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.
Although the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has created significant short-term disruption for the bison business, the long-term outlook is extremely bright.
In the years leading up to the pandemic, a growing segment of the public was embracing bison meat because of its great taste and nutritional benefits, as well as because bison are helping to restore grassland ecosystems across North America. As the pandemic revealed the flaws in our nation’s large-scale, concentrated food production and processing system, the number of people seeking healthy, tasty, locally produced and environmentally friendly food has accelerated.
Today, we are a viable alternative sector in the agricultural economy, and a growing part of the good food movement.
The National Bison Association has helped lead this growth by forging strong relationships across the American landscape. For example, in 2012 the National Bison Association linked with the InterTribal Buffalo Council and the Wildlife Conservation Society to embark on a dedicated campaign that resulted in passage of legislation four years later establishing bison as the National Mammal of the United States.
Meanwhile, we have worked elsewhere in Washington, D.C. to successfully build working relationships with key leaders within the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other agencies. Those relationships have resulted in new resources for bison research, marketing, and risk management. Through the assistance of USDA’s Risk Management Agency, we have now launched a state-of-the-art app to help producers monitor and manage their herds.
A new Center of Excellence for Bison Studies established this year within the South Dakota State University System is already bringing together researchers and academicians from across the country with projects to improve the ability of bison producers to manage healthy herds, and to 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 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.
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 keeps that voice strong on your behalf.