The National Bison Association is celebrating 20 years since the leaders of two buffalo groups first came together to forge an association that would help them develop connections with fellow producers.
This year, an estimated 350 ranchers, marketer and bison lovers will get together on January 21-23 in Denver to celebrate their two decades of success and plan for future growth, according to Dave Carter, executive director of the association.
"The bison business is finishing 2014 in its strongest economic position in history," Carter said. "Ranchers are in a position to restore more bison to more of its native rangeland, primarily because the public has discovered the great taste and nutritional attributes of all-natural bison meat."
Focus on growth
The 20th anniversary conference will feature several segments to reflect on the past two decades, but Carter said that the majority of sessions will focus on continuing to grow the business.
"Right now, our biggest challenge is to continue to build herds of bison across the United States. The National Bison Association Winter Conference is the perfect gathering place for anyone to learn about the opportunities to get involved in this growing segment of agriculture," Carter said.
Bison meat and live animals are sold by more than a dozen ranches in Kansas, which has had its own Kansas Buffalo Association for 25 years.
Many of the conference educational sessions will take place on Thursday, January 22nd. A special Buffalo Mentors' Workshop planned at 10 a.m. on the 22nd will connect bison newcomers with experienced ranchers in their region. That afternoon, a series of break-out sessions will cover topics ranging from animal handling and pasture management, to social media and marketing byproducts.
"The greatest value in the conference is the opportunity to develop connections and relationships with fellow producers," Carter said.
A complete schedule for the NBA Winter Conference is available on the association website.