OUR STORY

I started working for the Canadian Armed Forces in 2000. I was given great advice a few weeks after I joined. I was told to start planning for my retirement right away since we never know what may happen while serving for our Country. At this point I was starting a new career so I had no idea what I wanted to do for my eventual retirement from the military. I was afforded many travel opportunities over the years but I couldn't find a place that felt like home.

One night, I was waiting outside of a large meat company in Alberta while transporting goods. I watched as many military members came out with large bags of meat. I was curious what they were buying so I asked those who came out while I waited. A few people said they had purchased beef but I was surprised to learn most were purchasing bison. I've always had a fascination for bison and that day stuck with me.

I fell in love with the Ottawa Valley when I was posted to Garrison Petawawa in 2006. I settled into a cozy position teaching the troops how to operate military vehicles and heavy equipment, from a snowmobile to a tractor trailer. I finally found a place that felt like home.

I found an old 105-acre farm in the Whitewater Region of the Ottawa Valley. The property was being used by a landscaping company and the fields were overgrown and unused. The property needed a lot of work and the house wasn't finished, but it had potential. It's situated on a great road with lovely neighbours, surrounded by agricultural land. I loved this spot! Then it hit me, I could bring this farm back to its former glory and raise bison for my retirement.

Once I secured this farm, a big piece of my retirement plan fell into place. I was determined to be a bison farmer! Every free moment at home was spent tirelessly researching, planning, renovating, and updating the farm property while trying to improve the quality of the soil in the overgrown fields.

Tile drains were installed in one of three fields soon after obtaining the farm. I was determined to learn how to do everything myself. I purchased hay equipment from a local farmer who taught me how to use, maintain, and fix it. I started to put my research into practice on my days off. I was pleased when I started producing quality horse hay, which I sold for many years.

I built an 8-acre bison pen behind my bush for my eventual herd. It was a start! Life with the military became too busy to handle farm improvements and hay production. Luckily, I was able to keep up with producing hay for many years but the renovations and farm improvements were put on hold.

Once I was informed I was being posted to Kingston in 2017, I could no longer manage the hay field myself. I decided to rent the field to a local dairy farmer, Bardee Holsteins. I was very fortunate to have kept this farm while I was working at another military base.

Years of ruck marches and injuries while performing my duty had compounded into a long-term physical impairment. My retirement was now being processed sooner than anticipated. After 20 years in the military, it was time to prepare for my new civilian life. Luckily, I was posted back to Garrison Petawawa in 2018. I was back home on the farm.

In the summer of 2019, I was able to secure my starter bison herd from Bison du Nord with the understanding of receiving my herd in November. I chose Bison du Nord for their 100% pasture-raised and grass-fed bison, their friendly and helpful nature, and the fact that they are situated close to where I was born. They are true leaders in the bison industry and I couldn't be happier to work with them!

Now that I knew I had a starter herd coming soon, this was the perfect time to rename and rebrand the farm. And so, White Pine Bison was born.

We took agricultural courses that same summer to prepare for farm life. The Environmental Farm Plan, Livestock Biosecurity, and Growing your Farm Profits. These courses have been instrumental in the planning of the farm property, from the management of the soil to learning how to maintain the health of my livestock. These courses are offered by The Canadian Agricultural Partnership through the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA).

OSCIA
Cdn Agricultural Partnership

Finally, it was time to pick up our starter bison herd from Bison du Nord. We stayed for a couple days to help with their yearly round-up. We learned a lot and we had a lot of fun! We released our herd into their new home on November 30, 2019.

Our small bison herd consists of three young females and one young bull, named Hercules. They live in their 8-acre pen while we make improvements around the farm that will enable us to expand their home. The vegetation in their pen provides a natural dewormer. Our bison are 100% grass-fed and raised in a quiet and stress-free environment.

We strive to use sustainable and all-natural farming practices to ensure we maintain the health of our bison herd and improve the environment within and around our growing farm.

With only a year remaining in my military career, an unexpected pandemic swept through the entire world. I found myself working from home starting in March of 2020. Once the pandemic peaked, we saw the devastating impact it had on our food supply within our local communities. As a result, we decided to take a chance and expand our partnership with Bison du Nord to provide our local communities with all-natural 100% grass-fed bison meat while our herd continues to grow. We started selling bison meat just before the May long weekend in 2020 through social media (Facebook and Instagram). We were truly humbled by the support we instantly received from our local followers.

We are very proud to provide our local communities with all-natural, 100% grass-fed bison meat. Next to our bison, our customers are the heart and soul of our farm business. We strive to provide the absolute best customer service and offer only the best bison products. We would not be able to continue this journey without our loyal customers. From the bottom of our hearts,

thank you white

We believe strong partnerships are the best way for us all to succeed and grow during these uncertain times. We have partnered with small business retailers, restaurants, takeaway/catering, food trucks, and an online store within the Ottawa Valley. We strive to someday have our bison meat products in all areas of the Ottawa Valley to allow our customers easier access to our products.