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Raising Babies & Bison in the Backwoods with Laurie Trigg


In this fast-paced, processed-food world there are a growing number among us choosing instead  a sustainable and regenerative way of life. Laurie Trigg, the powerhouse behind Backwoods Buffalo near Mayerthrope, Alta., is the epitome of this  innovative generation of women who are living a ‘back-to-basic values’ lifestyle and is sharing it with others in a real and transparent way.

Trigg’s work ethic and educational perspective are deeply intentional as she shares an overview of what sustainability looks like in 2021 in her business and social media. 

Living and working in a rural environment is second nature to this modern homesteading woman and at the root of her beliefs, Trigg feels driven to share her knowledge and contribute in whatever ways she can back to society and her community. Never was this more apparent than when Covid hit last year. 

Woman in pink dress and brown hat wears a buffalo fur around her, standing outside in a field


Prior to the societal restrictions and lockdown measures, Trigg did not sell their bison meat by the individual cut. When people’s buying habits shifted and the search for more locally grown and sourced food became part of what the general public was looking for, Backwoods Buffalo fast-tracked their plans. They recognized the opportunity to connect people to their food, for consumers to see how well cared for their animals are, and to show themselves as transparently as possible. Through her social media channels Trigg now shares their farm operations and lets people into the real world behind the scenes.

Backwoods Buffalo is a relatively new farm in terms of farming establishments and was founded  in 2014. A few years after getting their farm rooted, Trigg and her husband began their family. Their first child, Oakley, is now four – a vivacious, active girl who embraces farm life in every way says Trigg. And their youngest child, Hayes, is a one-and-a-half-year-old toddler who is a curious little boy, exploring everything he can get into these days. Trigg’s middle child, Willa, passed away at 39-weeks-and-four-days in her womb – she was a perfect baby girl in every way and left her imprint and presence on her family that she never met. The loss for Trigg (and her family) is still deep and ongoing, as there will never be a day where Willa is not remembered and as loved as her sister and brother are, says Trigg. Trigg talks and shares Willa’s story often online and with friends – saying she is unseen, yet still a force in their lives.

But, life is going forward for the Triggs’ with Willa’s spirit in their midst. 

Woman squats to collect eggs

Backwoods Buffalo’s Farm Store

Backwoods Buffalo now has an onsite farm store that they open once a week on Sundays. Everything they sell in their shop is grown or made locally. Trigg says she intends to collaborate with more local farmers, makers and producers in the area to provide an ongoing fresh, weekly selection of offerings. You can find breakfast sausages, bacon, eggs, microgreens, sourdough bread, waffles, jam and more! Trigg is also learning how to can food with the supplies her grandma gave her and discovering how satisfied she feels stacking these preserves on her store shelves and in her cellar. 

Trigg says her ‘love language’ is feeding people. With fresh bison, pork, chicken and produce on hand, she loves experimenting by creating new recipes to feed those who sit at her table – which is full every night. Trigg loves to cook ‘slow food’ and is the first to invite others to join her family for meals. 

One of the reasons Trigg is inspired to cook daily is due to her experience of hosting the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) program for three years. Through this program they have welcomed individuals, mainly 19 and 20-years-olds from all over the world, into their home and onto their farm to learn practical skills. Trigg is proud to say they have hosted 18 individuals in the last three years. She is thrilled to share her knowledge and help these young adults develop themselves within an industry and lifestyle she is passionate about. In her youth, Trigg lived what she describes as a ‘slow’ life. She was raised on a beef and quarter horse farm in Manitoba. Home-schooled, she spent a lot of time with their animals every day. Her family ate what they produced and this mindset of sustainability was implanted within her as an impressionable young girl. 

Given the full scope of her diverse roles,responsibilities and achievements, you might conclude that Trigg has lived a long life. But, at only 29, it can best be said she lives a full life. While her husband Chad works away from home in the oil and gas industry, Trigg manages about 200 animals (with some extra help). She oversees and manages a herd of 60 bison, feeds and cares for 30 pastured pigs, maintains a flock of 100 free-range laying chickens (they hatch their own eggs too), tends to two milk cows, grows an assortment of turkeys and ducks, looks after their pot-bellied pigs, keeps a healthy herd of 12 Quarter horses (that are rodeo prospects) and tend to her gardens in the growing season. On any given day Trigg feels the enormity of it all as she attempts to check off her long to-do list, which inevitably gets carried forward. These actions are a part of her day-to-day triumphs. 

A woman sits in a field with her two cows


So how did the Triggs respond so quickly to a shift in people’s priorities last year? First, they began to process four bison per month, along with their pork. They sold privately as well as attended local farmers markets and after advertising on social media, began doorstep delivery every two weeks into Edmonton and surrounding areas. In order to ramp things up, they needed to have their animals processed at an inspected facility. Trigg says they were grateful they had a good working relationship with their butcher and were able to book butcher dates for the entire year. In retrospect, they are amazed that a devastating turn of events provided them with the chance to step up their goals and help people by providing nutritious home grown food.

What advice would Trigg give to another woman looking at her lifestyle?

“Be conscious of what you are doing,” she says. “Use the wisdom you have gained, it is not about your age. And always keep a higher perspective on things.” 

Photography by Mackenzie Cortes from The Kindred Wolf

This article was originally published in the Spring 2021, Issue #2 of Trailblazher Magazine.

To see what Laurie and Backwoods Buffalo are up to now, visit her on Instagram.


Woman in dress with a jean jacket and hat sits on the side of a fence with a barn and field in the background

June 5, 2024

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