COVID-19 – Facing the Storm

The COVID-19 outbreak has hit every corner of our country like a brutal winter blizzard.

Blizzards are nothing new for bison…or for the ranchers who take care of them.

Bison meat processors and marketers are on the front lines of navigating through the shifting market dynamics right now. While their food service customers have disappeared, retail customers are demanding extra product to re-stock depleted meat cases. In fact, there’s evidence that many shoppers stocking up on meat at the grocery store may be purchasing bison for the first time.

Processors and marketers are also wrestling with the challenges of keeping a safe, healthy workforce in place during a time of social distancing.

COVID-19 is impacting everyone. We are definitely headed into a period of uncertainty and challenges in the weeks ahead. Social distancing, sanitation, and common sense will help keep us all safe.

It’s during times like these that we can learn from the bison: face into the storm, keep moving forward, and lower our metabolism. While we may have to keep our personal distance from one another, there is no reason our “herd” can’t continue to support and check on each other. We don’t have to face this challenge alone.

In the next couple of weeks, red calves will start dotting pastures of rapidly greening grass across much of bison country.

Here’s a tip for the coming weeks: Turn off the news, and go out into your pastures and enjoy some “Bison TV.” Those calves are the promise of warmer days ahead.