maple is job # 1
The farm at Roxton Pond bustles with activity: milk cows, cereal crops, a fleet of 17 snow-removal tractors and a sugar bush with 37,500 taps. At the head of the family business stands Gaétan Beauregard, who calls himself a maple producer first. The man loves the forest. “Around 2017, I bought myself a little 3,000-tap maple operation to have fun with when I retire,” he says innocently. I mean, when syrup runs in your veins…” What he means is that, without maple, life wouldn’t be life!
“I dropped out of school when I was 14. All I wanted to do was to work in the bush,” remembers Gaétan Beauregard. In November of 1981, he took over Ferme Roxton Pond from his father, who’d done the same with his father in 1959. It’s been Beauregard land since the 1930s. Gaétan was already familiar with the beginnings of tubing and vacuum systems. “In 1967, Dad installed gravity tubing on the 2,500 taps he had on the mountain. He was fed up with emptying buckets up there. A year later, he put in a Universal vacuum system. I keep it as a souvenir.” He also keeps the animals, crops, and tractors, but his passion is the forest and maple syrup because nature is “beautiful to see and work in.”
a happy father, happy to pass it on
With four daughters and 13 grandchildren from 6 months to 17 years old, Gaétan Beauregard is a happy man. The farm will remain in family hands with a fourth generation ready to carry on. One of his girls and her husband have been shareholders for the past 10 years, sharing the workload. The 3 co-owners divide responsibilities: Gaétan manages the forest, his daughter the evaporator, and his son-in-law moving the sap and reducing it to syrup. It’s a busy and joyful operation. He’s understandably proud that one of his children will continue what his grandfather started 90 years ago.
there when you need him
Gaétan has represented the maple producers of his region as administrator for 15 years. “We need people who will defend agriculture!”
“It’s always been very interesting to me. I want to help improve the maple syrup industry.”
That’s what’s motivated him all these years. Simply put, it’s all about maple and its great potential. “It’s why I’m still here!”