Bison Producer Robert Johnson
When Robert and Rebecca Johnson took over RJ Game Farm in 2015, they not only inherited a third generation family farm, but an appreciation for one of North America’s most noble animals. Since becoming a full time bison producer, Robert has learned a lot about the animal and the industry. But he hasn’t done it alone. With partners like Noble Premium Bison who value good management, sustainable practices and top quality animals, Robert is using his knowledge to help grow the bison industry in Canada, building stronger communities along the way.
When did you start working with Noble Premium Bison?
Doug and my father-in-law, Ryan Clark, were very good friends, and when we took over the operation after he passed away, I kind of inherited the relationship. Doug has been a real mentor to me, making himself available any day, any time. So, when he and Kelly started Noble Premium Bison, it was a natural fit.
What do you value most in a producer/marketer partnership?
I would say honesty, transparency and a commitment to being the best. We’ve always gone the extra mile to raise top quality animals and Noble appreciates that. They pay us fairly and work with us when we have to adapt to conditions outside of our control – like the impacts in our industry from COVID-19. As producers themselves, they understand the challenges with processing capacity in Canada, scheduling and pricing, and are known to treat suppliers with respect.
As a brand, how is Noble unique in what they provide to both producers and consumers?
In my experience, Noble is all about the ‘premium’ part of their brand. Building a premium brand is about consistency, reliability, and maintaining the highest standards, which is how we look at our business too. Noble puts real value on how we raise our animals—with good feed, good management and good genetics. As marketers, they’re not only focussed on the bottom line—they look at finding as much utilization and value in the carcass as possible. Producers are rewarded for this but so are retailers, restaurants and consumers, too.
“Noble also spends a lot of time and energy educating people about the benefits of bison meat and how it’s raised here in Canada. We’re all independent farm families, with deep roots in our communities and a relationship to the land and bison. If we can keep telling Canadian consumers our stories, they’ll see the value in what we’re doing and put a premium on that.”Robert Johnson, RJ Game Farm
How important is the ecological part of the bison story in Canada?
Our climate is changing, and we’re seeing first-hand how bison are positively impacting our crops and soil health. On our native grass pastures, I’m seeing flowers and plants I don’t normally see. Earlier this year when my son and I were walking our dog, we found a wild prairie turnip. I had to use Google to find out what it was. Even Rebecca’s grandpa had never seen them on the land. They were highly valued by the Lakota and were a staple of their diet, so it was exciting to see the wild turnip return. This is why we do what we do—not because we have to but because it’s the right thing. As consumers become more ecologically aware, they’ll look to companies like Noble who, along with other Canadian producers, are making real honest change in the meat industry.
Across Canada, we’re raising bison alongside producers who are invested in so much more than their land and animals. Folks like Nolan, Ivan, and Robert believe that with integrity and transparency, we can build a great industry in Canada. One that benefits producers, marketers and the communities we live in. Visit our ranch, try our premium products, and let us know how we’re doing at
Canadian producers/suppliers of sustainable bison meat, ranch-raised on native grassland. No hormones or antibiotics. Retail in 🇨🇦 DM for Foodservice