St. Isidore de Bellevue is a farming community and has been since the first settlers in 1882 (Azarie Gareau). Today farmers have grown into very large enterprises that seed and harvest thousands of acres every year. For the past 20 years agriculturists in the area have had to become innovators, and up to date with new agricultural technology so that they can compete with the global market.
Farmers in the area seed and cultivate wheat, barley, oats, canola and flax but the one that has put Bellevue on the map is pulse crops such as peas and lentils. In the early 40s when it became known that there was a potential market for yellow peas out east ( Quebec ) farmers didn’t hesitate to seed and cultivate them as well as lentils and chick peas. This became the start of a business of producing, transforming, handling and exporting crops which benefited the enterprise as well as the producers. Pulse crops became very important to the local economy in the region.
The last years have not been very economically favorable for agriculture for reasons concerning the weather more then anything else, but luckily farmers still continue their battle. The community of Bellevue is very proud of its young farmers who return after post-secondary education to settle in the area. They bring youth and new ideas to the area. Local farms have diversified into large pig barns, cattle, buffalo, sheep, and elk. In the winter season many farmers work a second job to provide for their families.
The agricultural industry is always searching for new ideas to improve the profitability for the farmers, to ensure that the products are exported and that these products are not harmful to consumers thus contributing to the vitality of our community.