A Strong, Growing Business

North America’s bison ranchers and marketers have worked hard during the past two decades to establish a unique, strong and profitable position in the American marketplace.

Over the past two decades, a growing segment of the public began embracing bison meat because of its great taste and nutritional benefits, and because bison help to restore grassland ecosystems across North America. As the COVID pandemic revealed the flaws in our nation’s concentrated food processing system, the number of people seeking healthy, locally produced and environmentally friendly food accelerated and, as a result, the bison marketplace has grown exponentially in the last three years. 

Today, we are a viable alternative sector in the agricultural economy, and a model of the sustainable food movement.

Last year, the National Bison Association launched several consumer outreach initiatives, including sponsorships in four regional barbecue festivals and the 10th annual World Food Championship in Dallas, in which bison was the featured ingredient in the sandwich category thanks to a sponsorship from the NBA and its partners. This year we are stepping up our consumer outreach to focus on events that will elevate bison to its rightful place as a true American delicacy. 

The relationships that the National Bison Association has built with key leaders within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other agencies continues to benefit ranchers across the country. The NBA works with key USDA agencies and the United States Congress to maintain an even playing field for bison producers who should be treated equally among other livestock producers.

Other sectors within USDA are working with the NBA to put bison meat into more food distribution programs, including the National School lunch program, and to pen new export markets for bison meat.

The Center of Excellence for Bison Studies, established in 2020 within the South Dakota State University system, is bringing together researchers and academicians from across the country with projects to improve the ability of bison producers to manage healthy herds and produce healthy meat.

A formal memorandum of understanding established among the National Bison Association and the InterTribal Buffalo Council in 2014 continues to unite our respective organizations in a common commitment to the success of private and Tribal producers. The NBA and ITBC met in January 2023 to update and sign a renewed version of that important MOU.

The NBA’s strong working relationship with the Canadian Bison Association assures that bison producers on both sides of the 49th Parallel are working together for the betterment of our business. The NBA also works closely with bison conservation stakeholders as to ensure that our respective work benefits all bison, regardless of who owns them. 

These partnerships are all helping to restore bison to their historic habitat across North America.

Continued growth will require even more attention to consumer promotion, producer recruitment, and public policy involvement. The National Bison Association is the voice of American bison producers. Your membership commitment ensures your strong voice strong on issues of importance.