The artisans of Wisconsin make products with pride and passion, and Terry Diedrich of Navarino Valley Elk and Buffalo Ranch is the perfect example. Today I got the chance to talk to him about his business. Terry raises elk and buffalo and sells the meat to local restaurants and farmers market patrons. He also sells jerky and summer sausage on Wisconsinmade.com.
Terry was born and raised in Wisconsin in a family of dairy farmers. He knew he wanted to work in agriculture, but he decided to work smarter. He learned that raising elk and buffalo would be less labor intensive than milking cows, and since elk and buffalo don't mind a few hills, he could raise his animals on rough terrain. Today Terry has over 100 elk and 200 bison on his ranch.
After a few minutes of talking to Terry you can tell there's a deeper purpose to his business than making elk jerky and buffalo burgers. Terry is committed to raising animals without the use of antibiotics and hormones. I asked him how people feel about less common meat varieties.
"Initially people didn't get it," Terry said, "But more and more people have learned about the health benefits of elk and bison."
The health benefits he's talking about are apparent when you compare elk and bison to more common meats like beef and pork. Elk and buffalo have less fat, less cholesterol, and more omega-3s. Terry also raises his animals free from hormones and antibiotics. Since the details of modern agriculture are too dull for a food fun blog, I won't get into that, but let's just say that Terry is committed to raising animals to make the best quality meat available.
Just for fun, I asked Terry about his favorite elk or buffalo dish. He loves a good gourmet burger, especially if there's a homemade bun and gourmet toppings involved. You can find more yummy food photos on the Navarino Elk and Buffalo Ranch Facebook page, or shop for gift baskets of elk and bison sausage and jerky on Wisconsinmade.com.
Have you ever tried elk or buffalo meat? What do you think?
As a special gift to Edible Antics readers, you can enter promotion code FUNBLOG at checkout to get 10% off food gifts at Wisconsinmade.com.