Back to the Future (Farmers of America)

Back to the Future (Farmers of America)
NBA Blog, by Jim Matheson, Executive Director
The National Bison Association’s (NBA) program manager, Lydia Whitman, myself, and a few dedicated volunteers will return to Indianapolis, IN for the National FFA (historically known as the Future Farmers of America) convention after a two-year, COVID-induced hiatus from the huge gathering of our nation’s next generation of farmers and ranchers. FFA estimates over 65,000 attendees this year!
We’ll be at booth #411 for anyone who may be attending. Please stop by and say howdy, grab some bison swag and jerky thanks to a generous donation from the Durham Ranch in Wright, Wyoming! We’ll also have some fun bison- themed games to engage the attendees, quality information about getting into the bison business, and flash drives packed with current information for advisors to take home and hopefully add bison to their classroom curriculums. 
The NBA had been one of the few “alternative agriculture” informational booths at the FFA national convention over the ten-plus years that it has had a presence at the event, and both students and advisors have always engaged us with great questions about the bison business and how to get started. It will be interesting to see how attitudes towards bison have changed since we were last at FFA in 2019, as it’s a bit of a different world we’re operating in now, including agriculture. But we are certain that we’ll again be greeted with more genuine enthusiasm for our national mammal of the United States, and our growing market from what is always an appreciative crowd.
Said Whitman, “This is an amazing opportunity for us to directly reach tens of thousands of prospective bison growers to spread our message that bison is the premier regenerative livestock tool that has a growing, relatively unregulated market that rewards quality and responsible stewardship. We’re also not shy about sharing the “cool factor” that bison carry as these young farmers and ranchers choose their agricultural path in life. That’s why we’re there and the impact that we’ll be making on them won’t soon be forgotten.”
The NBA is able to participate in this and other trade shows that promote bison at all levels, which raises awareness of what we do and ultimately increases our acceptance in mainstream agriculture, thanks to contributions to the NBA Growth Fund. The Growth Fund is designed for bison marketers to donate $1/head of bison sourced, and for producers to donate $1/head sold, which results in a promotional fund that the NBA utilizes for its outreach and education to both producers and consumers. Please consider donating to the Growth Fund, which can be considered a business expense, as we close out the year at and help us continue to educate both consumers and producers about our little sector of American agriculture. 
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