. During that time, he was involved with the Producteurs de semences du Québec (Seed growers of Quebec) and he was also Director of the regional UPA from 1973 to 1997. During that time his farm, La Ferme Olofée, kept growing.
Field production has now grown to 2,500 acres with underground drainage. These fields are used to grow oats, wheat, and barley from pedigreed seed. Canola, soya and flax are an integral part of the crop rotation.
In the early 2000s, Bernard and Bergerette built the first processing plant for oat destined for human consumption in the province of Québec. With 28 employees, the future of the company is well established. Since November 2014, Virginie, Raphaël and Rose-Alice are shareholders of la Ferme Olofée.
Always on the lookout for innovations, Bernard made several trips all over the world related to agriculture. Father of 4 and grandfather of 8, his family is everything to him. He will never say no to a snowmobile ride.