WESTMINSTER, Colo. — Riding a wave of stability and optimism, an estimated 400 bison ranchers, marketers and enthusiasts are headed to Denver January 18-20th to discuss economic and policy issues, and to map plans for continued growth in the bison business during the National Bison Association’s 22nd annual winter conference.
The conference theme, Star Spangled Bison, reflects the enthusiasm over the designation as National Mammal last year.
Dave Carter, executive director of the National Bison Association, said the attendees headed to Denver are prepared to celebrate the success of the business, but are more focused on the steps required to continue to build herds to meet the public’s growing taste for bison meat.
“We are in a challenging situation,” Carter said. “As more people discover the great taste and nutritional benefits of bison, we have to keep pace. We are working with existing ranchers to increase their herds, and have rolled out the welcome mat for new producers willing to join us in bringing more naturally-raised bison meat to the marketplace.”
Several facets of the association’s winter conference-scheduled at the Denver Renaissance Hotel–are aimed at increasing bison production across the country. On Thursday, January 19th, an experienced group of bison producers will conduct a morning-long Mentors’ Workshop for newcomers to the business. That afternoon, conference presentations will focus on soil health, animal nutrition and bison social behavior.
The association isn’t taking its eye off the consumer marketplace either. A diverse set of bison met marketers will conduct a panel discussion on Wednesday, January 18th.
And, attorney Karen Budd-Falen will provide a presentation to the conference that day regarding property rights issues.
Several ranchers will bring live animals to Denver for the annual Gold Trophy Show and Sale at the National Western Stock Show. More than 100 head of live bison are consigned to that event, which will culminate with a live animal auction in the Livestock Center at the Stock Show at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, January 21st. In addition to the live animal competition, the GTSS features a Market Class category, with judging based on the quality of bison carcasses. Nearly 20 head of bison are consigned for that class, and the carcasses will be auctioned at 10:30 a.m.on Saturday, prior to the live animal sale.
More information on the National Bison Association Winter Conference, and the Gold Trophy Show and Sale, is available at www.bisoncentral.com.
— National Bison Association
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