For nine years, his profession has been “artist-peasant”. A profession that David Caumette is certainly one of the few to practice in France. A few years ago, this 39-year-old farmer, based in Garrigues in the Tarn, had the somewhat delusional idea of installing the first cabaret on the farm in France. An adventure that inspired director Jean-Pierre Améris, which comes out this Wednesday Farm Foliesthe name of the Caumette family establishment.
If today the story of this cow breeder appears to be a success, the path was far from being traced when he took over the reins of the family farm in 2007. Professor of mechanics in an agricultural high school, he had then decided to leave his job to take over from his parents, against their will. “I was the fourth generation, remembers the one who is today at the head of a herd of a hundred ruminants. In the village, there were only ten farmers left and it was the last farm, I wanted to continue this project of general interest and keep the cows. »
At the time, he was not content to reassemble the case. He decided to sell his meat directly from the farm, then he partnered with other farmers to create a producer shop. Never short of ideas, with his wife, Laetitia, they opened a farm-inn where they served their products, and decided to put a little madness around these meals by creating a cabaret. An establishment that he created from scratch and where, today, dancers, magicians and singers perform every week. A way to bring a cultural offer to the countryside, where there is less and less.
Farmer, craftsman and artist
“When I moved in, I had three unfavorable opinions, remembers David Caumette. I was told that I was a big dreamer, that a farmer is made to take care of the land, not for anything else. They always put obstacles in my way and we still don’t fit into the boxes. But I never gave in. The man does not count his hours. In the morning, he assumes his role as a farmer; during the day, he is a craftsman in his shop; in the evening, he puts on his artist’s clothes.
This 30-year-old does not hesitate to share his story to get out of the image of “ass-earth” or even that of an agricultural world often described through the prisms of isolation or suicide. “What is important is to send a message to farmers, to tell them not to give up. I demonstrated that we could save a farm, but we have to let farmers diversify, stop making them fit into boxes, ”says the boss of the Folies fermières who has created fifteen jobs in recent years.
« Agriculture positive »
After having told it in a book two years ago, he received no less than eight proposals to bring it to the screen. But it was Jean-Pierre Améris that he trusted to adapt it. The latter came to spend time in Garrigues. “He took us seriously, he took the time to explain everything to us,” recalls David Caumette, who became a consultant for the film shot in Cantal.
For the past few days, he hasn’t hesitated to promote Farm madness on television sets. And take the opportunity to distill a few messages. “This film defends positive agriculture, explains the farmer who has become artistic director. He reminds us that it is all these small farms that guarantee food quality, that it is the farmers who feed us three times a day. Behind, there is a real message of general interest. »