What nature offers best is back

The Bisons

Why bison?

If you are hungry for a flavourful, tender, lean red meat and want a natural, safe and healthy source of red meat which is low in fat, calories and cholesterol, then BISON meat is for you. Bison is similar to fine beef with a slightly sweeter and richer taste. It is non-allergenic and is a highly nutrient dense food because of the proportion of protein, fat, mineral, and fatty acids to its caloric value. Bison are raised naturally without the use of growth hormones, stimulants, antibiotics or animal by-products.

Some of the history :

Mary-Jo Gibson and Jean-Luc Chouinard settled in Saint-Jean-Port-Joli with their three children in 1998. Jean-Luc comes from nearby St.Pamphile and worked in the mining field in different parts of Canada as well as in New Caledonia. Mary-Jo, originally from Hastings, Ontario, met Jean-Luc while attending Laval university to later graduate from Ottawa university in teaching. They are proud parents of Marc, born in Abitibi (Amos), Quebec in 1986, Katelyn, born in Kimberley, British Columbia in 1991 and Mathieu, born in Noumea, New Caledonia, in 1997.

Jean-Luc fell in love with the original north american mammal and couldn’t wait to raise this magnificent animal. After learning about the meat’s wonderful nutritional values, there was no doubt this was the animal to raise.

The Chouinards are proud to raise over 100 bison on their farm of over 160 acres. Here, the bison are allowed to graze naturally without herbicides and pesticides added to the land.

Since their arrival in 1998, they have continuously tried to improve their property, whether it be by getting rid of rock piles, improving the drainage system, rotating hay and oats fields as well as the pasture. Their handling system gets better and better making it less stressful for the bison heading to the slaughterhouse.

They have built a big hay barn and have dramatically renovated the addition to the original barn, making it into a boutique. The main barn hides a butcher shop and industrial kitchen as well as several cold storage areas which they hope will soon be in operation. A new boutique and interpretation center will be built as soon as possible.

Since the bison have different grazing areas, they are not always sitting waiting for visitors. That is why if you really want to see the bison, it is preferable to be part of a guided visit which usually takes place at 1pm during the summer season (unless farm emergencies make it impossible) or at a different time for large groups.

In the boutique, in addition to a big selection of bison and other meat products, regular cuts and processed meat choices, you can also see an impressive stuffed bison head, from one of the first bison purchased, a tanned hide from a 4 year old bison. There are skulls and horns for demonstration and sale as well.

So, come to St. Jean Port Joli, get back to basics, and check out a family run business and hopefully you will be able to appreciate all the work that has been put in to raise bison naturally.