Jambjoule farm has gone through a series of stages, but the foundation is based on meetings and experimentation, especially since Bernard Convié and his partner Valérie did not come from the agricultural world. Thanks to these contacts, they acquired the needed practical knowledge. In 2004, they took over an extensive breeding farm, bought some ewes and received two Jersey cows. Once again, contacts opened up possibilities for them. They were involved into a Life project aimed at the conservation of calcareous grasslands, which led them to replace their herds with more rustic breeds. They evolved towards self-sufficiency both in inputs and in marketing. Initially, they started on-farm sales (milk and cheese), then they sold farm products through farmers’ markets and the development of short marketing channels (“Agricovert” Association). Gradually, with little incremental investments, they enlarged their herd: the sheep in the service of nature reserves, the dairy cows and the needed equipment (milking room, barn). In 2015, they decided to build a cheese factory, from which they currently get the 50% of their turnover. Environmental payments are the second main source of income. The marketing is roughly divided into 3 circuits: wholesalers / buying groups, retailers, consumers. The farm is also autonomous for energy (photovoltaic plant, solar heating, and insulation of the cheese factory), water (well), wastewater treatment. At present, the herd is sufficient to guarantee the survival of the farm (24 lactating Jersey cows, 25-30 fattening pigs per year, 310 sheep, mothers + lambs). Now, most of the farmer effort is focussed on improving the quality of milk, cheese, pasture, and hay. In particular, Bernard tests over-sowing techniques to restore his pastures without plowing.
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