About the Farmer
When we met and married 12 years ago, farming or bison were things “other people did” not on our radar at all. With a manufacturing and marketing/nursing background it was not something we ever thought we would get into. Then we fell in love with Bison – the taste, the sustainable nature of the business and the low input animal itself. We started with our BUFF product – an all-natural, 100% Canadian bison, nutrient dense and satisfying snack. Something we created, and branded ourselves. From that we have grown to a 200 acre farm and 74 bison and counting. We have aligned with the best producers in Ontario and United States to learn best practices and forge relationships to help us learn how to get the tastiest, most naturally and sustainably raised bison on your plate. Our family of 4 is loving farming life, from the kittens in the barn, the open space for dirt biking and of course hanging with the herd.
When we are not at the farm you can likely find us at the Shallow Lake arena. And when it’s not hockey season we love to be on the go exploring our own backyard biking, racking K1 sprint kayaks, fishing, swimming and dirt biking.
About the Farm
Our 100% grass fed bison happily graze on 200 acres of lush beautiful grass. They have free choice to mineral and salt supplements and drink gallons and gallons of clean water daily.
Although we started with BUFF sticks and that is what we sell on the Eat Local platform. Different cuts of bison meat will be available late November 2016.
Our bison are rotated once a week to one of the 6 paddocks set up for them. This is done to spread their natural fertilizer, and more importantly keep them on the freshest green grass possible. In the winter months they eat grass and hay grown on the farm. Everything planted on our farm is non-GMO and our pastures are never sprayed. Keeping it natural and low stress is very important to us.
Bison are a very hardy animal that require little human interaction. Which is less stress for all involved. We enjoy watching them do their thing, but they are never touched and because they are still wild we are always applying “safety first” rule and never go out on foot. They are rounded up once per year to be weighed and for new calf’s to be tagged and sent back into the pasture. Our bison are never given antibiotics, steroids or growth hormones (it’s actually illegal to give bison growth hormones!).
For your information – we have 2 bulls – Boulder who is 5 years old and approx. 1900lbs and Boulder who is 12 years old and approx. 2300lbs. The rest are breeding stock who if all goes well will have a calf once a year in the spring for approx. 20 years. They require no help in the birthing or breeding process.
Today, more than ever before, a growing number of people are experiencing the sweet richness of bison meat. It is becoming increasingly more popular in restaurants and diner tables, bison is regularly part of a memorable eating experience.
Bison meat is a flavourful, tender and lean red meat alternative and is similar to fine beef with a slightly sweeter and richer taste. It is often described as a dense meat with a rich flavour, satisfying you more while eating less.
We feel it is our duty to keep our bison naturally raised in a low stress environment and feel that we have set up Big Rock Bison to be exactly that. Our family considers it a privilege to be farming on some of the best land in Ontario and producing the highest quality bison to share with ours and surrounding communities.
Jason Hayes and Marcelina Salazar
Laurie Thomas and Quentin Botting
Jessica Hastings and Adam Lesperance
Kristine Hammel and Thorsten Arnold
Lisa and Ivan Hill
Gerald & Marlene Poechman
Bob And Donna Lesperance
Jennifer and Mathias Seilern
Gerald & Shari-Lynn te Velde
Jenn Croft- sole proprietor
Mark and Heather Shouldice
Kendra Smith and Stacy Hull
Guy & Gail Anderson
Allison Brown & Emily Edington
Bobbi & Alexis Burnett