The origins of Valacta: the Dairy Herd Analysis Service (DHAS)

Even if most Canadian provinces had a milk recording program in place in 1950, Quebec was almost absent from the genetic field. Yet, 40% of Canadian dairy farms were in Quebec. Milk production was low and participation in milk recording was lower than in the rest of Canada and the United States.

In 1966, Dr. John E. Moxley of McGill University came up with the idea to add IT to a dairy laboratory. His wish was to provide producers with an accurate analysis of their herd and with management tools to improve their productivity and profitability.

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With support from the provincial government, the Dairy Herd Analysis Service (DHAS), better known as the "Macdonald College milk recording program," is launched with the mission to serve Quebec dairy producers. 

Photo 3 Premieres bouteilles de controle lait_ échantillons en verre


The DHAS became the Programme d’analyse des troupeaux laitiers du Québec (PATLQ)

In 1970, the DHAS joined the Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec (MAPAQ) and became the Programme d’analyse des troupeaux laitiers du Québec (PATLQ).

In 1973, the Quebec genetic improvement partners (the breed associations and CIAQ, the Quebec artificial insemination centre) convinced the MAPAQ to introduce a supervised milk recording program to encourage producers' participation in the development of genetics in Quebec​.

The year of 1986 marked the start of the PATLQ international journey with a collaborative project with Brazil.

The federal government terminated its milk recording program and consolidated it with provincial programs. The Fédération des producteurs de lait du Québec (now known as Les producteurs de lait du Québec) became the majority shareholder of the PATLQ in 1994. Since then, the PATLQ continualy broadened its services:

  • Milk urea dosage
  • Milk analyses for payment
  • Data processing for all Canadian agencies
  • Access to online reports
  • Development of cutting-edge software
  • Group training sessions
  • Strategic on-farm advisory service

At the dawn of the new millenium, the PATLQ became, with Vision2000, the central data storage, development and processing site for all of Canada.

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Valacta, as we know it today

In 2006, the PATLQ adopted a new name, which combines VALuesm ACTion and MILK (LACTA): Valacta. 

Supported by the industry as a dairy production centre of expertise, Valacta pursues Dr. John E. Moxley's vision: Be a strategic force in the evolution of dairy production. 

2009 marked the beginning of a cooperative partnership with Ukraine that is still in force today. 

The Valacta dairy laboratories are among the most important in North America. They are audited by the Standards Council of Canada according to the ISO/IEC 17025 international standard (see the scope for the list of accredited tests). As for our food analysis laboratory, it is recognized by the National Forage Testing Association (NFTA). 

In 2016, Valacta celebrated its 50 years of history. The company is the happy outcome of a man's inspiration, its employees' expertise & hard work and its partners' synergy.