Raphaëlle de Seilhac, farmer

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My story :

I inherited Domaine du Mons in 1997 (5 hectares of land and 40 hectares of forest), where since my childhood I have come on holiday. In 2001, I decided to settle there and create my farm. Starting from 70 ewes on 12 ha in 2003, it was supplemented by 30 hectares in 2008 when I added a cattle herd.

I’m in a so-called “mountain” region, at 600 m. The plot is roughly grouped into of parcels of mesophilic and wet meadows, permanent forests, and some heathland areas. The land of Massif Central is known to be rather poor, the soil granitic, sandy, acidic and very draining. In short, what grows the best is grass!

In 2002, I joined to the Limousin CIVAM Federation and began actively participating in ADAPA group (Association for the Development of a More Autonomous Agriculture ), member of the RAD (Sustainable Agriculture Network). André Pochon, who came to share his experience, was quick to convince us “if grazed, perennial herb is a very cheap fodder, unbeatable in terms of costs. By grazing, the animals are essential to harvest labor, fertilization and weed control vegetation.” He concluded: “The efficient grassland system is definitely a low-input system (…) productivity per hectare is comparable to that of standard systems, as long as it reintegrates in the calculation of tens of hectares soy products across the Atlantic (1 to 1.5 ha of soybeans to balance 1 ha of corn).”

The stage was set, I just had to implement this exciting discovery.

This business is my joy and passion; I try to give it all my intelligence and creativity starting from a basic principle: it is the environment that is the binding framework in which my human activities can develop, not the reverse! To understand the system in detail, read more about my work.
raphaelle_portrait3_pano_ret

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more than 10 years now, many people and books have influenced my choices. They have helped me to understand and put into practice that saying : ” think general, act local”.

Here are some of them (in an alphabetic order) :

Cyril AGREIL, www.scopela.fr
Eric BARATAY, Le point de vue de l’animal. Une autre version de l’histoire, Seuil, 2012.
Mathieu CALAME, Une agriculture pour le XXIe siècle. Manifeste pour une agronomie biologique, éditions Charles Léopold Mayer,• 2007.
Laure CHAZELAS, animatrice de l’ADAPA à la FRCIVAM, de 2004 à 2011.
Denis FRIC, vétérinaire homéopathe et membre du GIE Zone Verte,
Bruno GIBOUDEAU : Les vaches nous parlent d’alimentation, collection Elevage Autrement, 2006.
Le GIEC, Groupe d’experts Intergouvernemental sur l’Evolution du Climat, Jean-Marc JANCOVICI, L’avenir climatique, Seuil, 2002.
Michel MEURET, Un savoir-faire de bergers, Coédition Educagri & Quæ, 2010.
Michel ONFRAY, http://upc.michelonfray.fr/: Université populaire de Caen.
Gwenaëlle ORY, Une analyse comparée des conséquences environnementale d’un élevage industriel et d’un élevage durable : Le Domaine du Mons, Master 2 Politiques de développement durable à l’Université de Limoges, CRIDEAU-OMIJ, 2010.
Marie-Laure PETIT, animatrice de la FRCIVAM de 2002 à 2007, professeur d’économie et de gestion au lycée agricole de Neuvic.
David PLANQUE, éleveur
André POCHON, La prairie temporaire à base de trèfle blanc, Éditions CEDAPA-ITEB, 1996
Jocelyne PORCHER, Vivre avec les animaux. Une utopie pour le XXIème siècle. La Découverte, 2011.
Maximilien ROUER et Capucine LAURENT, www.becitizen.com
Patrick VIVERET, Reconsidérer la Richesse, éditions de l’Aube, réalisé en janvier 2002 à la demande de Guy Hascoët, secrétaire d’État à l’économie solidaire. poche 2010. Pourquoi ça ne va pas plus mal ?, Éditions Fayard, 2005.
André VOISIN, Productivité de l’herbe, Editions France Agricole, 1957.