Farmer loses appeal and right to dairy farm
Miguel Maisonneuve, president of Ferme Maisonneuve Inc., has lost his right to be a dairy farmer because of his failure to meet quality standards.
The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Appeals Tribunal has granted him three exchanges to sell his quota.
The tribunal heard that he failed to meet premises standards four times between September, 2019, and Jan. 13, 2020, and three times he was suspended for failure to meet milk quality standards.
Maissonneuve, who is 31, is the fifth generation of his family to run the dairy business.
After he took over in 2016, he decided to expand the herd and then to build a new barn and install robotic milkers. He testified that 20 of the cows he bought had to be culled because of high somatic cell counts and that the Milkomax robots never worked properly.
The company refused to take back the robots unless he could find another buyer.
He eventually stopped using them and returned to his pipeline system, but high somatic cell counts persisted, as did inspector complaints about dirty cattle and stalls.
The Dairy Farmers of Ontario called Maissonneuve’s business advisor and veterinarian, its inspector and his supervisor and the local DFO director and all testified that despite building a new barn, the premises and cattle were dirty and the operation failed to meet standards for premises and milk quality.