Uncle Bernie’s All Natural Meats is a small family farm just 30 minutes northeast of Calgary (just east of Airdrie), Alberta.  Since 1987 they have been raising elk on their farm and have introduced grass finished bison and beef as well as free range pastured poultry (turkeys, meat chickens and laying hens). Just to keep things interesting they became bee keepers in 2012.  Linda Pagenkopf will be presenting on the on the Calgary Co-op Kitchen Theatre stage (July 6 at 2:30 p.m & July 13 at 12:30 p.m.) in the Western Oasis, BMO Centre Halls D & E

For a full list of presenters on the Calgary Co-op Kitchen Theatre stage please visit the Western Showcase website.

Calgary Stampede (CS): Briefly Tell Us about Yourself

My name is Linda Pagenkopf and with my husband Bernie I am an owner / operator of Uncle Bernie’s All Natural Meats which evolved from an elk velvet operation to a meat based operation when the elk velvet market completely died in 1999-2000.  At that time we had 250 elk and no viable market. It was a really bad time for us as we were also experiencing a bad drought, hay was scarce and the hay we fed to our elk could have been sold and gone into our revenue for the farm.

Uncle Bernie

We started selling elk meat at local farmer’s markets. Eventually we got down to just our breeding stock so we expanded our operation to include bison. Then we got into poultry (broilers, layers and turkeys) and then bees.  You can place an order by calling us at 403-935-4907 or by email

CS: What Do You Love About Your Job?

The entire family is involved with the care of our elk, buffalo, beef, chickens (laying & meat birds) and turkeys. We raise quality meat products using organic and holistic farm and ranch environment. All our animals are antibiotic and hormone free, grass fed and are kept in their social groups to ensure a stress free healthy animal. By diversifying we are now able to work full time on the farm and not have an outside job to help support the farm. Part of our diversifying is to sell value added products through our smokie cart and our concession unit. You’ll see us at our local rodeos and airshows selling our farm raised elk & bison burgers, smokies & hot dogs.

CS: Do You Have a Favourite Memory of the Calgary Stampede or Kitchen Theatre?

I don’t really one particular memory of the stage. It’s always a wonderful experience – once we’re farm free I would love to come in to volunteer there! Your volunteers make the show. Kudos to everyone who steps up and takes part. We feel like royalty when we come in there. Thank you for that. (I always secretly wanted to have a cooking show where you could put something into an oven one minute then open another oven and take it out the next! I love doing it.)

CS: Do You Have a Favourite Recipe You Would Like to Share With Our Readers?

I like to showcase our ground meat. It really shows how lean elk meat really is.

Meat Loaf 
1 lb ground Elk, Bison or Beef
1 cup Oatmeal, Rice or Quinoa
3/4 cup BBQ Sauce, Ketchup or Spaghetti Sauce
1/4 cup Fancy or Regular Mustard
1 Egg
Season to Taste: Garlic Powder, Pepper etc.

Mix all ingredients together thoroughly. Put in greased loaf pan and top with ketchup or BBQ sauce.  Bake at 350 F for 1 hour.

Uncle Bernie's meat

Old Fashioned Burger Patties or Meatballs
*Use same recipe as above except only use oatmeal.
*Make ahead and freeze for quick week day meals.

The next step to the meat ball recipe is to make Meatball Stroganoff.

1 package onion soup or 1 L beef or veggie broth
1 can cream of mushroom soup

Stir together & pour over meatballs. Bake at 350 F for 30- 45 minutes.
Dollop with sour cream before serving if desired.
Serve over bead of rice, broad noodles or quinoa.

Look for our fabulous lasagna and other recipe ideas on our Face Book site.