Many producers depend on bison meat sales to the U.S. and Europe to maintain the price of bison in Western Canada. With restaurants closed in America and across the European Union because of COVID-19, exports of Canadian bison meat have fallen off a cliff. | File photo

Bison market crashes down on producers

Only a couple of months ago, the price of a bison carcass was close to $5 a pound in Western Canada. Now, prices on the rail have dropped to $3.50 per lb. But that number isn’t precise because the packing plants are processing very few animals. “There’s no liquidity right now,” said Dean Andres, who […] Read more

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

Bison ‘the perfect animal’ to promote for consumers

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, […] Read more

It’s thought that the presence of more bison would help native youth better understand and connect with their culture.  |  File photo

First Nations seek free-roaming bison herds

Efforts are underway to increase the number of free-ranging bison in Western Canada and Montana. Signatories to the 2014 bison treaty, which includes numerous First Nations, are working to establish regions where bison can roam and where native connections with the iconic species can be re-established. Leroy Little Bear, a scholar integral to formation of […] Read more


Canadian bison producers were challenged to think differently about the animals they raise during a presentation at their annual convention last week. | File photo

Producers urged to deal withtwo faces of bison production

Is bison a fully industrialized production system 
or a heritage animal raised in the most natural way possible?

Canadian bison producers were challenged to think differently about the animals they raise during a presentation at their annual convention last week. “This is your navel-gazing talk,” said Dr. Terry Whiting, animal welfare manager with Manitoba Agriculture. “I want you to think about the idea of a bison more than a bison itself.” Bison have […] Read more

Guidelines on humane euthanasia also apply to beef producers. |  File photo

New bison code of practice good info for beef producers

Animal welfare is the underlying theme of Canada’s livestock codes of practice, and the recent bison update is no exception. It is a must read for bison producers and those contemplating getting into the business, but cattle producers would also benefit from reading it. The committee that developed the code comprised individuals involved in the […] Read more


Getting into bison farming made easier thanks to mentors

Mentorship can be the difference between success and failure for young people who want to enter the ag industry

BIG SKY, Mont. — The topic comes up at most farm meetings: how can more young people be encouraged to enter the industry? For two younger producers at the International Bison Conference, mentorship was key. Southern Alberta bison producer Cody Spencer found his way into the business four years ago through Rick Mackenzie, a rancher […] Read more


Crude protein content in feed fell one percent to 9.5 percent btween 2005 and 2015. The issue affects bison as well as cattle.   |  Barb Glen photo

Dwindling protein levels in forage could prove costly

BIG SKY, Mont. — Climate change could lead to diminishing protein in feed for livestock, says an American ecologist who studies animal diets and grasslands. In fact, he said the protein content in grass and forage has already dropped and the slow decline has escaped major attention. Joseph Craine, co-founder of Jonah Ventures and former […] Read more


One million bison a lofty goal?

BIG SKY, Mont. — Two hundred years ago, the North American bison herd was 30 million animals strong. Today, the goal is to increase numbers to one million from the current 392,000 animals in the United States and Canada. It’s called Bison One Million, a plan officially announced during the International Bison Conference July 4-7. […] Read more

Dave Carter, executive director for the National Bison Association, said the declaration is a way to further promote bison. | File photo

Bison Hump Day declared in U.S.

BIG SKY, Mont. — There’s meatless Monday and taco Tuesday, and now Wednesday has its own promotion. Bison Hump Day was announced here today during the International Bison Conference in front of more than 575 bison producers. Dave Carter, executive director for the National Bison Association, said the declaration is a way to further promote […] Read more