March 8 is International Women's Rights Day. And on this occasion, we went to meet three inspiring and passionate women of our destination and we offer you their portrait in words and pictures... This first portrait is dedicated to Laetitia Wagner, farmer and cheese maker at the Ferme de la Sarre in Wiesviller.
Farmer & Cheese makerFerme de la Sarre, Wiesviller
What is your background?
I did a scientific baccalaureate, followed by a BTS in animal production and then a certificate of specialisation in production, processing and marketing of farm products. I also took a training course lasting several weeks to specialise in dairy processing. The aim of the latter was to enable me to process the milk from our cows.
How did Ferme de la Sarre come about?
So I have to remember how it happened [laughs]… I always had the desire and the wish to do processing, hence the training and apprenticeships I did in dairy processing. My husband, Manu, has always specialised in cattle breeding. Initially, we planned to set up a large farm of 200 hectares together, with some 130 animals… But in the end, we decided not to go ahead with this project. It was mainly during my training in processing and the encounters I had with farmers who managed to make a living from their passion with 20 animals, that we decided to take inspiration from this model. Currently, we have 7 dairy cows of 2 different breeds: Holstein and Brune des Alpes.
Between 130 animals and 7… it’s not the same thing!
That’s for sure! But most of our work is really in the cheese factory, processing the milk. On other farms that raise livestock, the work with the animals and the fields is more substantial. Next to our animals, we take care of the processing and marketing of our products ourselves. We process our entire milk production into cheese, which we sell in our shop, at markets and in small shops.
What inspires you on a daily basis?
Ohla [laughs]! First of all, it’s being able to be in contact with the animals every day! But it’s also important for us to be involved in the direct sale of our products, to be in front of the customer and to get feedback on our production. It is inspiring and motivating when we hear from our customers that what we produce is good!
Do you have plans for the future?
Yes, the cheese factory! We have applied for a permit to build a barn further down the road. At the moment we sell and produce at two different sites. The idea is to be able to combine the two in one place. If all goes well, the work should be completed by the end of the year. We would also like to expand the range of products we offer, but for the time being, until the work on the cheese factory is completed, we cannot process more milk. But we would like to offer raclette trays, we have already started with fondue kits… And why not make a Camembert type cheese!
[Editor’s note: we all made big eyes in love at the mention of a home-made Camembert ❤️!]
For you, what does it mean to be a woman in your daily professional life?
It’s still a man’s job. Of course, today there are more and more women in agriculture! But I’m still proud to do this job, to show that we can do it too and manage!
FERME DE LA SARRE
4 rue Principale
Opening hours of the sales shop
- Wednesdays and Fridays from 3pm to 7pm
- Saturdays from 9am to 12pm
Discover all their news on their Facebook page
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator
© Freepik – Sarreguemines Tourisme