David Noorloos has always been a farmer
Growing up in Wyoming, he is a third generation cattle farmer. Then, in 2018 he realized a dream held by himself and his wife Lia when they opened Copper Flats Bison Company on their 150 acre farm in Camlachie.
They took the leap after David consulted a local bison farmer who answered his questions and provided him with an education of the animals.
“Honestly, David would tell you he started with bison because of how cool they are, but there is so much more to it than that. He has a passion for farming life, growing and learning as a farmer, caring for the animals, and for the community found in farming,” says Lia of her husband.
The couple started their journey with seven bison and sold the product out of their family home. The demand grew so quickly they opened a store on their farm in 2021. They have now expanded their herd to 80 bison.
Since David still works full time for his family farm, he is up before the sun each morning providing the animals with fresh (unfrozen) water and completing maintenance around the farm.
Bison are very self-sufficient animals and require very little care.
The couple has three young children who are also very active in the daily life of the farm, completing chores and helping their mother around the store. “We get to teach them so much about caring for animals, where their food comes from, hard work, team work, and so many life lessons,” says Lia.
While David provides the manual labour, Lia is the in-house expert on all things marketing. She is responsible for the daily social media posts, and has even created several videos outlining life on the farm. While raising her children, she is also responsible for the operation of the store.
Inside the store you will not only find bison, but a vast display of locally sourced meats including lamb, pork, beef and chicken.
“There are so many amazing producers in Lambton County that we also sell drinks, produce, frozen meals, spices, cookbooks, housewares and so much more!”
According to Lia, bison meat is a popular choice because it comes in most of the same cuts as beef, but is much healthier. It has a sweeter more intense flavour, but contains substantially fewer calories and fat, and more vitamins.
The family’s products can also be found on the menu at Loca restaurant in Wyoming; a newly opened establishment offering up cuisine sourced mainly from local farmers.
“Chef Sheila (Ward) is an amazing and inspirational community partner to be working with,” says Lia. At the moment this is the only restaurant they are working with due to trouble keeping up with the demand for their product.
Come spring, David and Lia plan to expand their store hours and participate in several local markets to sell their products. Over the next two years they will be working to expand their land to accommodate their ever-growing herd.
They would also like to be more involved in agritourism.
“We are passionate about connecting our community with their local farmer and for them to have an understanding of where their food comes from and the hard work it is to grow and raise.”
Currently their store is open Thursday 4-7pm and Saturday 10-4pm.