The Maranda Family – Keeping the Dairy Tradition Alive in Quebec


In celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary, Dairy Farmers of Canada has produced a book, Dairy Farmers—Deeply Rooted for a Strong Future that honours Canada’s dairy tradition and the contributions dairy farmers have made to Canada’s emergence as a nation.

Download the book here .

Thanks to Roger and Éric, the long line of Marandas can rejoice that their ancestral land remains a testament to their family’s presence on Île d’Orléans since 1666. Nearly 270 years have passed without a change in the view from the front step of the ancestral Maranda home overlooking the majestic St. Lawrence River.

At the Marandas’, women have undisputedly played an important role in milk production. “As far back as I can remember, it was my mother who ran the farm. My father, Rosaire, preferred to work in construction, in Quebec,” recalls Roger, Éric’s father. Even though Rosaire returned the following year to make sure the Marandas’ traditional land stayed in the family, his wife, Aurore took care of the farm. Aurore Roberge was an exceptional woman. Not only did she make sure everything was in order with the family household as well as with the wellbeing of her loved ones, she was also an expert when it came to running the farm operations.

At a very young age, Roger and later Éric were expected to tend to the task. “In those days, all the cousins lent a hand,” says Roger. “We needed helping hands!” Éric recalls seeing Rosaire and Aurore bursting with pride while watching this fine group of youths, 10 to 12 years old, unloading load after load of hay, their brows dripping with sweat. “Even after all these years, there isn’t a single family get together where my cousins and I don’t look back fondly on the delicious drinks and sandwiches that my grandmother brought to the barn so we could get our strength back. We’ve never eaten such good sandwiches again!”

When asked how the Marandas lasted so long in the milk production business, Éric instantly answers, “We love what we do.” Last year, he took over the farm from his father Roger. Even though being a dairy farmer is a demanding job, it never crossed his mind to do anything else.

With an entrepreneurial spirit, Éric stays up to date on the latest trends in the dairy industry to increase production. “When I go to the bank hoping to get a loan to upgrade my facilities, they take me seriously because I always come with a detailed investment plan,” he says. “With supply management, I can count on the fact that I’ll still be here tomorrow, producing the best milk I can, on an increasingly efficient farm. Farmers in some agricultural sectors aren’t as fortunate to have such stable conditions.”

Roger is very pragmatic about the necessity for sustainable development. “For a dairy farmer, protecting the environment and the well-being of his animals is nothing new. Here, we take care of the land and animals because if we don’t, we’re the ones who’re going to suffer. This farm is our livelihood. Dairy farmers like us understand that our lives depend on nature.”

In 1979, the Maranda family celebrated Jean’s 350th birthday as a way of honouring their ancestors and the values they passed down—perseverance in what you do and a profound sense of joy for what you have accomplished.


Leave a Reply