Mr. Speaker, on December 2, the family of Robert Fortier and Marie-Paule Provencher from Saint-Pierre-Baptiste in the Érable region were named farm family of the year by the Fondation de la famille terrienne as part of the 86th UPA conference.
This award is given out each year to a family that, from generation to generation, has preserved and inspired values unique to farming in Quebec.
Robert Fortier and Marie-Paule Provencher have been married for 67 years and have 15 children, all of whom have helped with the work on the farm. The couple's sons started farms on neighbouring land and the seven family farms now cover 1,950 acres and have 9,700 maple taps, 360 beef cows, 121 dairy cows and some horses. Approximately 4,300 hogs are also raised each year. Working in a spirit of co-operation, the family members share the labour and machinery to ensure that their respective farms operate smoothly.
I would like to sincerely congratulate the family of Robert Fortier and Marie-Paule Provencher for their remarkable contribution to the development and sustainability of Quebec agriculture.