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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.


Carcass Breakdown Demonstration Set for National Bison Association Conference

Carcass Breakdown Demonstration Set for National Bison Association Conference

Chef to Show Ranchers Specialized Butchering Techniques

Westminster, CO (January 20, 2015) – Ranchers and guest attending the National Bison Association annual meeting on Friday will pick up some tips on “how to make the cut” in quality meat, as a local chef and butchery instructor is scheduled to conduct a breakdown demonstration on two portions of a bison carcass at 9 a.m. at the Denver Renaissance Hotel at 3808 Quebec St.

Jon Emanuel, the Executive Chef at Project Angel Heart in Denver, and a Butchery Instructor with the Rocky Mountain Institute of Meat, will break down two parts of the front quarter of a bison, to show the ranchers and other conference attendees how to maximize the value of meat from those two segment. The two segments scheduled to be broken down are the shoulder clod and the chuck roll.

Dave Carter, executive director of the National Bison Association, explained, “Ranchers generally focus their attention on producing quality meat though good genetic selection, proper nutrition, and sound animal stewardship. We also know that much of the quality is determined as the carcass is transformed into the finished cuts of meat. We are pleased to have Chef Emanuel available to provide a demonstration.
The carcass breakdown will take place in the lower ballroom at the Renaissance Hotel, beginning at 9 a.m. The event is open to the public.

The shoulder clod and chuck roll are being donated by Frontiere Natural Meats in Denver, and the finished cuts will be donated to Project Angel Heart to be used in preparing nutritious meals for people coping with life-threatening illnesses.


Premier Bison Breeding Animals at National Western Stock Show

Premier Bison Breeding Animals at National Western Stock Show

Annual Gold Trophy Sale to Include On-Line Bidding Opportunity

Denver, CO (January 19, 2015) – With consumer demand continuing to fuel strong retail bison meat prices, the 81 head of quality animals scheduled to be auctioned as the National Bison Association Gold Trophy Sale at the National Western Stock Show January 24 offer ranchers a chance to build profitable herds with world-class genetics.
   
The animals to be auctioned at 11 a.m. at the Stock Show Livestock Center Arena on January 24th  will include the Grand Champion Bull and Heifer as selected during the Gold Trophy Show on the Thursday and Friday prior to the sale. All of the bison in the sale represent premier stock from ranches throughout the United States and Canada.

In cooperation with liveauctions.tv, the National Bison Association will provide real-time on-line video streaming of the animals in the auction arena, and the ability to accept the internet offers during the bidding. Bidders can simply log on to www.liveuctions.tv and select National Bison Association Gold Trophy Sale.
   
Dave Carter, executive director of the National Bison Association, said that the animals coming into the arena at the Gold Trophy Sale can provide a strong foundation for new and existing producers.

“The bison business is strong because of growing customer demand for delicious, healthy bison meat.  The Gold Trophy Show and Sale is recognized as the premier event for quality breeding stock in the United States, and is the best place for producers to go to start—or to expand—their herds,”  Carter said. The consignment of animals scheduled at the Gold Trophy Sale include bull and heifer calves, yearling bulls and heifers, two-year-old bred heifers, and two-year-old bulls.
   
The live animal sale will begin at 11 a.m. in the Livestock Center auction arena in the National Western yards. At 10 a.m., the association will auction 19 bison carcasses that were entered in the Market-Class competition.
   
“The live animal sale gives ranchers an opportunity to build their herds, and the market class competition is a great opportunity for local residents to bid on meat that can be cut and wrapped to their specification,” Carter said.
   
Information on the annual Gold Trophy Show and Sale is available on the National Bison Association’s website, www.bisoncentral.com. Producers can also register for on-line bidding through the LiveAuction website at www.liveauction.tv.    


Bison Ranchers Set to Gather to Celebrate Business Growth, Profitability

Bison Ranchers Set to Gather to Celebrate Business Growth, Profitability

Denver, CO (January 12, 2015) – Twenty years after the leaders of two buffalo groups came together to forge the National Bison Association, an estimated 350 ranchers, marketers and bison enthusiasts will gather January 21-23 at the Denver Renaissance Hotel to celebrate the current success and plan for future growth, according to Dave Carter, executive director of the association.

“The bison business is finishing 2014 in its strongest economic position in history,” Carter said. “Ranchers are in a position to restore more bison to more of its native rangeland, primarily because the public has discovered the great taste and nutritional attributes of all-natural bison meat.”

 The 20th anniversary conference will feature several segments to reflect on the past two decades, but Carter said that the majority of sessions will focus on continuing to grow the 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 on Thursday, January 22nd. A special Buffalo Mentors’ Workshop planned at 10 a.m. on the 22nd will connect bison newcomers with experienced ranchers in their region. That afternoon, a series of break-out sessions will cover topics ranging from animal handling and pasture management, to social media and marketing byproducts.
   
“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 NBA, along with a full conference registration.


National Bison Day 2014: America Celebrates a National Icon on November 1st

National Bison Day 2014: America Celebrates a National Icon on November 1st

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Washington, D.C. – October 31, 2014 – The Vote Bison Coalition is joining bison-friendly businesses, groups and individuals around the country today to celebrate the third annual National Bison Day on Saturday, November 1. More than 19 events are occurring in at least 15 states to celebrate National Bison Day, with many more people weighing in on social media, to commemorate the historical, economic, ecological and cultural contributions of bison across the American landscape.

The Vote Bison Coalition, comprised of the Inter-Tribal Buffalo Council, National Bison Association, Wildlife Conservation Society, and more than 50 other organizations, businesses and tribes, supports National Bison Day as a way to celebrate the bison as an American icon.

On Saturday, November 1, bison supporters across the country will host events celebrating bison in their communities. On National Bison Day in 2013, Native Americans, bison producers, conservationists, sportsmen, educators and other public and private partners commemorated the day with events and promotional activities in: DC, FL, IA, KS, KY, ND, NJ, NY, OK, SD, TX, VA, and WY.  The number of National Bison Day events has increased every year it has been celebrated.

This year, the coalition sponsored a social media promotion called Beards for Bison, where supporters are encouraged 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.

The U.S. Senate passed a resolution on October 29th that officially recognizes National Bison Day. The resolution was sponsored by Sen. Michael Enzi (R-WY) and Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD) and attracted 20 other bipartisan co-sponsors. The resolution followed the passage of a similar resolution in 2013.  The Vote Bison Coalition plans to continue pushing for a National Bison Day resolution each year as a way to celebrate bison annually on the first Saturday of November.

John Calvelli, WCS Executive Vice President of Public Affairs, said, “National Bison Day continues to grow every year as more and more Americans recognize and appreciate bison, which are as unique to our national heritage and identity as baseball, apple pie and the bald eagle. This National Bison Day, I encourage bison supporters across the country to get involved via social media or by visiting a bison herd in person at their local zoo or public herd.”

Jim Stone, Executive Director of the Inter-Tribal Buffalo Council, said: “I would like to once again express my thanks for the continuation of Bison Day and hope that one day there will be a permanent designation for the bison. The past year has shown an increase in the awareness of bison issues and an expansion of dialogue around bison. The Tribal communities continue to keep the bison close to them and encourage people to explore the rich bison cultures that continue to exist in this country.”

Dave Carter, Executive Director of the National Bison Association, said: “The American prairie, which long sustained the American bison, continues to be shaped by this magnificent animal as farmers and ranchers restore the bison to its native landscape in a sustainable and humane manner.”

Keith Aune, WCS Senior Conservationist and Bison Program Coordinator, said: “Western science combined with ancient traditional knowledge describes many important relationships that large herds of bison maintained with other animals and humans. This year’s National Bison Day celebration provides an opportunity for people to go to events that explore those relationships and learn about the impact bison had on shaping the American landscape and human cultures.”

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