Site Background

About the Location

Ferme Lafontaine-Noël is located in northwestern Quebec, 25 kilometres south of the 49th parallel, near the Ontario border. The Abitibi-Ouest region is known for its beef cattle operations. Due to its northern climate, it is more suitable for the cultivation of forage and pasture. 

About the Farm

Ferme Lafontaine-Noël is the property of Éric Lafontaine, Helene Noël and Corine Lafontaine. Corine is the fourth generation of the family, joining the company in 2018. 

The farm will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2024. Éric’s grandfather cleared the land and Éric established cattle production with his father in 1985 when he returned from school. At that time, the herd consisted of 60 cows and increased steadily to 350 in 1997.

Steers are semi-finished at 750 pounds. Replacement females come from the herd and a group of these is sold annually. They also grass finish a group of steers.

Rotational grazing became of interest to this farm because more pastures equals more profits. Intensive grazing allows them better yield and grass quality, pest management and resilience to adverse weather conditions.

Learning About Rotational Grazing

Twenty-five years ago, there was a 10- to 15-acre rotation of plots on Ferme Lafontaine-Noël. The number of plots increases every year. This progression follows information received from the Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation (MAPAQ) agronomists, other fellow ranchers, articles in The Canadian Cattlemen and the successful results of this grazing management. 

The Rotational Grazing Objective

This project aims to show how intensive grazing creates better yield and grass quality, pest management and resilience to adverse weather conditions. Ferme Lafontaine-Noël aims to subdivide even more plots for ease of strip grazing to a maximum of two to three days of grazing leaving residues and reducing the time needed. Their goal is to improve the root systems of plants and the biology/composition of their soils.


Corine: Director at the A-T Cattle Producers Union, UPA A-O Local Union, A-O Cattle Entrepreneurs Club.

Helene:  SADC A-O Administrator Eric: administrator UPA Agricultural Advisory Committee A-T.

Agronomic Details

The site was seeded during the end of May. The grazing system has been in place for several years and new infrastructure, such as fencing and water systems, will be added this summer.  The wildfires this year have delayed these deadlines.

Funding for this project [in part] has been provided by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Agricultural Climate Solutions – On-Farm Climate Action Fund.