Bison ‘the perfect animal’ to promote for consumers

Vince McConnell shares photos from around the world as inspiration for bison producers to be brave and embrace new marketing ideas.  |  Mary MacArthur photo

Presenter at the recent Wild Rose Bison Convention in Camrose, Alta., lauded the attributes of bison meat

CAMROSE, Alta. — Bison are the ideal animal for consumers’ changing diet, said an agrologist and sustainable agriculture adviser.

Bison meat is healthy, the animal is native to North America and is the ideal grass animal, Vince McConnell told bison producers at their annual meeting.

Instead of trying to compete with traditional livestock and markets, McConnell encouraged producers to explore, be brave and be different when marketing their unique product.

“Bison is the ultimate grass animal. It is a historic animal which put carbon back into the soil. It is an elevator speech that has to be told across the world.”

McConnell showed pictures of his travels across the world from cooking for millionaires on Baffin Island with $1,000 bottles of wine and perfectly cooked beef to meat-filled feasts in South America.

Many consumers are looking for meat that has a story, said McConnell. There is a need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and bison are the ideal animals. Consumers want to eat less meat and bison’s nutrient dense meat also fits the bill.

“It is the perfect animal,” he said.

“Can bison become the John Deere machinery of tomorrow,” asked McConnell, referring to the high-quality farm equipment.

McConnell said producers need to share their story of bison grazing on wide-open spaces, the tranquility of the ranch, the bison’s history and its future with consumers.

“We can really produce some pretty incredible products if we listen to nature. What we think consumers want we are often wrong. Data is available instead of pushing stuff on people they don’t necessarily want.”

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