A red meat alternative
It was like stepping back to days gone by – watching a herd of buffalo graze while overlooking the beautiful rolling countryside.
That was the experience of Canadian farm writers yesterday during a visit to Century Game Park, a bison farm near Warkworth ON. Owner Rod Potter is a fifth generation farmer specializing in bison and elk, who has built a direct-to-consumer business selling products off his farm.
Bison is being promoted as a healthy, low fat red meat choice to an increasingly health conscious consuming audience. Potter markets jerky, pepperettes, steaks and roasts and salami, as well as hosting tour groups and members of the general public who are interested in learning more about how bison and elk are raised. It doesn’t hurt that his farm provides some of the best views of Northumberland County to be found anywhere!
Like most livestock farmers, he was hit hard by the BSE crisis, especially when it came to available processing capacity, and works off the farm to supplement his income. His herd now numbers 40 head, which he says is a sustainable number – both to keep up with his marketing efforts and for the health of his herd.
Potter loaded farm writers onto several pick up trucks for a trek up to the top of the hills to enjoy the view and get up close with the bison.