Happy December! Hard to believe Christmas is only a few weeks away and then the new year. The new year will bring bison meat to the freezers of Timber Valley Bison. Come and get it! It's an exciting next step for us. Also, bittersweet because bison are such amazing animals and it's hard to let them go.
At the entry of our house we have a closed in porch area that is becoming our country store. Over the last few months I've picked up some vintage farmhouse furniture and decor to make it fun. For now, we have our eggs for sale and shortly meat. Not too long down the road, I'd like to add some local products such as maple syrup, honey, unique crafts and more. If you make something you'd like to sell in our store please let me know. One of the goals of this ranch is to support the community and collaborate with other farmers.
Our processing date is January 10, 2022 so Jordan and I have been watching you-tube videos by the Bearded Butchers to learn all about meat cuts and the difference between beef and bison. One of the things we learned is cattle are not native to North America and have many, many different breeds due to commercialization. Bison, however, are native and there are only two breeds: Plains and Wood. The plains bison are native to the North American mid-west and the wood bison are found in Canada primarily.
Bison also have a great come back story from being almost extinct in the late 1800's due to over-hunting. Over the last few decades ranches around the country have helped increase the population by raising bison and selling the meat. The National Bison Association says to "Eat Bison to Save Bison!" Their goal is get bison numbers in the states back up to 1,000,000. If you like history and an encouraging read, check out bison history.
People always ask us what's right - buffalo or bison? The term 'buffalo' is widely used and often interchangeable for 'bison', but technically buffalo or water buffalo are from Africa and look quite different.
In other news, Jordan and I are are headed to Cook's Bison Ranch tomorrow for their annual round up. Once a year producers herd up the bison and send them through their handling equipment to get weights, tag new bison, check gender and treat wounds. It's called 'working the bison' and the one time a year producers really get up close to see how they're doing. The local, large animal vet is usually present. It's a fun time and a great way for newbies to learn better practices, tips, and make new connections:)
If you'd like to come visit the ranch and meet the bison, please let us know!