We became interested in raising Red Deer in the late 80’s after reading an article in the Bangor Daily News about a Red Deer farm in New Limerick, Maine. The owner of the farm had purchased 100 deer from Fundy Red Deer Farm in New Brunswick, Canada. The original 4,000 Red Deer at Fundy (named after Fundy Bay) were flown 1,000 at a time from New Zealand to Nova Scotia and trucked to Cambridge Narrows, New Brunswick. A short while after reading the article, we visited the farm in New Brunswick. During our visit, we learned about velvet antler – an alternative supplement produced from Red Deer and Elk antlers that the Chinese and Koreans have been using over two thousand years for arthritis, blood disorders etc. At the time, there wasn’t anyone processing velvet antler in the United States. The farm in New Brunswick purchased their velvet antler from New Zealand.
After making several visits to the farm in New Brunswick, we decided to begin our own Red Deer farm in Mapleton, Maine because we enjoy raising animals. We started our small farm by purchasing 3 Red Deer from the farm in New Brunswick. Over a period of time, our herd grew to 78. We had one breeding stag named Dean, several hinds (females), and a few younger stags.
Our velvet antler processing began about 2 years later after I smashed my elbow, due to a fall on concrete. The orthopedic surgeon explained I would have arthritis in my elbow because there was so much damage and that I would need to take prescription pain drugs for the rest of my life. I recalled the alternative supplement called velvet antler I saw at Fundy Red Deer Farm. I was eager to try it due to pain and stiffness already in my elbow… a success story in itself.
I called the farm manager (a New Zealander) at Fundy Red Deer Farm and asked him if he would bring back some bottles of velvet antler from New Zealand on his next trip. Weeks later with many bottles in a box, I asked him… “Would it make sense if we process velvet antler because there was no one processing it in the United States?” His response, in his New Zealand accent was, “You’re bloody right, mate!” Thus, was the beginning of TOBIN FARM’S VELVET ANTLER.
Today we are still processing our own velvet antler, and we also process for Red Deer and Elk farms across the country. Most of our sales are by word-of-mouth; people who have heard from family members, friends, and co-workers how velvet antler has helped them. We no longer have the beautiful Red Deer in our lives, but our business thrives with antlers from a Maine farm with 1,400 Red Deer and an excellent feed program.
Now, 28 years later, Lorna and I have moved our home and business from Mapleton to Alna to be closer to our daughter and family. We are still a small business with customers such as chiropractors, acupuncturists, physical trainers, pet owners, average consumers and some health food stores across the country.
We spend a lot of time getting to know our customers on the phone and in person. We like to learn what their needs are and explain how velvet antler can help them. Please call us anytime to talk about our product.