Bertrand Boisclair

In 1948, a young 20-year-old Bertrand Boisclair joined his family’s farm in Saint-Samuel-de-Horton, Quebec. Armed with an agricultural diploma from the Ecole d’agriculture de Nicolet, he turned what had been a hay farm into a new enterprise – the famed Clairbois purebred Holstein herd, achieving the highest levels of milk production in Canada and Quebec, and earning three Master Breeder titles in only 25 years.

As a successful breeder and farmer, Bertrand has been a mentor to many – demonstrating that primary agriculture can be an exciting and profitable profession. A pioneer in the field of embryo transfer technology, he strived for a dairy cow that not only looked nice, but would be more productive, would live longer and ultimately be more profitable. For Bertrand, a breeder is a professional who manages and invests in a demanding industry. For him, a farm has to show a profit that matches the effort and investment of its owner.

Within the Holstein industry, Bertrand has been active as president of the Bois-Francs Holstein Club, member of the Board of Directors of Holstein Canada, president of Holstein Quebec and served as an official judge for Holstein Canada, judging not only across Canada, but also throughout Europe. As a director of the Holstein Club, he was the force behind a new system of awarding trophies to the owners of the highest producing cow in each age category – an action that served to motivate farmers and promoted the best herds throughout the province.

For Bertrand Boisclair, breeding purebred Holsteins was the passion of his whole life. Even though he has now been retired for some years, he still takes interest in the progress of the breed, attending shows and activities. He is always available to discuss breeding philosophy with anyone who shows interest.

Bertrand’s involvement also shaped other aspects of rural life. In 1996, he was elected mayor of the parish of Saint-Samuel-de-Horton where he worked to develop a better organized and more autonomous town council. He was also a leader in getting a controversial power line diverted from primary agricultural land in Quebec, taking the issue of the preservation of farmland and concerns about stray voltage directly to the Quebec government.

During his 40-year career, he established a reputation as an upright and honest man, beyond reproach. In 2008, he was inducted into the Quebec Agricultural Hall of Fame. Despite the success he achieved, he remained respectful and true to his origins, striving to share his knowledge and passion with others.

Bertrand Boisclair is a true blue of the Holstein breed. He understands that success cannot be bought or played out through politics, but takes a lifetime of effort.

Bertrand’s ability to inspire, create change and take a stand has shown others that they too can take charge of their own destinies – a lesson we could all learn.

Nominated By:
  • Holstein Québec