An Icelander runs a reindeer ranch in Greenland

By Iceland Monitor - January 9, 2018
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Stefán Magnússon with his daughter Freyja Nielsen. Freyja lives and works with him on the ranch during the summer. (Iceland Monitor)
Stefán Magnússon with his daughter Freyja Nielsen. Freyja lives and works with him on the ranch during the summer. (Iceland Monitor)

“I always wanted to breed reindeer so I decided to just do it and moved to Greenland,” explains reindeer farmer Stefán Magnússon who runs the Isortuusa Reindeer Station in South Greenland and has been running it for 30 years.

The ranch measures 1,500 square kilometers (about 580 square miles) and has six employees during the summer and more when they slaughter reindeer in the autumn.

Speaking to Morgunblaðið, Magnússon explains that they slaughter some 3,000 to 5,000 reindeer annually with each reindeer carcass sold for around 100,000 ISK to shops in Greenland.

Settling in Greenland was a big change, he says. “I moved to Greenland after studying for four years in Norway. The biggest challenge and difference between Iceland and Greenland is being so disconnected from the outside world. It’s very difficult to get from our ranch which is 150 kilometers away from the Narsarsuaq airport. It’s also very expensive to fly to and from Greenland.”