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A&J Bent Farms Ltd. named 2021 Regional Milk Quality Champions
A&J Bent Farms Ltd. In Lawrencetown, NS were recently named 2021 Regional Milk Quality Champions for Nova Scotia by Agropur.
“On our farm we strive to produce top quality milk for the consumer,” said Jacqueline and Allen Bent.
“Receiving this award is a huge honor. It is a great perk of approval letting us know that we are producing top quality milk.”
Agropur is a common name in Canada, known for supplying a wide range of dairy products to consumers across the country. What some people may not realize is Agropur is a dairy cooperative owned by 2908y 3000 Canadian dairy farmers located in Quebec and Atlantic Canada.
These farmers work hard to produce high-quality dairy products found in local grocery stores. Each year, in recognition of the exceptional performance of these dairy producers, Agropur awards the top farm in each region for their high-quality milk production and inducts them into the Agropur Club of Excellence.
A&J Bent Farms is owned and operated by alumni Allen (Class of ’81) and Jacqueline Bent in the community of Clarence in the Annapolis Valley, NS. The farm has been in the family for three generations and Allen and Jacqueline purchased the farm from Allen’s father in 1994. Allen and Jacqueline have four children who also attended the Faculty of Agriculture and help on the farm. Jenn Crouse (Class of ’14) married to Jonathan Crouse (Class of ’14), Alana teBogt (Class of ’17) married to Theo teBogt (Class of ’14), Jonathan Bent (Class of ’18) and Adrian Bent (Class of ’22). Family is very important to Allen and Jacqueline and is one of the biggest reasons they love farming,
“The best part of farming to us is raising our family here on the farm. It's a wonderful way of life. The children have grown watching us work with our cattle & the land. It has taught them the work ethic which they will have all their life whether they choose to farm or not.”
Within their operation they milk 150 cows total, consisting of 140 Holsteins and 10 Jerseys. They milk twice a day in their double 10 herringbone germaina milk parlour which they installed in 2010, and feed their cows total mixed rations twice a day. They also employ six full and part-time employees, to help with day-to-day operations.
Allen and Jacqueline both attended NSAC and recognize the knowledge they gained in the classroom, as well as the friends they made and people they connected with not only added to their experience but were invaluable following graduation and in developing and running their operations.
“It has taught us the best practices of the ag industry. What you learn from other farm students, (how things are done on their home farms) and the connections (networking) you make unknowingly that you may use later in your farming career are all helpful when addressing your own operations”.
This statement truly embodies the agricultural industry, where supporting fellow members and learning from each other is regarded very highly.
Jacqueline and Allen both grew up on dairy farms, but Jacqueline didn’t always know she wanted to farm.
“Allen always wanted to own his own dairy farm. I loved farming especially working with the cows as a young girl but never thought I’d end up doing that”.
Her love for farming as a young girl and her passion for agriculture ultimately led her to becoming a dairy farmer who recognizes the importance of the agricultural industry,
“We have the chance to produce a product to feed the consumer and see first-hand how hard work can be so beneficial”.
However, Jacqueline recognizes that farming is not for everyone, and she has some advice for those trying to decide,
“First & foremost, make sure you like farming. The days are long, and things get tough by times. It is very rewarding, but you take the good with the bad you never know what may be coming next. A lot of things sometimes are out of your control like the weather!”.
However, she wants young people to know that although there are some tough days, the overall rewards of farming far exceed the downfalls.
“Farming has a great variety of work with the changing of the seasons which can have ups and downs but the good outweigh the bad. The ever-evolving industry keeps you well engaged, and there is never a dull moment".
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