Larissa Helbig - Thundering Ground Bison Ranch in Calmar, AB
Larissa grew up on a farm outside of Edmonton and through the family business of a market garden and greenhouse, grew up in the farmer’s market environment. When she graduated from high school, Larissa attended the University of Alberta and she completed her Bachelors of Science degree from the Faculty of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Sciences. While attending university she sought summer jobs on farms and had an offer in her first summer to work on a bison and elk farm in Saskatchewan. This was the start of her path with bison. Upon completing her Bachelor’s degree she went on to do her Master’s degree at the University of Saskatchewan for which she researched reproductive physiology in bison bulls.
Through her university career and summer jobs she met and created a network of mentors that had a passion for bison and that passion was passed on to me. In 1999, together with her father, she decided to start my own bison herd. Her dad with farm direct marketing the meat in mind and me with a strong passion for conservation of the species and the environment. They bought 8 yearling females and one breeding bull.
Since that time she has built her herd up to 50 breeding bison cows and manage 120 bison at any given time of the year. Animals are born and raised on her farm and then sent to a small provincial abattoir for harvest and processing. Most of the bison meat she produces is marketed through a local farmer’s market, but she is currently looking to expand sales through her website. Ecological sustainability, species preservation, ethical production practices and quality consumer experience are the corner stones of her business. Her passion is bison, and through them the land. Coupled with this is the passion to serve the consumer directly with a product that is second to none.