While farming elk may not be deemed traditional agriculture, elk have thrived in Minnesota for hundreds of years. Historically, wild elk roamed the very same areas of Minnesota where agriculture is now successful. It is only natural that elk would continue to thrive today’s farm setting.
Elk enhance the habitat by utilizing marginal land without changing it’s natural state as forage, pasture and woodland. Nature has provided us with animals which are very well suited to our farms, and in return, we as farmers provide the opportunity for these majestic animals to maintain their natural patterns of growth and reproduction.
Elk have been farmed in many parts of the world for up to 2,000 years. The demand for the healthy products elk produce has prompted elk farming to expand in Minnesota and all of North America over the past 30 years. Today consumers benefit from the healthy products elk produce in several ways:
1. ELK MEAT – Farmed raised elk meat is lean, tender and delicious. It contains a high proportion of protein, iron and minerals compared to other traditional meats and is a very healthy red meat alternative to every day dining.
2. ELK VELVET ANTLER FOR PEOPLE – Millions of North Americans suffer from the pain of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and other joint disorders.
Velvet antler has been scientifically substantiated by research and clinical studies, in compliance with FDA regulations “to support healthy joint structure and function”. This may be beneficial to those suffering from either osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Velvet antler has achieved this status because of the significant presence of chondroitin sulfate and collagen naturally found in velvet antler.
Velvet antler supplements have also been shown in numerous studies to have several performance-enhancing effects for athletes. Studies conducted in Russia and New Zealand have shown enhanced muscle composition, endurance and recovery time results. Long distance runners report shorter recovery times during intense training and competition.
3. ELK VELVET ANTLER FOR PETS – Elk velvet antler supplements provide relief from joint and arthritis pain and promote energy and stamina to pets. Elk velvet antler naturally contains over 40 essential nutrients.
4. ELK ANTLER DOG CHEWS – There is newly emerging demand for elk antler dog chews. Elk antler dog chews are reported to last longer and have less splintering and odor than other dog chew products on the market.
Elk antler grows naturally on male elk every year in early spring and can be either humanely harvested or allowed to fall off naturally every year in preparation for the new growth cycle. Male elk can produce up to 40 pounds or more of new antler every year making elk antler a great annual, renewable resource.
Elk by nature are adaptable to a great variety of farmlands, woodlands and management strategies. Elk are excellent browsers and will eat most forage available to them. While elk do have certain nutritional requirements, these can usually be met by different combinations of locally available feeds and supplements.
Elk farmers help support their local economy by purchasing feed, veterinary supplies and services, farm equipment, utilizing local labor and so much more.
Elk are one of the most beautiful and magnificent animals to behold. U.S. markets for elk products are growing as more consumers are realizing the health benefits derived from America’s Greatest Animal – Elk!