Thunder Bay·Northern Nosh

Find out how this northwestern elk farm's products end up as far away as Hong Kong

The Rainy River Elk Company is located about 16 kilometres west of Fort Frances.

Rainy River Elk Company has been around since 1995

Two elk bulls on the farm. (Supplied by Bill Darby)

Back in 1995, Bill Darby and Deb Cornell decided to transform their cash crop operation west of Fort Frances into one dedicated to a very different product: elk.

Deb Cornell and Bill Darby own the farm. (Supplied by Amanda Caron)

Twenty-one years later, the couple's Rainy River Elk Company is home to a herd of approximately 130 animals, with their products distributed across the northwest — and as far away as Hong Kong.

I reached Bill and Deb recently to learn how it all began.

Tap the player to hear more.

Jonathan spoke with Bill Darby and Deb Cornell, owners of the Rainy River Elk Company, an elk farm about 16 kilometres west of Fort Frances that started in 1995. 7:59

Click here for more information about the Rainy River Elk Company.

Young female elk. (Supplied by Bill Darby)

"Northern Nosh" is a new weekly feature on Up North, CBC Radio One's regional afternoon show for northern Ontario. If you know of a restaurant, bakery or farm you think would make a great story, get in touch! 

Send an email to, message us on Facebook or Twitter — or call 1-844-85NORTH.


Jonathan Pinto is the host of Up North, CBC Radio One's regional afternoon show for Northern Ontario and is based in Sudbury. He was formerly a reporter/editor and an associate producer at CBC Windsor. Email


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversationCreate account

Already have an account?