In Mayenne: they are farmers, yes, but in the city

From the farm of Mathieu Virfolet, in a place called Montague, you can see the city of Mayen… when there is no fog, like this morning in October 2022. (©CDLM)

When Bertrand and Patricia Massero settled about twenty years ago the city of Mayen counted “well twice as much” farms.

in 2022 year, they have one of the last six. ” Some farmers pensioners did not find a successor. Others saw their farm eaten by the city or near the ring road. »

Because these farmers have the peculiarity of practicing their profession in the city, or rather near the city. “Both good and bad,” sums it up succinctly Matthew Virfoleanother operator based on the opposite side of Mayenne.

Like Patricia and Bertrand with their poultry, Mathieu practices direct sale of its dairy and meat products. And being near the gates of the city is a great advantage.

“It allows you to be famous. It would be more difficult in the middle of the countryside,” imagines Mathieu, who has already worked on a farm far away from urban centers, in Montreuil-Poulet.

“I’m a city girl. I wanted to keep a foothold in the city. If I didn’t have my clients, I would be unhappy. I would have to look for something else.”

Patricia Masserota farmer in Mayenne

If these two farmers-merchants attach such importance to this activity that it also allows them to discover their profession.

And customers are interested, as well as walkers. “I have fields on the edge Greenway, adds Mathieu Virfole. I like communication with pedestrians. »

Video: Now on Actu

He shares this situation with Benoit Fauconalso a breeder a few steps away.

“I meet many tourists. Compared to my childhood, people have moved away from the world of agriculture. Now they want to understand”

Benoit Fauconfarmer and opposition municipal councilor in Mayenne

He is the fourth generation of the same family on this farm.

Benoit Faucon Mayenne
Benoit Faucon is the only representative of his profession in the municipal council of Mayen. (©CDLM)

In general, living together is going well. But Mathieu watches too often incivility.

Unsavory waste dumped in his fields – “people throwing tissues after defecating” – or thrown away by walkers “like cans or bags McDonalds“.

“Once I found a pile of garbage with screws and wooden dowels. If a cow ate it…”

Mathieu Virfolea farmer in Mayenne

Sometimes he also opposes people who enter his field unannounced. “The other day there was someone who bathed his dog in one of mine feeders. He was most ashamed. »

Proximity, which is good

But everyone agrees that proximity good with city dwellers. “We are close to everything. If we have a race, we don’t postpone it until the next exit in Mayenne, we take ten minutes and we are there. »

Patricia Masserot thus he could allow his children to benefitunscheduled events. “They wouldn’t have been able to do the same if we were in the middle of the campaign. »

And vice versa, solidarity between farmers in Mayen is complicated by the barrier created by the city.

“Going two kilometers with agricultural machinery in the city is not the same as in the village. We are contacting the operators of neighboring municipalities”

Mathieu Virfolea farmer in Mayenne

The latter can also count on a resident of the village unit borders one of his meadows: “He watches over my cows and gives them water from time to time. In exchange, I give him manure for his vegetable garden. This is a barter, it suits me! »

The presence of fields and meadows on the edge of subdivisions, expressways and activity zones implies the passage of a certain ” ground pressure“. It’s hard to oppose a city when it decides to buy up land for real estate projects.

This worries Mathieu, who already had to call Chamber of Agriculture in order not to lose ten hectares, and also for Patricia, whose son wants to head the farm in a few years.

“We’re all affected differently,” says Benoit, who relies on “outside awareness state to stop artificial operation at full speed. We still have a long way to go. »

Meanwhile, he decided to represent the profession within the limits municipal council Mayena. “It was close to my heart, there was no farmer before. And, like Patricia, he also wants to participate in community life local. “This is a way to bring our stone into the building. »

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