Jacqueline Cottier started her professional career in the field of sale and trade. After working as a commercial seller for several years, she decided in 1988 to become a farmer and obtained a professional agricultural patent. In 1990, she took over a 180ha farm in the Maine-et-Loire department (between Angers and Nantes). On her farm, she grazes livestock, granivores and does field cropping. Her farm is located close to the Sarthe department, which is very famous for its chicken and poultry quality. Raising labelled poultry is a typical activity of this bocage landscape region. Thus, as part of her livestock activity, Jacqueline raises poultry which are labelled as “Fermiers de Loué” and, by that activity, she perpetuates a traditional practice of her region. She is also highly involved in the political life of her town and in women’s rights by being a chairman of the FNSEA women farmer’s committee, a union representing women farmer’s rights.

Women farmers should not be afraid to take risks and initiatives. Running a farm and managing a family at the same time is not easy, but not impossible.



Jacqueline Cottier

Age Range

46 +


Jacqueline owns a Certificat d’aptitude professionnel (CAP) (in English - Certificate of professional competence) in sale and trade. After working as a commercial seller, she decided to become a farmer and to develop her skills in farming; she obtained a professional agricultural patent in 1988.


Jacqueline is a breeder (dairy cows, cow meat “rouge des près”, labelled poultry “Fermiers de Loué”) and a cropping farmer (wheat, rapeseed, barley, corn, meadow, oats).



Earl De La Chapelle - La Chapelle | 49220 Chenille Champteuse.

Farm Area in ha

180 ha.

Date since when the female entrepreneur owns/rents the farm:


Nº of workers on the farms

Family members Other than family members



Family members Other than family members



Family members Other than family members



Farm description

Jacqueline Cottier has managed her 180ha farm since 1990 in partnership with her husband and son. It is located in Maine et Loire, near the Loué region, which is very well known for the quality of its poultry. On this farm, they have field crops such as wheat, rapeseed, barley, oats and meadow, as well as cattle breeding and a labelled chicken production business, which participates in maintaining the cultural heritage of the region. The entire farm has an irrigation system.

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She started her poultry label activity in 1990 after a dissolution of her former partnership. Her region is known in France for the quality of its chickens. It is an historical region for this production and raising poultry is a typical activity of this bocage landscape region.

At the same time, she wanted to get involved in the local union and in her small town. It was a way for her not to remain isolated. Social relationships are often more difficult in rural regions where the population density is not huge. Her struggle for women’s cause began at this time. She understood that in the 1990’s women did not have the same rights at work as men and thought that was unfair. She wanted to improve women’s living and working conditions, particularly with regards to hardship, replacement or maternity. Today, she is a municipal councilor, president of the FNSEA’s women farmers’ committee, all in addition to her farming profession.

Her contribution to the preservation of cultural heritage is mainly through the raising of labelled poultry “Fermiers de Loué” which is well known and specific to her region. She perpetuates the regional specialization for labelled poultry. Her contribution to the preservation of cultural heritage also stems from her contribution in the women’s right union hereby helping maintain the presence of women in rural areas and to important socio-economic positions in the rural world.


On the farm, it is possible to find activities that are more compatible and adapted to women.This is why, for example, she created a workshop for labelling chickens. It’s easier than raising cows. Value creation is something she wanted to develop thanks to her previous business training.

Today there are many devices to be replaced, to be trained. Women should not hesitate to get involved and to have women’s rights better recognized.

In rural areas, women must be more open to others. They need to get together and help each other more.

Jacqueline was isolated on the farm, so to remedy to that and be more open to other perspectives, she wanted to meet other people, especially women farmers. That is the reason why she joined the women farmers’ associations. In the local union, they needed competences and women’s representatives. It was the beginning of her collective commitment. To develop her poultry activity, she enjoyed earning a Certificate of professional competence in sale and trade. It was essential.

She takes initiatives.
She has a strong business background which allowed her to develop a viable economic activity and find different ways to market poultries.
Difficulties to pass on an economically viable farm to her son as the French agricultural sector is facing difficulties nowadays.
Open-minded to the others.
Relationships in the French farm union.
The poultry and cow market can be inconsistent.