Jean Tétreault – 2015 Robertson Association Award Recipient
I was born on February 3rd, 1961 in St-Pie near St-Hyacinthe. My parents, Denis Tétreault and Jeannine Darsigny, were both farmers. I am the fourth generation operator of the family farm that I bought from my parents in 1982 at age 21. That same year, I married Jocelyne Racine and we have two wonderful children, Joannie and Vincent. They are now both parents of two marvelous little girls, which makes me a very happy grandfather.
At that time I was growing sugar beet, corn grain and canning products. In 1986, the sugar refinery closed its doors and that meant no I had to change from beet production to another value-added product. I, therefore, started growing food quality wheat and soya seed. I had then at the back of my mind the notion of installing a screener to process my own harvest and that of my neighbours.
Consequently, in 1990, partnering with a few colleagues we founded “Les Grains Semtech Inc.”. Our debut was modest, just a few silos, a small office and a few screeners and a small warehouse.
My passion for seed production and processing was born, and it is still burning.
Yes, for me it is a real passion. To develop my seed growing skills, I attended training sessions to become a Select grower in 1992. The following year I attended training sessions to become a grader and an operator of a seed establishment registered with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
In 1992, I was appointed to the board of directors of the Association des conditionneurs de semences pédigrées du Québec and I was president of the Association for 14 years.
I sat on various committees and participated in the organisation of numerous events for seed growers, particularly the last two CGSA general meetings, in Québec City a few years back and in Montréal this year.
I was a member of the organizing committee for a trip to France in March 2013 with the Quebec seed industry stakeholders. I was on the starting committee regarding the problems with the use of neonicotinoids for seed processing and participated in the launching of a pilot program with Crop Life to retrieve the seed bags and appropriately dispose of them.
In short, I have devoted a great deal of time and effort to make sure that certified seed is a high-end product all the while respecting the environment.
After 25 years, Les Grains Semtech of which I am a shareholder has become a leader in the field of seed production and the processing of IP soya.
In conclusion, 33 years later, we can say “Mission accomplished”. The family farm is progressing nicely and new seed growers are on the horizon!!!