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Bison Legacy Act Readied for House Introduction

Bison Legacy Act Readied for House Introduction

The congressional champions of the legislation to designate bison as the National Mammal of the United States have been clearing away the procedural hurdles in the U.S. House of Representatives in preparation for formally pushing passage of the bill in that chamber.

Since passage of the Bison Legacy Act in the U.S. Senate in December. U.S. Reps William Lacy Clay (D-MO) and Kristi Noem (R-SD) have been in negotiations with the leadership of the House Oversight and Reform committee to move similar legislation in the House. The previous chair of that committee, U.S. Rep Darrell Issa (R-CA) had refused to consider any legislation deemed to be classified as commemorative. The new chair, Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) has indicated more receptivity to considering the Legacy Act.

The legislation is being sponsored in the House by U.S. Rep Jeff Fortenberry (R-NY), and by Rep. Clay. In addition to Fortenberry, Clay and Noem, the current list of co-sponsors of the Bison Legacy Act in the House is: Yevette Clarke (D-NY), Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO). Kevin Kramer (R-ND), Richard Hanna (R-NY), Ron Kinds (D-WI), John Kline (R-MN), Brenda Lawrence (D-MI), Daniel Lipinski (D-IL), Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), Janice Schakowsky (D-IL) and Joes Serrano (D-NY)

We encourage members to ask their Representative to join on as a cosponsor of the Bison Legacy Act,” said NBA Executive Director Dave Carter. “As we saw in December, legislative support for this initiative generates extensive positive coverage. Full implementation of this bill would be a significant public relations success for us.”

Information on the legislation, and how to contact members of congress, is available at: http://votebison.org.

The Vote Bison coalition now includes roughly 60 organizations and businesses.


National Bison Association Jr. Judging Contest Winners Announced

National Bison Association Jr. Judging Contest Winners Announced

DENVER—Young people age 8 to 21 competed Jan. 20, for $3,600 in individual scholarships and team trophies at the National Bison Association’s (NBA) Eighth Annual Junior Judging Contest.  Taking top honors and a $1,500 scholarship provided by the National Buffalo Foundation was Krista Carter, Alliance, Neb., a student at Northeastern Jr. College (NJC), Sterling, Colo., who scored 229 points.  The top placing team, scoring a total of 686 points, was also from NJC and included Carter, Logan Criswell, Chappell, Neb.; Lonny Trehal, Kiowa, Colo.; and Tyler Bauer, Loveland, Colo. The team is coached by Randell VonKrosigk, Sterling. Colo.

Carter’s total score put her in a tie with Logan Criswell, who also scored 229 points. Carter, however, scored higher in oral reasons, the tie breaker in livestock judging, placing Criswell second. He receives a $1,200 scholarship, sponsored by Rocky Mountain Buffalo Association. Lonny Trehal placed third with 228 points and was awarded a $900 scholarship from Rocky Mountain Natural Meats.

The second place team from Colby, Kan., FFA scored a total of 668 points and included Makayla Hoffman, Christian Callihan, Alexsis Dennis and Lauren Dempewolf. The team’s coach and FFA advisor is Sara Sloan.

The third-place team, scoring a total of 612.5 points, was from Brewster, Kan., FFA. Team members were Grace Oard, Koebe Lorg, Austin Bear, and Jake Benham. They are coached by Advisor Tom Rundel.

 “The judging ability and quality of reasons continues to develop as this national contest grows,” said Dave Carter, NBA executive director.  “The growing interest also is a reflection of the increased attention by producers, especially young producers, in raising bison as a career.”

The NBA’s Junior Judging program is based on criteria used in 4-H and FFA livestock judging contests.  The bison judging program was started by NBA member and Stratford, Okla., veterinarian Dr. Gerald Parsons.  He is the administrator of the NBA’s National Jr. Judging Contest.

“The level of interest and the quality of junior judges in this contest bodes well for the continued growth of the U.S. bison industry,” Parsons said.  “We are glad to see young people interested in this business and learning about bison.”

The contest was held at the National Western Stock Show (NWSS), Denver, Colo., in conjunction with the NBA’s 2016 Gold Trophy Show & Sale.  Contestants judged four classes: yearling heifers, bull calves, two-year-old bred heifers and two-year-old bulls, and gave reasons on one class.  Each animal class and the reasons class had a total possible point value of 50, making 250 total points a perfect score. Team scores are calculated using the top three individual scores.

The NBA offers a junior membership, which provides young people 21 and younger with the same benefits as its producer members but for a discounted rate of $50 annually.


Bison Ranchers to Gather to Celebrate Growth, Plan Future

Bison Ranchers to Gather to Celebrate Growth, Plan Future

Denver, CO (January 5, 2016) – The nearly 400 ranchers, marketers and bison enthusiasts expected to gather January 20-22 at the 21st Anniversary National Bison Association convention at the Denver Renaissance Hotel will be bringing with them a spirit of optimism, and a commitment to continued growth, according to Dave Carter, executive director of the association.

“The bison business is finished 2015 in a record position of strength and stability,” Carter said. “The ranchers-and prospective ranchers-attending our convention are at the vanguard to restoring bison to their native habitat across the country. They are able to do that because the American public has discovered the great taste and nutritional attributes of all-natural bison meat.”

Carter noted that many conference sessions are designed to assist existing producers in addressing production and marketing issues. Several other sessions, though, are intended to assist newcomers in getting a start in the bison business.

“Right now, our biggest challenge is to continue to build herds of bison across the United States. The National Bison Association Winter Conference is the perfect gathering place for anyone to learn about the opportunities to get involved in this growing segment of agriculture,” Carter said.
           
Many of the conference educational sessions will take place during the conference. A special Buffalo Mentors’ Workshop planned at 9:30 a.m. on the 21st will connect bison newcomers with experienced ranchers in their region. On Friday afternoon, January 22nd, the “Buffaleros” overseeing the bison at the association’s Gold Trophy Show at the National Western Stock Show will provide a demonstration on safe, low-stress handling of buffalo.
           
“The greatest value in the conference is the opportunity to develop connections and relationships with fellow producers,” Carter said.
           
A complete schedule for the NBA Winter Conference is available on the association website at www.bisoncentral.com. The association also offers a special Join ‘n Go package that includes membership in the National Bison Association, along with a full conference registration.

Senate Passes Bill to Make Bison Our National Mammal

Senate Passes Bill to Make Bison Our National Mammal

WASHINGTON (December 4, 2015) – The Vote Bison Coalition hailed the Senate passage of the National Bison Legacy Act as a major step toward officially recognizing one of America’s most iconic animals as the National Mammal of the United States.
 
The bill has been introduced in three consecutive Congresses, but this is the first time it has passed either house. The bill was introduced by Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) and Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) along with a bipartisan group of 11 co-sponsors, with the support of more than 50 organizations, businesses and tribes in the Vote Bison Coalition. A version of the bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives by Reps. William Lacy Clay (D-MO), Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), Kristi Noem (R-SD) and José Serrano (D-NY).
 
Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) said, “The bison, like the bald eagle, has for many years been a symbol of America for its strength, endurance and dignity, reflecting the pioneer spirit of our country. It makes sense for this noble animal to serve as our national mammal. The National Bison Legacy Act recognizes the important cultural and economic role the bison has played in our history, in North Dakota and across our nation.”
 
Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) said, “Bison hold a rich historic and cultural significance for the United States, and in particular for our tribal nations. They represent resiliency and are an enduring symbol of American strength. Recognition of our new national mammal will bring greater attention to the ongoing effort to conserve this unique species.”
 
The Vote Bison Coalition, led by steering committee members the Inter-Tribal Buffalo Council, National Bison Association and Wildlife Conservation Society, formed in 2012 to make bison the National Mammal and to celebrate National Bison Day annually on the 1st Saturday of November. The coalition counts more than 50 businesses, tribal groups and organizations who have banded together to support efforts to celebrate bison.
 
John Calvelli, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Executive Vice President of Public Affairs, said, “We are truly appreciative that the Senate has recognized the iconic nature of the American bison by passing the National Bison Legacy Act. This animal, which has played such a unique role in our nation’s conservation and cultural history, is truly deserving of a place of honor as our national mammal. I urge the House of Representatives to take similar action and pass this bipartisan legislation to celebrate an American icon.”
 
Jim Stone, Executive Director of the Inter-Tribal Buffalo Council, said: “The Inter Tribal Buffalo Council and our 60 Member Tribes have a long standing relationship with the buffalo that is based on honoring and respecting the buffalo. The NBLA is consistent with that relationship and we are very proud to be a part of this effort and thankful for the support shown by everyone involved in this effort.”
 
Dave Carter, Executive Director of the National Bison Association, said: “Bison ranchers appreciate the Senate’s action to recognize the importance of this majestic animal, not only as a cultural icon, but also as a growing part of American agriculture and the American diet.”
 
Keith Aune, WCS Senior Conservationist, said: “The American Bison represents an important symbol of our countries history and the birth of a unique conservation movement. Bison are worthy of this significant recognition from the U.S. Senate and the people they represent. This Senate action is well fitted with the great advances we are making in bison conservation for the 21st Century.”
 

About the American bison

Bison have an important role in America’s history, culture and economy. Before being nearly wiped from existence by westward expansion, bison roamed across most of North America. The species is acknowledged as the first American conservation success story, having been brought back from the brink of extinction by a concerted effort of ranchers, conservationists and politicians to save the species in the early 20th century. In 1907, President Teddy Roosevelt and the American Bison Society began this effort by shipping 15 animals by train from the Bronx Zoo to Oklahoma’s Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. Many Native American tribes revere bison as a sacred and spiritual symbol of their heritage and maintain private bison herds on tribal lands throughout the West. Bison now exist in all 50 states in public and private herds, providing recreation opportunities for wildlife viewers in zoos, refuges and parks and sustaining the multimillion dollar bison ranching and production business.
 
Bison currently appear on two state flags, on the seal of the Department of the Interior, and on U.S. currency. In addition, bison have been adopted as the state mammal of Wyoming and the state animal of Oklahoma and Kansas. The bison is the nation’s most culturally recognizable mammal and as such deserves recognition through designation and celebration.
 
Bison continue to sustain and provide cultural value to Native Americans and Indian Tribes. More than 60 tribes are working to restore bison to over 1,000,000 acres of Indian lands in South Dakota, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Montana, and other states. Today, bison remain integrally linked with the spiritual lives of Native Americans through cultural practices, social ceremonies and religious rituals.
 
Bison production on private ranches is in its strongest economic condition in more than a decade. The total value of privately owned bison on more than 2,500 bison ranches in the U.S. was estimated to exceed $280 million in 2013. Bison ranches in states including South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Texas, Colorado, and Montana create jobs, provide a sustainable and healthy meat source, and contribute to our nation’s food security.
 
The bison, North America’s largest land mammal, once roamed the continent freely, helping sustain plains and prairie ecosystems as a keystone species through grazing, fertilization, trampling and other activities. Bison shaped the vegetation and landscape as they fed on and dispersed the seeds of grasses, sedges, and forbs. Several bird species adapted to or co-evolved with types of grasses and vegetation structures that had been, for millennia, grazed by millions of free-ranging bison.
 


Happy National Bison Day!

Happy National Bison Day!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Inter-Tribal Buffalo Council
National Bison Association
Wildlife Conservation Society   
 
Contact:
Chip Weiskotten, 202-347-0672 x8172; cweiskotten@wcs.org
Stephen Sautner, 718-220-3682; ssautner@wcs.org
 
 
Happy National Bison Day! 
America Celebrates on Saturday, November 7
       
4th annual National Bison Day will celebrate the ecological, cultural, and economic contributions of America’s largest land animal
 
Celebrate on social media with #BeardsforBison and #NationalBisonDay

 
WASHINGTON (November 6, 2015) – The Vote Bison Coalition is proud to celebrate National Bison Day, an annual commemoration of the ecological, cultural, historical and economic contribution of a national icon, the American bison.
 
On Saturday, November 7, bison supporters across the country will host events celebrating bison in their communities. In past years, Native Americans, bison producers, conservationists, sportsmen, educators and other public and private partners commemorated the day with events and promotional activities in dozens of states.
 
Supporters will also engage on social media using #NationalBisonDay and through the Beards for Bison campaign, where to snap a photo of themselves wearing a beard (real, or a fake one printed from beardsforbison.org) and post it to social media with the hashtag #beardsforbison.
 
Last week, the Senate passed a resolution officially recognizing National Bison Day as Saturday, November 7, 2015. The resolution was led by Sen. Michael Enzi (R-WY) and Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN), and co-sponsored by a bipartisan mix of Senators.
 
The effort is supported by the Vote Bison Coalition, a group of more than 50 organizations, tribes and businesses led by the Inter-Tribal Buffalo Council, National Bison Association, and Wildlife Conservation Society.
 
John Calvelli, WCS Executive Vice President of Public Affairs, said: “National Bison Day is a chance to celebrate the ways in which bison represent our national identity, our history, and our culture. The bison is an animal that should inspire all Americans when they see it, and one that should make us feel proud. From its spiritual symbolism to Native Americans, to its history as America’s first conservation success story, we commemorate bison this day as an icon that is uniquely American.”
 
Jim Stone, Executive Director of the Inter-Tribal Buffalo Council, said: “Once again, Indian Country is looking forward to celebrate National Bison as a testament to the iconic nature of the bison. The standing of the bison in the eyes of the country is ever increasing and is fulfilling the dreams of tribal communities.”
 
Dave Carter, Executive Director of the National Bison Association, said: “National Bison Day rightfully honors this magnificent animal, and helps focus attention on the work being done by private ranchers, conservationists and tribal leaders to bring bison back to pastures and rangelands across the country.”
 
Keith Aune, WCS Senior Conservationist and Bison Program Coordinator, said: “The American Bison is a truly iconic species that is readily recognized by people of all ages as one of the most significant and impressive wildlife species in North America.  Its role in shaping our American grasslands and place in our colorful history make it worthy of recognition as our National Mammal.  Few species have such a powerful story and lasting influence on human cultures, economies and natural environments.”
 
The bison, North America’s largest land mammal, have an important role in America’s history, culture and economy. Before being nearly wiped from existence by westward expansion, bison roamed across most of North America. The species is acknowledged as the first American conservation success story, having been brought back from the brink of extinction by a concerted effort of ranchers, conservationists and politicians to save the species in the early 20th century. In 1907, President Teddy Roosevelt and the American Bison Society began this effort by shipping 15 animals by train from the Bronx Zoo to Oklahoma’s Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. Many Native American tribes revere bison as a sacred and spiritual symbol of their heritage and maintain private bison herds on tribal lands throughout the West. Bison now exist in all 50 states in public and private herds, providing recreation opportunities for wildlife viewers in zoos, refuges and parks and sustaining the multimillion dollar bison ranching and production business.
 
In addition to Sens. Enzi and Donnelly, the National Bison Day resolution was co-sponsored by Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND), Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA), Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS), Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), Sen. John Tester (D-MT), Sen. John Thune (R-SD), Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM), Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS). 
 
 
About the American Bison, a National Icon
 
Bison have an important role in America’s history, culture and economy. Before being nearly wiped from existence by westward expansion, bison roamed across most of North America. The species is acknowledged as the first American conservation success story, having been brought back from the brink of extinction by a concerted effort of ranchers, conservationists and politicians to save the species in the early 20th century. In 1907, President Teddy Roosevelt and the American Bison Society began this effort by shipping 15 animals by train from the Bronx Zoo to Oklahoma’s Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. Many Native American tribes revere bison as a sacred and spiritual symbol of their heritage and maintain private bison herds on tribal lands throughout the West. Bison now exist in all 50 states in public and private herds, providing recreation opportunities for wildlife viewers in zoos, refuges and parks and sustaining the multimillion dollar bison ranching and production business.
 
Bison currently appear on two state flags, on the seal of the Department of the Interior, and on U.S. currency. In addition, bison have been adopted as the state mammal of Wyoming and the state animal of Oklahoma and Kansas. The bison is the nation’s most culturally recognizable mammal and as such deserves recognition through designation and celebration.
 
Bison continue to sustain and provide cultural value to Native Americans and Indian Tribes. More than 60 tribes are working to restore bison to over 1,000,000 acres of Indian lands in South Dakota, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Montana, and other states. Today, bison remain integrally linked with the spiritual lives of Native Americans through cultural practices, social ceremonies and religious rituals.
 
Bison production on private ranches is in its strongest economic condition in more than a decade. The total value of privately owned bison on more than 2,500 bison ranches in the U.S. was estimated to exceed $280 million in 2013. Bison ranches in states including South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Texas, Colorado, and Montana create jobs, provide a sustainable and healthy meat source, and contribute to our nation’s food security.
 
The bison, North America’s largest land mammal, once roamed the continent freely, helping sustain plains and prairie ecosystems as a keystone species through grazing, fertilization, trampling and other activities. Bison shaped the vegetation and landscape as they fed on and dispersed the seeds of grasses, sedges, and forbs. Several bird species adapted to or co-evolved with types of grasses and vegetation structures that had been, for millennia, grazed by millions of free-ranging bison.
 
The Vote Bison Coalition, led by steering committee members the Inter-Tribal Buffalo Council, National Bison Association and Wildlife Conservation Society, formed in 2012 to make bison the National Mammal and to celebrate National Bison Day annually on the 1st Saturday of November. The coalition counts more than 50 businesses, tribal groups and organizations who have banded together to support efforts to celebrate bison. Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Chief Earl Old Person of the Blackfoot Nation, and Ted Roosevelt V, great-great grandson of President Roosevelt, serve as the Advisory Council to the coalition.
 
For more information on the Vote Bison Coalition, please visit VoteBison.org


Throlson American Bison Foundation Scholarship Now Accepting 2015 Applications

Throlson American Bison Foundation Scholarship Now Accepting 2015 Applications

Westminster, CO (July 1, 2015) -The National Bison Association (NBA) has announced the 2015 Throlson American Bison Foundation Scholarship amid continued growth in consumer demand for healthy, natural bison meat.

The Throlson American Bison Foundation is named after its founder, Dr. Ken Throlson, DVM, a pioneer of the modern bison business and awards three outstanding college students with an interest in the burgeoning bison industry.

“The Throlson American Bison Foundation Scholarship program has been established to recognize, encourage and promote leadership among future bison industry professionals,” said Dave Carter, executive director of the NBA.
   
In November 2015, the Throlson American Bison Foundation will award scholarships totaling, but not limited to, $5,000 to outstanding college junior, senior or graduate students studying fields related to the bison industry.

This year an additional scholarship will be awarded in the memory of Richard Zahringer to a student pursuing a degree in agriculture economics, ag-business, or accounting. Ideally this student will have future interest in livestock and specifically bison. This scholarship will be a minimum of $1,000.

 Applications are available for download at the NBA’s website, www.bisoncentral.com, on the Throlson Bison Foundation tab, or just click here.   
 
Applications must be completed and mailed or emailed to the NBA no later than Oct. 1, 2015.  Recipient announcements will be made no later than Nov. 5, 2015.  For more information, contact the NBA office at (303) 292-2833, or jim@bisoncentral.com. 

The NBA also has a Junior membership for individuals ages 21 and younger that are interested in the bison community.  NBA Junior Members can access member information on the website, receive discounted conference rates, consign animals to the Gold Trophy Show & Sale held in Denver in conjunction with the National Western Stock Show, and receive a subscription to Bison World and the NBA newsletter, The Weekly Update.  The Junior Membership is $50 annually.
Learn more at www.bisoncentral.com.   


Producers Laud Change on U.S. – Canadian Bison Shipping Rules

Producers Laud Change on U.S. – Canadian Bison Shipping Rules

New ID Requirements Reduce Stress on Animals, Costs for Producers

(April 13, 2015) – The leaders of the U.S. National Bison Association and the Canadian Bison Association today applauded the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture for implementing a new directive that eliminates the requirement that bison imported into the United States from Canada be branded.
   
The new directive replaces the branding requirement with a new rule that allows producers to identify animals with an approved RFID (Radio Frequency) tag compliant with the U.S. National Animal Identification System, and a secondary ear tag bearing the official identification number.

“This is a very positive development for the bison business. The National Bison Association, Canadian Bison Association and individual producers have worked with our respective federal agencies to request this new procedure. We are very pleased that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the U.S. Department of
Agriculture responded to our requests,” said Bruce Anderson, president of the National Bison Association.

Mark Silzer, President of the Canadian Bison Association noted, “These developments are very positive for bison and the bison industry. We have been working to remove the requirements for branding since the requirement was imposed about 10 years ago. Also, reduced requirements for importation of bison to Canada from the United States will provide easier access for Canadian producers to enhance their herds’ genetic base.”
  
The new rule is effective as of April 8, 2015. A transitional periods will take place until May 8 to accommodate health certificates issued prior to the effective date of the new rule. See more details here


The National Bison’s Lone Star Legacy Rolls Into the Fort Worth Stockyards

The National Bison’s Lone Star Legacy Rolls Into the Fort Worth Stockyards

More than 200 bison producers and enthusiasts will gather at the Historic Fort Worth Stockyards June 1-3, as the National Bison Association–in cooperation with the Texas Bison Association–hosts three days of workshops, networking events and recreational activities at its annual summer conference.

The Fort Worth Stockyards, a national historic district, offer a rich cultural experience of the American west with a focus on livestock. Most conference activities will be held in the heart of the Stockyards, with some optional trips to nearby bison attractions.

Some highlights are to include a welcome address from Fort Worth Mayor, Betsy Price. The Lone Star Legacy conference program will offer something for everyone to take home, thanks to its varied and quality conference programming. See a full agenda and register here.  

The NBA Summer Conference changes location on an annual basis, and is a great opportunity to enjoy the largest network of bison producers, processors, marketers and enthusiasts who make up our buffalo community. Each year we offer a family-friendly, three-day conference that is packed with educational and networking opportunities, as well as plenty of time to socialize and catch up with old friends.

The National Bison Association is a nonprofit organization which works with American ranchers and farmers, over 1,100 of whom are members of the NBA, who are the stewards of over 90% of the bison population today. The NBA works each day to bring together all stakeholders to celebrate the heritage of American bison/buffalo, to educate about, and to create a sustainable future for our industry. Learn more at www.bisoncentral.com.


2015 National Bison Association Jr. Judging Contest Winners Announced

2015 National Bison Association Jr. Judging Contest Winners Announced

Colby, Kan., Weld Central, Colo. Contestants Shine, $4,600 in Scholarships Doled Out

NATIONAL WESTERN STOCK SHOW, DENVER, COLO.—Bison judging contestants vied Jan. 21, for $4,600 in individual scholarships and team trophies at the National Bison Association’s (NBA) Seventh Annual Junior Judging Contest.  Taking top honors and a $1,500 scholarship with an overall score of 226.5, was Chase Cervsosky from Colby, Kan. The top placing team, scoring a total of 659.5 points, was from Colby (Kansas) FFA, and included Cervsosky, Christian Calliham, Alexsis Dennis and Tresta Urban. The team is coached by Colby FFA Advisor Tom Rundel and was one of two Colby FFA entries.

Second place individual and a $1,200 scholarship with a score of 219 was Hunter Bellm, Brighton, Colo. Bellm also was a member of the second place team, which hailed from Weld Central (Colorado) FFA.  Her other teammates included Levi Lemons and Taya Baumgartner. The second place team had a total score of 637. This team was coached by Weld Central FFA Advisor Willard Kendall.

Third place individual, winning a $900 scholarship with a score of 218 points was Tresta Urban, Colby, Kan., also a member of the first place team. Coming in third in team standings with a total point tally of 605 was also a team from Colby FFA. Members of this team consisted of Makayla Hoffman, Grace Oard, Dalton Colgan and Dalton Ellis.

Generous scholarship donors upped the contributions to double last year’s pot, providing scholarships for additional contestants. Taking fourth place and a $600 scholarship with 216 points was Makayla Hoffman, Colby FFA.  Fifth place and a $300 scholarship went to Christian Calliham, who with 215 points was a member of the first place team. In sixth place with a score of 214 points and winning a $100 scholarship was Levi Lemons, Hudson, Colo., a member of the second place team from Weld Central FFA.

The contest was held at the National Western Stock Show (NWSS), Denver, Colo., in conjunction with the NBA’s 2015 Gold Trophy Show & Sale.  Contestants judged four classes: yearling heifers, heifer calves, yearling bulls and bull calves, and gave reasons on yearling bull class.  Each animal class and the reasons class had a total possible point value of 50, making 250 total points a perfect score.

 “This is a great industry and a wonderful species, and we are pleased to see young, potential producers take an interest in bison,” said Dave Carter, NBA executive director.   “We are very pleased that these and other contestants braved the storm and made it to Denver for this contest,”

According to Dr. Gerald Parsons, DVM, Stratford, Okla., who started and administers the NBA Jr. Judging Contest, the program is a good way for young people to learn more about bison. “Following the contest, we took the kids out to the judging pens to discuss why they were placed the way there were as well as to talk about bison as livestock for aspiring producers.”

Also initiated by Parsons is the mentoring program between producers and FFA chapters wishing to learn more and get hands on experience. In addition, the NBA offers a junior membership, which provides young people 21 years of age and younger with the same benefits as its producer members but for a discounted rate of $50 annually.


Optimism Prevails at 20th Anniversary Meeting of Bison Association

Optimism Prevails at 20th Anniversary Meeting of Bison Association

Ranchers, Marketers See Strong Growth for Buffalo Business

DENVER, CO (January 28, 2015) – Optimistic attitudes among bison producers attending the National Bison Association’s 20th Anniversary conference and strong prices paid at the annual bison auction held at the National Western Stock Show here last week, both reflect the strong outlook for the buffalo business in the coming years.
   
“Attendance at our annual conference and the prices paid during the Gold Trophy Show and Sale both demonstrate that our ranchers and marketers have built a strong foundation for the continued growth of our business,” said Dave Carter, executive director of the National Bison Association.
   
According to Carter, the nearly 400 ranchers attending the association’s annual conference here in late January included many newcomers to the business.
   
“The bison business today is on solid footing because we have built a strong relationship with our customers based upon the quality of our meat, and the integrity of our animals,” Carter said. “The general sessions and smaller workshops at our conference focused heavily on the steps needed to continue to build our business. The optimism among our long-time producers, and the energy of the newcomers to our business, combined to make for an exciting conference.”
   
The optimism was evident on Saturday, as ranchers continued to demonstrate a willingness to invest in quality breeding stock to build their herds.  Two-year old bred heifers brought an average of $5,159 during the association’s Gold Trophy Sale at the Stock Show, compared to the $3,157 average price paid at the 2014 event. Yearling heifers averaged $3,361, and heifer calves sold for an average of $1,609.   Two-Year Old bulls averaged $8,656, yearling bulls averaged $5,147, and bull calves averaged $2,365.
   
Bison Spirit Ranch of Manitoba, Canada captured the Grand Champion Bull Trophy and Bridger Valley Buffalo of Lyman, WY captured the Grand Champion Female Award. Misty Brady of Bridger Valley Buffalo was named Producer of the Year.
   
Members attending the bison association’s annual conference also re-elected Bruce Anderson of South Dakota to serve another year as President. Roy Liedtke of Texas was elected Vice President, and Jason Moore of Indiana was elected Secretary Treasurer, and Dick Gehring of Kansas was elected Director at Large. Paul Kolesar of Alberta was elected by the NBA members to serve as International Director on the association board.
   
Peter Cook of Indiana will continue to chair the board meetings as Past President.
   
At the association’s annual awards banquet, Bud Koeppen of Indiana was honored as Member of the Year for his volunteer efforts on behalf of the bison industry.