Eloïse Bertil 4:00 p.m., February 25, 2022

On the occasion of the great return of the International Agricultural Show, rediscover the strong testimonies of Isabelle and Sylvie, two women at the head of agricultural holdings.

Fighters who work hard to be recognized in a traditionally male environment, and who have agreed to tell their stories in the podcast “Dans les Yeux d’Olivier”, adapted by Europe 1 Studio. 

PODCAST

In France, one out of four heads of farms or agricultural businesses is in fact a head.

Olivier Delacroix went to meet two of these shadow workers, Sylvie and Isabelle, who now run their own successful breeding farms.

How were they received in this predominantly male sector?

What sacrifices did they have to make to find a balance between an extremely demanding professional life and a family life?

In the podcast "In the eyes of Olivier" produced by Europe 1 Studio, both confide in the ordeals they had to overcome to be able to live from their passion today.

[Listen here to this testimony]

"We work 7 days a week, 365 days a year"

Isabelle, 48, is the head of a 100% female farm where three generations of women live.

Thanks to her passion and her strength of character, Isabelle has led her whole family in her wake.

His eldest daughter Stéphanie and her mother Bernadette both help run the goat farm.

However, Isabelle does not come from an agricultural background.

This former city dweller discovered a passion for this way of life when she met her ex-husband, himself a goat breeder.

“I immediately liked the gap with the life of the average citizen who gets up in the morning to go to work in the office”, explains Isabelle to Olivier Delacroix.

At the time, few people took this radical change of course seriously: “I was taken for a Parisian who had freaked out.”

But Isabelle persists,

even when she becomes a mother.

“I worked a lot of hours, in addition to having to manage the children, leaving school, cooking, doing the laundry… I experienced extreme fatigue, and yet I continued to work.

I couldn't stop.”

His daughter Stéphanie inherited the agricultural fiber.

Ever since she was little, she has wanted to follow in her mother's footsteps.

It was she who gave a second life to the farm by creating a cheese dairy there.

But to get there, Stephanie, too, had to fight.

“It's very complicated to find an internship in an outside operation when you're a girl.

They think you don't have the same strength as a man, when you have other ways to achieve the same results,” she says in the podcast.

At the microphone of Olivier Delacroix,

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[Listen here to this testimony] “There was a mountain of work to do”

Sylvie, like Isabelle, learned to manage her own farm on her own.

She was born into a family of farmers, but unlike her parents, she chose to turn to the livestock sector.

On leaving her BTS in agricultural college, she finds an internship in the dairy industry and meets Thierry there, who later becomes her husband.

Together, they embark on the agricultural adventure.

But their life changes in 2008, when the European Union imposes a bringing up to standard of the main building of the farm.

Such a renovation, in such a short time, represents for the couple, and in particular for Thierry, a considerable surplus of work.

"He felt stuck by time," says Sylvie.

"He was at his wit's end, and that turned him off."

Faced with so much pressure, Thierry puts an end to his life.

Sylvie then finds herself on her own, with a whole farm to run.

Two possibilities present themselves to her: to abandon the farm, the work of her life;

or get up and pick up where Thierry left off.

“It was infeasible to take over the operation alone.

It was take someone or leave everything”, says Sylvie.

So, with the help of Mickaël, Thierry's apprentice, as well as her neighbors and farmer friends, Sylvie takes over the farm... In the podcast "Dans les Yeux d'Olivier", she tells her inspiring story to Olivier Delacroix.

“It was infeasible to take over the operation alone.

It was take someone or leave everything”, says Sylvie.

So, with the help of Mickaël, Thierry's apprentice, as well as her neighbors and farmer friends, Sylvie takes over the farm... In the podcast "Dans les Yeux d'Olivier", she tells her inspiring story to Olivier Delacroix.

“It was infeasible to take over the operation alone.

It was take someone or leave everything”, says Sylvie.

So, with the help of Mickaël, Thierry's apprentice, as well as her neighbors and farmer friends, Sylvie takes over the farm... In the podcast "Dans les Yeux d'Olivier", she tells her inspiring story to Olivier Delacroix.

"In Olivier's eyes" is a Europe 1 Studio podcast

Presenter: Olivier Delacroix


Director: Matthieu Blaise 


Producers: Fannie Rascle


Broadcast manager: Eloïse Bertil


Graphics: Cosa Vostra

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