Saturday, July 05, 2008

The Silver Bison Ranch

To continue with my carnivore theme...

Last weekend my family made a visit to a horse farm in Wisconsin. On our way back home to Minnesota, we stopped at the Silver Bison Ranch. The 1000 acre ranch is home to about 400 roaming buffalo. The buffalo eat the natural prairie grasses and are NEVER exposed to a feed lot or any "man-made" feed products. They are not given steroids or hormones to "fatten" them up. There is no use of pesticides or herbicides on the pasture and the water and land surrounding and part of the farm is protected. The farmers rotate their pastures to allow for adequate forage growth and to allow the "natural clean up of manure " by soil insects. These bison are raised humanely, they are happy and are living in a stress free environment surrounded by green trees, green grass, deer, butterflies and native plants.

There is a long American history and bison. It is believed that bison have been in existence in North America for over 10,000 years, first migrating to the plains of the Great Plains and Canada. In fact due to their grazing patterns bison helped shaped the ecology of the great plains. At one time bison was the most numerous species of mammals on earth, but during the mid 1800's they were hunted for their skin leaving the population near extinction. Bison herds started repopulating in the late 1800's/early 1900's and now there are over 400,000 today. Most of the herds today are not "pure breed" bison, but rather have been crossbred with cattle or genetically polluted. There are however still 4 genetically unmixed herds. All of the herds in the United States, except one are farmed and mainly raised for consumption. The one "wild" herd is located in Yellowstone National Park and consists of approximately 3000 - 3500 bison who roam in the wild and free.

Bison are nutritious and an excellent source of high quality lean protein, zinc, iron, copper, magnesium, phosphorous, vitamin b-6, niacin, vitamin b-12, selenium, omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.

If you live in the Minneapolis area, there are some places where you can purchase The Silver Bison Ranch bison and they also service to some upscale restaurants. To find out where you can call the ranch at (715) 684-2811 or visit their shop which is approximately 35 miles east of Saint Paul. If you don't live in the area, you can call them and they do mail order.

No comments: