“ We know, love and respect our animals,” says Thom “and we are totally committed to the best practices for their welfare… taking care of animals is a serious responsibility and we think it’s one of the keys to a happy and healthy life.”

Thom van Eeghen has farmed with elk since he was 15, beginning in New Zealand and then for the past 20 years at ElkRanch, west of Ottawa. Thom and his wife Fay Armitage farm together here and Fay traces her family’s farming in this area to more than 150 years ago.

Elk are naturally hardy animals and indigenous to the Ottawa Valley. They thrive here and their caretakers are synchronized to the natural balance that exists between elk, land and seasons. Spring, summer and fall, these elk are ‘grass-fed’ but when the ground changes for winter, their food changes to preserved pasture, which is hay.

Here in the same area as their ancestors, elk are able live and grow slowly, in the way that nature always intended.