Treffendel, France

GAEC de la Ruelle


Taking Sustainable Dairy Farming to the Next Level

Located in the heart of Brittany, in France’s northwesternmost region, GAEC de la Ruelle is a dairy farm, managed by five young farmers. Alongside livestock, the group also produces most of the diverse feed ingredients for the 130 dairy cows and 280 young bulls and heifers on their farmland. Environmental care – especially water protection – is essential on GAEC de la Ruelle, as the farming cooperative is located between two large catchment areas which supply 40% of the water for the city of Rennes. Jean-Michel Massue is in charge of the crop production on the farm, and to preserve water bodies and biodiversity surrounding their land, he aims to use crop protection products as safely and efficiently as possible. Jean-Michel is proud that GAEC de la Ruelle is one of the benchmark farms for environmental preservation in France and he combines effective farming methods and new technologies to limit runoff, promote healthy soils, and prevent point-source pollution. By creating a dairy farm that is autonomous in animal feed production, the GAEC de la Ruelle team is setting new standards for sustainable dairy farms in the region.

  • Farm name and location: GAEC de la Ruelle – Treffendel, near Rennes (Brittany), France.
  • History: Founded in 2003, by two partners, GAEC de la Ruelle now has four partners.
  • Farm size: 285 ha.
  • Crops: Meadow, silage corn, wheat, legume meslin, oilseed rape, winter barley, triticale, rye, protein crops.
  • Notable partners: Local hunters association (wildlife maintenance), beekeeper (installation and monitoring of beehives), CETA35 (training center for agricultural techniques/departmental outreach).
“The particular challenges of our farm have made us take an integrative approach to farming at GAEC de la Ruelle. We can only get top quality livestock and milk by paying special attention to the nutritional quality of animal feed, so we have learned to value the importance of optimizing quality without compromising natural resources. With our concept of farming, you come to appreciate how everything is connected – so we learned to ensure water quality and find ways to reduce our emissions while getting the best nutritional quality, too.”
Jean-Michel Massue
Farm Owner

Reducing Carbon Emissions With Cutting-edge Technology

As part of the Carbon Farming program, GAEC de la Ruelle uses digital farming tools and smart farming practices to sustainably optimize overall performance on the farm. Jean-Michel Massue decided to grow a legume-mix that allows for an independent supply of protein feed for livestock. As an important aspect for maintaining soil fertility and reducing carbon emissions, he implemented an overall diverse crop rotation. The farm team also use a decision-making support tool to achieve the desired balance of quality for animal feed alongside economic and environmental performance. As healthy soil means better carbon management, Jean-Michel abandoned practices that deplete soil, such as plowing. Instead, the farmer implemented no-till and direct sowing to limit runoff, preserve soil structure, and increase organic matter. Precision sowers, GPS, and the FieldViewTM guide on-farm tasks allowing the young farmers to use fuel and farming inputs more efficiently. 

Contact us

We're happy to connect with you! Contact Guillaume Chancrin with any questions or inquiries.