Jacques-André Dupont and Janic Gosselin are residents of West Bolton. Both have worked in the business world, he with Spectra for 32 years and now at the head of C2, and she as an event planner for several large corporations. They bought their property seven years ago and have lived here full-time since 2020.
Recently, Jacques-André and Janic sent out a call for a project that would put part of their land to agricultural use. Of their 115 acres, some 25 or 30 have potential for a bio-food operation and the couple want to make those acres available to a family or to young entrepreneurs who have a promising project to propose, one that would be financially self-sustaining.
The couple want to have an impact on the community and do things differently. Since they made their announcement, proposals have been pouring in – over one hundred by the beginning of April. Their message has been shared hundreds of times, news outlets in search of a feel-good story have been in touch and someone even offered to make a web documentary on the subject.
Since they have no farming experience, Jacques-André and Janic will be aided by Brome-Missisquoi’s experts at ARTERRE, who match aspiring farmers with suitable land. Of
course, both owners will have to find the proposal appealing: she dreams of goats and flowers and he of vegetable crops, but they are open to almost any idea as long at it holds promise. They might even consider two projects instead of just one. “We are looking above all for passionate people whom we can get along with and maybe help with marketing if needed.”
This project may lead to bigger things. The couple have received messages of support from fellow residents and neighbours and even heard from landowners willing to consider some of the other proposals once Jacques-André and Janic have made their choice.
The idea could snowball and expand farming in the region by giving greater access to land. Less than half an hour after they issued their call for proposals, Jacques Drolet, the mayor of West Bolton, was at the door with the business card of Leslie Carbonneau of the Brome-Missisquoi CLD, urging them to contact her. Leslie is the one who makes things happen in the bio-food sector.
Janic is a volunteer with several regional organizations and now she and Jacques-André have found another way to contribute to our community. Things are already rolling and everyone will be following this novel initiative with interest.
Translation: Brian McCordick