|Address:|| 10075 Stone Bridge Road
Culpeper, VA 22701
Click to view hours
Chibola Farm is run by Rob Ferguson and Mike Sipes. Foodwaze has visited the farm and you can read a full description under the Details tab. Here is an Overview of the farm:
• Animals raised: Bison, heritage breed Tamworth pigs, and laying hens.
• Living Environment: All animals are raised outdoors. The bison live in pastures on the 500-acre farm. The pigs and chickens are rotated through those same pastures to help keep them fertile and healthy.
• Animal Diets: For bison, the farm uses a practice they call grain-on-grass. In essence, this means they finish their animals on a small amount of grain the last 3 months of their lives. The grain is fed on pasture, while the animals still have access to lush grasses. The hogs live in the pastures and woods eating their natural diet and are supplemented with grains.
• Grazing Methods: This farm maintains regular rotational grazing to ensure the animals are constantly moved to the best available grass and that healthy soil is built and maintained.
• Other Practices: There are NO chemicals, biosolids, hormones, or sub-therapeutic antibiotics used on the farm. At this time, we are not aware of the source of the grain they use for their bison and pigs.
• Other Products in the Store: All products are from Chibola. No other products are sold.
Other things to know about this Place:
• In addition to their physical location, they also have an online store on their website.
• In an effort to utilize the whole animal, the farm store offers an array of beautiful handmade bison leather products, as well as whole, vegetable dyed hides that are salted and dried on the farm.
• While the farm store is open daily, sometimes there might not be anyone there. In that case, use the call box by the front door; they are always nearby.
• Visitors to the farm are encourage to take self-guided tours to see the largest bison herd in Virginia.
• Cibola Farms can be found year round at farmer’s markets throughout Northern Virginia and D.C. See their website to find out more.
This listing was compiled using the following processes:
• A site visit, or visits
• Discussion with the owners, management, and/or staff
• Other research
Located in Culpeper County about one hour south of Washington, DC, Cibola Farms is a sustainable livestock farm and is home to the largest bison herd in Virginia. Operated by Rob Ferguson and Mike Sipes, Cibola Farms maintains over 400 head of bison on 500 acres of land. Foodwaze has had a chance to visit and tour the farm to observe their holistic, regenerative practices first-hand.
Cibola adheres to an intensive rotational grazing system that constantly keeps the bison moving onto fresh pasture and eliminates the need for chemical inputs on their fields. The only amendments spread on the pastures are lime and poultry litter. The bison are grass fed and finished on a 30% grain supplement that Cibola has blended for their specific needs. Grain is limited to the last few months before the animal is processed and is free of antibiotics, animal bi-products and chemical additives.
Cibola’s “grain-on grass” finished product is the result of years of careful observation and the desire to mimic the natural instinct of bison that once grazed across the Great Plains and consumed large quantities of seed heads. It is part of a natural fattening process toward the end of the season that also includes the eating of a lot of fruits, nuts, and acorns. The farm managers do not believe the grass in their pastures alone can provide enough nutrition, keep the farm sustainable economically. Hence, the use of a grain supplement. Bear in mind that’s the farm does keep the animals out on pasture while they are feeding them supplement.
As an additional measure in their sustainable management practices, the bison are fed pine needles and garlic in order to combat internal parasites naturally, and diatomaceous earth powder for external parasite control. Humane treatment of the animals is also part of their core principles. Corral systems originally designed by noted animal behaviorist Temple Grandin is in place to ensure animals remain stress free during handling.
In addition to the bison, the farm raised heritage Tamworth pigs. They are free-roaming with ample room for rooting and access to pasture .The pigs are fed an antibiotic, animal bi-product free grain that does not contain chemical additives.
A small “farmette” on site is home to poultry, goats and small herd of dairy cows for personal use. They do sell some of these product, such as their eggs, in their farm store, which also showcases their bison and meat products. Please click on the Place tab to connect to their farm store listing.