Our Water Buffalo, Our Farms
About Water Buffalo
Grazers with big brown eyes and gentle personalities. Pure, porcelain white milk and tender, lean meat.
Water buffalo have only been in British Columbia since the early 2000s, but they are right at home on our four farms in the warmer, coastal climate of Vancouver Island.
They may be new to Canada, but the Water Buffalo is no newcomer as a dairy and meat animal on the global scene, producing an astonishing 10-12 percent of the world's milk production. Domesticated over 7,000 years ago in what is now modern day China, the water buffalo has long been revered for its adaptability, resilient health, porcelain white milk and tender meat.
The gentle Riverine or River Water Buffalo (Bubalis bubalis) that we raise on Vancouver Island is distinct from the Asian Swamp Buffalo, American Bison and African Cape Buffalo. The River Water Buffalo is primarily a dairy animal and has become a favourite in many cultures. Domestic River Water Buffalo are found around the world in India, in south Russia, and in the Mediterranean in Bulgaria and Italy.
Now, River Water Buffalo can be found grazing in fields on the West Coast of British Columbia, Canada. The moderate climate of Vancouver Island, with mild, rainy winters and lush fields, means our water buffalo are completely content.
Each of the four farms in our association are independently family owned and operated, and are brought together by a passion for the ethical treatment of animals and for the production of water buffalo milk and meat of the highest quality.
Fairburn Farm is a third generation family farm in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island. Homesteaded in the 1880s, some of the original dwellings are still in use today. A 19th century farmhouse has five bedrooms with private bathrooms, two with full ensuite and fireplace that serve as a bed and breakfast. Darrel Archer has been part of this gorgeous family farm since his parents purchased it in 1954. In 2000, Darrel and Anthea imported the first water buffalo to Canada. Alongside Darrel and Anthea, son Richard and Alicia and family operate the day to day farm business.
Coleman Meadows Farm
Meet Jennifer, Russell and Edward Dyson. First and second generation farmers, the Dysons are proud owners and operators of Coleman Meadows Farm, a small, seasonal, grass-fed water buffalo dairy farm in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island. The family's love and passion for raising buffalo shines through in everything they do. Their love of the land and animals leads to exceptional ethical animal care, sustainable farm practices and a commitment to produce only the highest quality water buffalo milk and meat products.
The family sells both water buffalo milk products, processed by Natural Pastures, as well as their own grass-fed, hormone and antibiotic free water buffalo meat at their on-farm market.
McClintock’s Farm was established in 1988 and water buffalo became an important part of the family farm after purchasing 15 young females from Fairburn Farm. In fact, the milking parlour was completed one night in early March 2012 and the first buffalo baby was born the very next day. Sandra McClintock and her parents Val and Gerry McClintock encompass all that is good about working together. McClintock’s Farm is introducing new products: award-winning yogurt (processed by Natural Pastures) and gelato. Products are available at the farm, selected retail establishments and the Comox Valley Farmers market.
Island Bison is a family farm located in Black Creek in the shadow of Mount Washington, approximately 20 minutes north of Courtenay. The farm and family goal is to raise the healthiest meat for our family, friends and customers. Grandma and Grandpa Watson, Mom and Dad Vance, and four energetic children all pitch in to run the farm. For the family, raising bison and water buffalo is a great privilege. This farm family believe that raising animals as 100% grass-fed, without the use of antibiotics or added growth hormones, is not only ethical but what is best for all of us as consumers.