The Evolution of Dairy ProductionVolume Number May 12, 2019

Estermann Inc Farm: When success is, above all, a team effort

Ferme Estermann Inc: Le succès, c'est avant tout un travail d'équipe

Estermann Inc Farm, located in Sainte-Agnès-de-Dundee in the beautiful Montérégie region, ranked at the top of the Canadian HPI scores for 2018.

Regula Estermann and her brother, Martin are the proud owners of this 405-head dairy operation, 190 of which are lactating cows. The free-stall barn with sand stalls was built back in 2009 and an extension was completed in 2018. They farm 200 hectares and produce the forage needed to feed their animals, mainly corn and alfalfa silages.

Regula and Martin work as a team with four dedicated employees who take care of the animals and milk them during the cold season. Their parents, Thomas and Rita Estermann, are still very active in the daily work but have withdrawn from the decision-making process.

Important decisions are discussed with the extended family but taken by the new owners. Regula and Martin base their management decisions on profitability, the importance of a pleasant work environment, animal comfort and milk quality. The tools they use to measure the achievement of their objectives are respectively: the efficiency ratio (expenditure/income), the easiness with which the work is done, the volume of milk/cow, SCC and bacterial count. They also rely on a team of external consultants who provide them with cutting-edge information.

Daniel Latreille, dairy production technician and coach at Valacta: "I have been working with the   Estermann Farm for 17 years now. The dream of the parents, Rita and Thomas, to see their family well established and happy on the family farm is alive and well. Regula and Martin took over and maintained the parents' leadership abilities for tight management, punctuality and performance in all the actions they undertake. When it's time to mow, they mow! This family is very forward-thinking and they never hesitate to look elsewhere, in other agricultural businesses and even work there for a while to learn from others in order to adopt better practices or implement new systems on their farm. They have great respect for their employees and value teamwork.” And that's exactly what Regula points out: "Success at home depends on   teamwork. It is together that we take action every day to achieve this.”  

Estermann Family

Standing, from left to right: Myriam (Martin’s spouse), Martin, Mathieu, Regula, Gabriel (Regula’s spouse), Rita, Yoni and Danilo. On the first row, the kids with Thomas and Luis