Edmond Groleau

Northeastern Ontario

Groleau arrived in Coppell, in Ontario’s Far North, in 1934. He founded the Groleau Farm with his sons, got into dairy production by purchasing registered cows, and also became the most important egg producer with a hundred hens. He established a dairy co-operative in Hearst in 1947, for which he served as director until 1966. He was the president of the Agricultural society in the district of Cochrane, and the diocesan president of the UCFO in the 1940’s, a position he held for 12 years. In 1951, he became president of the new agricultural co-operative in Coppell. Always concerned about the improvement of farming in his community, he lobbied for artificial insemination of the herds in the region and for the hiring of a veterinarian, who took up duties in 1960. Groleau was one of the first farmers in the area to build vertical silos to store feed. It was a major innovation since it was almost impossible to produce dry hay bales because of the harsh climate. He is ahead of the Kapuskasing experimental farm in this matter. He was also one of the first farmers to try free-stall barns.

From 1940 to 1960, this passionate advocate for education became a school president, the chairman of the Hearst Association of school trustees and a school board director in Jogues-Coppell. He campaigned actively with the Association canadienne-française de l’Ontario (ACFO) for a dozen years. Groleau was a go-getter, committed to help Francophones progress in agriculture, education and co-operation.