Ysabel is our first international woman to be featured during our Women in Dairy Series. Ysabel grew up on her family’s dairy farm with her parents, brothers and a sister. She graduated from the University with a degree in Administration Marketing International. Today, she farms with her father, Jean; her mother Marian, her husband Tyler (and their three kids: Alyson (5), Ryan (4) and Jayden (2); and her brother, Yan and his wife Vero (and their 5 kids: Elsie (8), Nellie (6), Henry (4), and Charly & Johny (2). Together, this true family operation operates two dairy farms, Ferme Jacobs and Ty-D Holsteins. At Ferme Jacobs, they have 600 head, milk 140 cows in addition to 1100 acres. Their breeding philosophy is based on type which is evident by numerous show accolades in addition to them marketing cattle and embryos worldwide. Together, Ysabel and Freder Fillion manage this part of the farming operation.
When Ysabel is not active on the farm, her oldest kids just started skate lessons, she is also an active biker and this year, trained and successful completed for a 140 km bike ride with a friend.
Ysabel’s Story in her own words:
What is your favorite dairy product?
Cheese. All kinds of cheese, my best nights are a wine and cheese supper!
Who is your favorite cow?
My favorite cow is Jacobs Goldwyn Valana. My favorite breed is Holstein. I love a dairy cow with lots of strength, great feet and legs and are easy to work with.
Editor’s note: Goldwyn Valana was the 2nd place Mature Cow, 1st place Bred & Owned, Reserve Senior Champion, Grand Champion Bred & Owned and Reserve Grand Champion Holstein at the 2015 World Dairy Expo!
What are 3 things you want consumers to know about the dairy products you produce?
- We do have a very different family but we do what we love and it is never quiet because we work with animals all the time.
- We look after our cows as if they were a part of our family so don’t imagine that we are hard on them.
- Population should get closer to farms, as they produce their meals every day.
As a Mom what do you want to share with others about the dairy industry?
As a mom it is for me the best way to raise our kids even though there is risk on the farm. Kids have a nice opportunity and can challenge themselves at a young age.
When did you start farming?
I started as I grew up, on our family farm. Now, I manage the marketing operation of the farm and look after all the new babies until the age of breeding.
Describe a typical/average day for you.
- Start my day by feeding calves with my mom
- Come back for breakfast with the kids as they start school
- During the day: I am responsible for show planning during the fall. I manage the vaccination program and work with the cattle to get them ready for show. I also look after the workers to make sure they are all happy and then I work on selling embryos. We raise around 160 newborn calves every year and I look after them with my mom.
- At night I do chores again with the kids and come back home around 7 pm for bath, supper and homework and then it’s time to go bed…
What is the most rewarding part of being in the dairy industry?
The dairy industry is a large family worldwide, it seems like we all know each other as we speak for the first time.
What advice would you give someone interested in the dairy industry?
Work with passion and you will enjoy it. My grandmother use to say; find a job you like and work for it, you will find success.
What do you envision the future of the dairy industry looking like?
Lots of change is going on right now in Canada but I hope that there will always be a place for family dairy farms. Family dairy farms are a treasure for us and the next generation coming.
To read more about the Jacobs’ family, I encourage you to check out these Bullvine articles:
- FERME JACOBS 2013: A JOURNEY OF MAGIC, MAYA AND MASTERY!
- FERME JACOBS: SUCCESS IS ALL IN THE FAMILY!
Ysabel, thank you for sharing your story with us and good luck to Ferme Jacobs at the Royal Winter Fair!
Entire Women in Dairy Series:
- Joanna Lidback of The Farm at Wheeler Mountain, VT
- Katie Boyke Grinstead of Vir-Clar Farm, WI
- Alicia Lamb of Oakfield Corners Dairy, NY
- Ysabel Jacobs of Ferme Jacobs, Canada
- Heidi Kovacs of Sugar Maple Jerseys, NJ
- Jolene Griffin, MI
- Melissa Woolpert of Country by Chance, VT
- Katie Sattazahn, PA
- Kim Bremmer of Ag Inspirations, WI
- Abigail Copenhaver of Farmstead Nutrition, NY
- Jodi Cast of JJC Jerseys, NE
- Amy Rowbottom of Crooked Farm Creamery, ME
- Britte Nooijens, Netherlands
- Julianne Holler, PA
- Cynthia Martel, VA
- Abby Swan of Kemridge Farm, WI
- Jamie Van De Walle, WI
- Joseta Halbur, WI
- Holly Smith, WI
- Jenny L. Baerwolf of Sassy Cow Creamery, WI
- Jenna Jongenotter, Canada
- Liz Neadow of Teacup Farm, NY
- Hannah Worden of Will-O-Crest Farm, NY
- Carla Wardin of Truth or Dairy, MI
- Amanda Freund of CowPots, CT
- Mandi Pacitti of Misty Brae Holsteins, Australia
- Jessica Chittenden Ziehm of Tiashoke Farm, NY
- Lisa Myers, MD
- Carissa Ann Tolzman, WI
- Danae Bauer of FarmGirl Photography, WI
- Ashley Kennedy of Messy Kennedy, MI
- Emily Lyons, Washington DC
- Joanna Rowher of Hollingstedt Schleswig Holstein, Germany
- Rita Mosset, ND
- Brianne Brown of Beslea Farms, Canada
- Pam Bolin, IA
- Janean Boss-Anderson, WI
- Jessica Peters of Spruce Row Farm, PA
- Amanda Williams, WI
- Trisha Boyce, PA
- Melissa Hanke, WI
- Tara Woyton, NY
- Melisa Konecky, NE
- Lizzie Frazier, NE
- Renee Norman-Kenny of Eat Farm Love, PA
- Amanda Killian of Dirt Road Holsteins, WI
- Kim Kester, WI
- Amy Ruegsegger, WI
- Alba Alvarez Nunez – Spain
- Emily Parker, WI
- Nicole Kearns, PA
- Cheyenne Ryzenga, MI
- Freynie Lancaster of Royalty Ridge, OR
- Maryanne Dudli, New Zealand
- Michelle, Keller, WI
- Ashley Abbott, VA
- Brenda Rudolph of Raising a Farm, MN
- Jennifer Heim, KS
- Janet Bremer of My Barn Yard View, MN
- Iris Barham Peeler, GA
- Laura Daniels of Heartwood Farms, WI