The story of our farm
We graze our herd on lush pasture in a way that is aligned with nature's natural cycles.
2022 & beyond: Lifestyle to Livelihood
As much as Dan and Sharril enjoy rural life, too much capital was required to make it a sole living throughout the years. When Taylor expressed interest in being involved with the farm, it revealed to the Sych’s that the time had come to make the farm a livelihood, not just a lifestyle. In the years to come, the dream for the farm is that it could be Taylor’s livelihood and source of income, along with continuing to nurture and cultivate regenerative practices on the land.
2019: An Exclusively Bison Operation
The vision was originally to have both species, elk and bison, coexisting on the farm. However, challenges with chronic wasting disease determined that an exclusive bison operation was the way to go. After several years of transitioning the handling systems on the farm and slowly building a starting herd of bison, the final elk left the farm.
2016: The Transition to Regenerative Agriculture
Fast forward seventeen years, and after decades in the elk industry, Dan’s passion for regenerative farming was sparked when he attended the Western Canada Soil Health and Grazing Conference in December. He knew in his bones that it was time to make a change on the farm, one from raising elk to raising better soil. This stemmed the decision to bring Bison onto the land to cohabitate with the elk as they would help regenerate the soil in ways the elk alone could not.
1999: A New Generation of Sych’s
Four years after breaking the ground to build their new home on the farm, Taylor Sych was born. Dan and Sharril’s dream of having a family to raise on the farm was coming to fruition, and they went on to have three more very clever children, Darci, Dana, and Colby.
1992: Hard Work & Dedication
After three years with the elk operation, Dan’s partnership with Ben dissolved and he and Sharril — having only been married for one year — took over the farming business. At the time, they lived in Drayton Valley and then moved into a humble basement suite closer to the homestead to better balance life on and off the farm. Dan continued working in the energy sector and Sharril worked three jobs so that they could save up enough to build the beautiful home where they still live today.
1990: Young Love & A Big Dream
Now in his twenties, Dan met a delightful woman by the name of Sharril who would sweep him off of his feet, become his wife, lifelong partner and the mother of his children. In the spring of 1990, while driving on Highway 13 by Ohaton, AB, the two outlined their dream – to raise their family on a farm. They didn’t quite have a plan yet, but this became the guiding vision that brought them to where they are today.
1989: Brotherhood Ties & The Elk Farm
At the youthful ages of 21 and 18 years old, Dan and his brother Ben began farming elk on what is today The Sych Homestead. They purchased their first animals from a fellow Alberta elk farmer and began together what would become a 30 year adventure in raising venison.
1974: Returning to the Homestead
On July 1st, 1974 - six years after Dan was born - Ignace purchased a portion of the homestead land from his father and moved his family of eight from Edmonton to start a new chapter on the farm.
1936: A Second Generation On The Land
After a lifetime of growing up on the homestead, Bill fell in love with and married Pearl. They moved off the family land into the city to raise their family and in 1936, Pearl gave birth to Ignace Sych (Dan’s father).
1902: The promise of a better life in a new place
In spring of 1902, George and Mary Sych embarked on a journey from the Ukraine to Alberta with their two young children. They arrived in Canada with only $50 to their name, which was spent on the purchase of a homestead and a single cow. Just over a year later, their third child Bill (Dan’s grandfather) arrived, becoming the first in his family to be born in this side of the ocean.
What our clients have to say
Sharril and Taylor were fantastic to deal with and made the purchase easy and efficient.
An easy to read order form from Sych Homestead was all we needed to get started, and with well over 200lbs of finished product yield, we will be able to feed our family for at least 6 months!
— The Pipe Family | ★★★★★
Let us nourish you
Feeding local families, every year, with delicious and deeply nutritious bison is what we are here to do. We believe that feeding your family local, nutrient dense food is the gift that keeps on giving and we would truly love it if we could be your go-to family for bison.