Number 10 in the rugby club Peyrehorade would therefore have its crew, but not any old how: “By being as independent as possible for the feed, so as to avoid formed grain or silage. The idea of the grass was to go back to the basics of food, to tell ourselves that if everything falls around us, we can keep supporting the farm. Moreover, it is even more encouraging as the price of raw materials rises, especially with the war in Ukraine. Operation will also soon be self-sufficient in energy thanks to two buildings equipped with solar panels.
They make the three 8s
It was with a wealth of different experiences that Rémi Labescau took the plunge in the summer of 2019 with the purchase of her first ruminants. “I took an engineering school in agronomy on a three-year work study program at a family cattle ranch in the Basque Country. Then I went for eight months to see what they were doing in New Zealand. Many farms feed only their cows on grass, but for a lot productive farming. It also gave me the opportunity to see what I did not want, ”says the young man with the same casualness as his outfit: faded rugby jersey, red shorts and cap backwards.
In Pey, therefore, he used nature as it is: large natural meadows consisting of multi-species vegetation, perfect for his Bordelaises and Normans, breeds for meat and milk. The 60 hectares are organized in folds, where he cultivates dynamic rotational grazing. “Depending on the handling of the grass growth, we move the animals and once on their land we say that they make the three 8s! They eat 8 hours, chew 8 hours and rest 8 hours! he smiles.
“We are convinced of our model, but we must now prove its benefits to convince the consumer”
But what kind of grass do they consume? “Soft and rough,” replies Rémi Labescau. The killer is very green grass. As such. Rough is drier, less enticing, like broccoli. Except it’s not sorted, so they eat everything. Rough also makes it possible to tingle in the stomach, which stimulates rumination and provides better digestion ”.
From meadow to label
These old or new methods that we do not really know anymore are now being investigated. As part of her master’s degree in territorial development and agronomy in Bordeaux, Anabelle Meyer had made a national diagnosis of grass farming and had, among other things, come into contact with the Landes grower. A group of cattle breeders from the region was then formed and created ADVEH (the association for the development and improvement of grassland). Rémi Labescau is co-president with Sébastien Quinault, a breeder in Deux-Sèvres, as well as the treasurer, Nicolas Paillier. The secretary, Iska Glaser, comes from Lot-et-Garonne.
“We are convinced of our model, but we must now prove its benefits to convince the consumer. Hence the creation of the Pâtures et Papilles brand to make us more visible, ”explains the co-chairman of the association, which breeders and consumers can join. While she waited a few years for Rémi Labescau’s breeding to find its work routine, Anabelle Meyer was hired by the association to develop the brand, which has a national ambition. The project is also supported by the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region as well as by the Adour-Garonne and Loire-Bretagne water offices.
“Anabelle seeks out farms to find members and unite around this 100% transparent breeding method, which is controlled by an independent body. Various commissions have also been set up in the association to manage communication, references and daily data from our farms in order to study them, marketing products and labeling “, concludes the young breeder.