Have You ‘Herd’ of Our Elk?
Out towards the west of Thunder Bay, near Fort Frances, Ontario, is where you’ll find a herd of locally-born and raised elk on the farmlands of Rainy River Elk Company. Standing majestic and tall, these animals are one of North America’s largest land mammals. And owners Bill Darby and Deb Cornell have chosen and established their lifestyle around their family-owned elk farm which began over 25 years ago.
In 1989, Bill and Deb were given the opportunity to purchase a piece of property a few miles out of Fort Frances where they began cropping while they decided how to further farm the land. Since Bill was already a deer specialist with the Ministry of Natural Resources, the idea came up to begin an elk farm. After extensive research into the topic, they purchased their very first elk in 1995. Since then, their herd has expanded to 130 animals and they’ve accomplished much in those 21 years. This includes entering their eighth season of serving shoppers at the market.
Rainy River Elk Company prides itself in offering local, quality products from the meat of their elk. Their elk are born and raised right on the farm and enjoy grazing in the large paddocks. Elk meat has many benefits that top beef, chicken and pork, including a high protein content and lower in fat and cholesterol. It is lean and tasty, and is available in a number of cuts, perfect for the upcoming BBQ season. Rainy River Elk Company offers customers a large variety of elk meat products, including ground meat, steaks, sausages and patties. All of their cuts are frozen fresh and becoming widely known as a great alternative to other meats. Also available is their large selection of smoked, dried meats. Available around the region, be sure to try their line of elk summer sausage, elk jerky, and smokey elk snack sticks, perfect as a protein-packed snack. For the furry friend in the family, you can even purchase a selection of dog bones.
Thunder Bay Country Market is the only retail outlet in Thunder Bay where you’ll find their frozen cuts, but you’ll find their dried meat selection available all over the region, including George’s Market, AJ’s Trading Post and Satorelli’s Truck Stop. Gearing up for summer, Bill and Deb will be busy featuring both their dried and frozen elk products at the farmer’s markets of Fort Frances, Kenora and Sioux Lookout. You can also purchase their products right at the farm and custom orders are always available upon request.
Now that you’ve ‘herd’ of Rainy River Elk Company’s elk, you may even have the opportunity to see them, if passing up that way this summer! Until then, be sure to check them out on the first floor of the market on the west side of the building, every Saturday from 8:00am to 1:00pm.