How it all started…
Jim and Wilma both have been brought up on farms and in particular, on dairy farms. Jim here in Thunder Bay, while his father also worked in a processing dairy “Dairy Best”, in what was called Fort William at that time. Wilma was brought up on a small dairy farm in Radewijk, in the Netherlands.
Jim had been farming with his two brothers and families ever since highschool. Wilma came to Canada as a hire hand working on farms in Thunder Bay. They met here in Thunder Bay and were married in 1991, and have four children.
In 1996, Jim and Wilma bought their own farm which they called Riverbend Farm, for the Slate River bends right through their property. With the love of caring for the animals that produce a high quality raw milk came a passion to transfer this high quality raw milk into high quality dairy products. Jim and Wilma had seen a decline of quality in dairy products on the store shelves and so decided to “put milk back into dairy products.”
It all started with a “letter of intent” to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food and Rural Affairs on August 9, 2011. Four years later on August 17, 2015 the first batch of milk and yogurt were made in their brand new facility, “Slate River Dairy.”
Jim and Wilma Mol believe that customer should have access to the highest quality milk, in its most natural state, straight from the cow and only pasteurized. The milk gets pasteurized at 63 Celcius for 30 minutes and it does not get homogenized so the cream rises to the top, even in the cocoa milk. This milk is the closest you are going to get to raw milk and its most natural state. The milk also does not get standardized into 1% or 3.25%. All whole milk products are made from milk straight from the cow, so all the goodness the cow puts in the milk is how you will enjoy all the benefits of drinking this fresh, local milk. Check out our product page for more information.
Jim & Wilma Mol – Owners
You will find us just south of Thunder Bay, in beautiful Slate River Valley. Riverbend Farm is a licensed, inspected dairy farm owned and operated by Jim and Wilma Mol. We milk about 45 cows and they produce approximately 1000L of milk per day. Our goal is to put milk back into dairy products. Driven by determination and fueled by passion for quality milk, Jim and Wilma started bottling milk for the first time on August 17, 2015.
Harold – Feed Consultant
Harold makes sure our cows are fed a balanced ration. He comes to our farm every 6-8 weeks and prepares a well balanced ration for our cows. This ration consists of energy, protein, minerals and vitamins. The crops that we grow ourselves gets tested to see what kind of nutrition and minerals are in there and then Harold takes those results and balances the feed that the cows are getting and what they need extra.
Dr. Dan – Veterinarian
Having a vet on our team is very important to us and therefore we have Dr. Dan come to our farm every 4 weeks. He checks to see if certain cows are pregnant and even uses an ultra sound where you clearly can see the baby calf on a monitor. This helps us to know if a cow is having twin so we can take special care of the cow in case she does carry twins. Dr Dan checks the general health of the herd and this includes the baby calves.