Weekly Update for Bison Producers April 15, 2016
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Sale Summary from the April 2, 2016 MBA Great Spirit Show & Sale HERE

Bison Producers Can’t Keep Up With Ever-Increasing Demand
The story about bison prices this year is “a damn good one.”

“When we talk to marketers, the question we ask is, ‘How frequently are you shorting your customers?’ And they say, ‘Very frequently,’” said Terry Kremeniuk, executive director of the Canadian Bison Association.

“That just demonstrates how strong the demand is out there.”

The low loonie is having “a very big impact on what producers get for their finished animals,” because the U.S. is a major buyer of Canadian bison, Kremeniuk said at the Wildrose Bison Convention last month.

“When you look at the U.S. marketplace over the last year and a half, we’ve seen prices move up to $4.35 per pound of hot hanging weight,” he said. Read More HERE
Yukon Bison Harvest 2nd Highest On Record
Warm weather and long late-winter days may have helped Yukon hunters harvest a near-record number of bison this year.

Earlier reports from Environment Yukon suggested hunters were not having much success this past winter. Even butchers in Whitehorse were asking where the bison were.
But, in the end, it turned out to be the second-largest harvest on record.
Government biologist Tom Jung is happy with the numbers.

"This year there was 174 bison taken, and that's above our 150 minimum threshold. And we had 45 per cent of the harvest that was cows, so that puts us in a pretty good position this year," Jung said. Read More HERE
Farmer Shoots Famous Somerset Bison Herd To Save Them From The Stress Of TB Tests
A bison farmer said he had to shoot his entire herd of animals to save them from the stress of having to be tested for bovine TB every year.

Paul Richards' herd of bison had become a popular landmark feature of the south Somerset countryside and have occupied the hilltop fields above the village of West Coker, near Yeovil, for years.

But now the fields are bare and Mr. Richards' Woodentop Farm is left with just a few horses, chickens and around 100 wild boar.

That's because Mr. Richards said 'over-the-top rules and regulations' from Defra had ordered his bison to be tested every 12 months for bovine TB, and that was not realistically possible.

His bison are classed as dangerous wild animals. They weigh more than a ton and have to be kept behind high fences to ensure no one gets in – and the bison can't get out. They can't be rounded up, and when the time comes for an individual bison to be slaughtered, they are dispatched at the farm. Read More HERE

Second Generation Builds On A Fathers Legacy Of Sustainability At Colvine Bison
Bison farmer Bobbi Lester cares for the land with just as much passion and love as her father. As a little girl growing up on the ranch in southern Delaware, she remembers learning the ropes of bison farming, often traveling with him to regional and national bison conferences. When Bobbi Lester’s father, Robert Collins, lost his battle to cancer in 2012, Bobbi, along with her husband Allen, stepped up to continue farming the way he would have wanted—as a family.

Bobbi recalls how her dad started with just three heifers and a bull on 88 acres in Greenwood, Delaware, and grew into the herd of 65 bison.
“Because of the bison’s population decline 30 years ago, Collins originally planned to breed the bison,” said Bobbi.

As a result of many approaches to conservation and stewardship of bison, including the creation of small herds by private ranchers, bison populations have rebounded in recent years and population decline is no longer a concern.

Now, the Lester farm provides bison meat to local consumers. Raising bison has taught the family some important lessons in sustainability and conservation. Read More HERE

Groups Help Residents Build Bison Fences
WEST YELLOWSTONE — Four metal fenceposts hold up checkerboard metal wire around a couple of aspen trees in Melissa Alder’s front yard. It’s hard to understand why until Alder points out the dilapidated pair of trees next to it.

Their remnants poke out of the snow, broken off at the top, leaning a little to one side, nowhere near full potential. Each year when Yellowstone’s central bison herd migrates west, they often wander up a road and into Alder’s neighborhood, munching roadside grass and rubbing up against trees, sometimes leaving them looking a little rough.

“The trees are easy to get to,” Alder said.

When she decided to plant new ones, she wanted to have a fence around them. So last summer, she made plans to do so, and like several other people in her neighborhood, she got help.

Since 2011, four environmental groups — the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, Defenders of Wildlife, Sierra Club and Natural Resources Defense Council — have been offering to foot half the cost of fencing projects meant to keep bison out. The program has helped build 33 fences both on the west and north sides of the park — 21 in the Hebgen Basin area, 12 near Gardiner.

The idea behind it is to help people live with bison, and to shore up social tolerance of bison by helping people deal with their individual problems. How people feel about having animals around — whether it’s squirrels or grizzly bears — is an important part of the equation, and can determine how state agencies manage the animals. Read More HERE

High Wire Ranch Offers Grass-Fed Bison, Elk Meat
HOTCHKISS – They’re properly called bison, not buffalo.

“Do not make pets out of your bison. They’re killers,”  said Sue Whittlesey, co-owner of High Wire Ranch on Redlands Mesa. “You don’t want to see an animal running full out at you.”

Sue’s husband Dave has been gored by a bison in the past, she said.
“It’s a difficult thing to happen,” she added.

High Wire Ranch is home to a herd of approximately 100 bison, with 30 to 35 calves expected this spring.

The Whittleseys also have 100 head of elk on their 320-acre ranch. They offer grass-fed, organic bison meat and elk meat through outlets such as Hardin’s on Rogers Mesa, Lizzy’s Meat Market in Paonia, Creekside Cafe in Cedaredge and other locations in Delta County.

“We do everything under U.S.D.A. regulations,” Dave said, referring to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Bison were once an endangered species caused by overhunting to the point of near extinction, but people’s taste for bison meat caused them to be removed from wild herds, domesticated on ranches and proliferated as meat animals until their numbers increased and the danger of extinction ended.

Utah still has a wild herd of bison and issues rare permits for hunting them, and Colorado has a wild herd along the I-70 corridor.

“I think we need both, wild and domestic,” Sue said. Read More HERE

How Ranching and Hunting Shape Protections for Bison and Elk
Wild animals do not recognize park borders. Two of Yellowstone’s iconic species, bison and elk, spill seasonally—and naturally—beyond park boundaries looking for food. One is welcome. The other is not.

Two years ago, Yellowstone’s chief scientist Dave Hallac gazed north from a sagebrush-covered rise near Mammoth Hot Springs across the park border into Montana. Musing aloud, he asked:

“What would happen, do you think, if we managed our migratory elk the same way we’re forced to manage bison? What if we chased elk back into the park on horseback to prevent them from leaving? What if we rounded up elk into corrals and sent them to slaughterhouses? What if we allowed pregnant elk mothers to be shot just a few weeks before they were due to give birth? Do you think there would be public outrage?” Read More HERE

Fairbanks Woman Hunts For Clues About Steppe Bison Mobility
FAIRBANKS - I grew up north of Fairbanks, the daughter of gold miners, keenly aware of the prehistoric animals of Interior Alaska. These bison, horse and mammoth have long-since disappeared but they roamed across Alaska in vast herds during the Pleistocene between 2.6 million and 11,700 years ago.

When climates began to change at the close of the last ice age, many of these species went extinct, although their bones are now found preserved in permafrost and muck deposits. By studying these fossils, scientists can look at how climate change affected the animals. 

I was also fascinated by the human history of Alaska. After I started college at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, I would spend class time staring at the view of the broad Tanana Valley, wondering about the people and animals that lived there for thousands of years and admiring how they had adapted to the harsh and frequently changing environment throughout the millennia.

Steppe bison (Bison priscus) once roamed this region in great numbers. They were an important resource for prehistoric people living in the Tanana Valley, providing food and raw material for clothing, shelter and tools. The reason for their extinction is somewhat of a mystery, especially since transplanted herds of plains bison (Bison bison) have been living in Delta and other regions since the 1920s.  Read More HERE

CCIA Announces 2016-2017 Board and Executive Committee
Calgary, A.B. – Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) is pleased to announce its board of directors and executive committee for 2016/2017, elected at CCIA’s Annual General Meeting and board meeting April 7-8, 2016 in Calgary. English Announcement HERE; French Announcement HERE

The Bison Herd Is Making A New Home On The Prairie
In the fall of 2014, The Nature Conservancy in Illinois brought 30 new “staff” members on board at Nachusa Grasslands. These furry, four-legged employees wasted no time getting down to business.

“Our bison herd is doing great,” said Jeff Walk, the Conservancy’s director of science. “They’re healthy, they’ve acclimated to their surroundings, and most importantly, they’re hard at work doing the job we brought them here to do.” 

That job is to help restore Nachusa’s prairie. Bison have an appetite for prairie grasses, which means that as they graze, they help keep these plants in check and allow prairie wildflowers and other species to thrive. 

Bison’s contribution to the prairie goes hand-in-hand with another important land management tool: prescribed fire. Like grazing, prescribed fire helps keep a balance of flowers and grasses on the prairie, combats invasive species and promotes biodiversity. When grazing and burning are paired together, a practice called pyric herbivory, their contributions are even further amplified. Read More HERE
Did You Know
  • Watch out! Bison on the loose in Juneau County. More HERE
  • How many buffalo call Alabama home? Scenes from the bucolic life of 2 hulking pets. More HERE

CBA News and Events...

The Winners Have Been Announced…

The winners of the 2015 CBA Annual Photo Contest have been chosen. Thank you to all the producers who submitted photos. You make our job hard each year trying to pick just 3 winners in each category. To see the winning photos go HERE

Travelling? Looking for a Place to Stay?
The CBA has teamed with Choice Hotels to provide members with another benefit -- save up to 10%.  Please go HERE for all the details. As well, there is a bonus offer until December 31, 2016.

1st International Symposium on Bison Health Presentations
Dr. Woodbury, one of the organizers has made it possible for us to post most of the conference presentations on the CBA Website. Go HERE

Branding No Longer Required for Shipping Bison Between Canada And The US

Effective April 8, 2015, Canadian bison exported to the USA for breeding or feeding do not have to be permanently identified with a permanent "CAN" mark as long as they are identified with a secondary dangle tag.

The dangle tag must bear the same official ID number as on the approved RFID tag. Like the RFID tags, the dangle tags can only be purchased from the Canadian Bison Association. A transitional period will take place until May 8, 2015 to accommodate health certificates that were issued prior to the effective date of this requirement.

During the transitional period, only the approved RFID tag is required for bison. Read More 

Read Press Release sent out by CBA and NBA HERE

Advance Payments Program improved under the Agricultural Growth Act

Effective April 1, 2016 the Manitoba Livestock Cash Advance Program has been expanded to offer advances on a select number of crops in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, which allows producers to obtain cash advances for more than one commodity. This improves service to producers.
More details can be obtained on the following links including other including other organizations that may have expanded the commodities for which they offer Cash Advances. 

Advance Payment Program Now Available To Producers Who Market Their Products To The Retail Market
The Advance Payments Program (APP) is a federal loan guarantee program that helps livestock producers meet their financial obligations and benefit from the best market conditions by improving their cash flow throughout the production period. The Manitoba Livestock Cash Advance issues producers a cash advance on the anticipated value of their livestock that is being produced. Producers can receive a cash advance on up to 50% of the expected average market price of the livestock.
The Canadian Bison Association worked with producers and the Manitoba Livestock Cash Advance managers to make the Cash Advance Program available to producers who market their bison to the retail market from their farm. Producers who have their animals slaughtered will have 30 calendar days from the date on the slaughterhouse receipt to repay their advance. The number of bison slaughtered must be included on the slaughterhouse receipt.  For additional information and application forms go to or call 1-866-869-4008 
Le Programme de paiement anticipé est maintenant offert aux producteurs qui commercialisent leurs produits sur le marché de détail 
Le Programme de paiement anticipé (PPA) est un programme fédéral de garantie d’emprunt qui aide les producteurs de bétail à respecter leurs obligations financières et à bénéficier des meilleures conditions du marché en améliorant leurs liquidités tout au long de la période de production. Le programme Manitoba Livestock Cash Advance fournit une avance en espèces sur la valeur prévue du bétail qu’ils produisent. Les producteurs peuvent recevoir une avance en espèces pouvant atteindre 50 % du prix moyen prévu du marché du bétail.
L’Association canadienne du bison collabore avec les producteurs et les gestionnaires du Manitoba Livestock Cash Advance afin de mettre le PPA à la disposition des producteurs qui commercialisent leur bison sur le marché de détail à partir de leur ferme. Les producteurs dont les animaux sont abattus disposent d’un délai de 30 jours civils pour rembourser leur avance, et ce, à compter de la date indiquée sur le récépissé délivré par l’abattoir. Le nombre de bisons abattus doit figurer sur le récépissé remis par l’abattoir. Pour de plus amples renseignements et pour obtenir les formulaires de demande, visitez ou téléphonez au 1-866-869-4008.

Through the Lens of the Producer
Over the past years the CBA has asked its members to send in pictures of their bison in the four seasons. HERE then are the Seasons of the Bison-through the lens of the Producer.

Malignant Catarrhal Fever
The SBA along with the sheep industry have created a video that will support education and awareness of Malignant Catarrhal Fever (MCF). To View the Video Go HERE

Do You Want Big Travel Insurance Savings
The CBA has partnered with ATI Insurance Inc. to provide members with another benefit -- Comprehensive Travel Insurance at a discounted price.  Please go HERE and make this insurance program part of your annual travel plans. Service is offered in English and French.
Mycoplasma in Farmed Bison Survey 2014 - 2015
The Mycoplasma in Farmed Bison Survey intends to supply the bison industry with much needed knowledge, so that evidence-based decisions can be made to protect herds and control the spread of this emerging disease.

The Survey is a collaborative effort of the University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Alberta Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Canadian Bison Association, veterinarians, and bison producers. It will be launched in May 2014 and is designed to provide valuable information.

For more information go HERE (scroll down to News & Events)

Weekly Price Summary
April 15, 2016

Finished Bison Prices Strong

With the Canadian dollar fluctuations, please confirm prices offered by buyers as they may change daily.

Canadian buyers have been offering up to $6.00/ lb HHW for Grade “A” bison bulls with prices being driven by $US prices and exchange rates. Carcasses that do not fall within buyers’ specifications are discounted. U.S. buyers are offering prices that equate to $6.00 per pound Canadian. Returns to the producers are dependent on exchange rates, quality, export costs, and freight adjustments.

Grade “A” bison heifers in the desirable weight range are selling for up to $5.75 /lb HHW to Canadian buyers. US buyers are pricing animals in US dollars that equates to $5.75 Canadian.

Live Bison Prices

Live bison prices continue to be strong. For further detail go to the past auction section on the Kramer Auction website at and to the bison market section of Vold, Jones and Vold Auction Company website at

**Producers should research what parameters the prices are based on. Parameters such as Canadian or US delivery, weight ranges, age etc. This will assist them in comparing prices on an even basis.**

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Taylor Bison
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Upcoming Events

Vold Jones and Vold
Bison Auction
When: April 16, 2016
Where: Ponoka

Details: HERE

Kramer Auctions Ltd.
Back to the Grass
Bison Auction
When: May 11, 2016
Where: North Battleford

Details: HERE

Summer Field Event
When: June 3-4 2016
Where: Chase, BC
Poster: HERE

2016 NBA Summer Conference
When: June 20-22 2016
Where: Elk River, MN
Info: HERE

3rd Annual Bison Festival
When: August 13, 2016
Where: Elk Island National Park
Info: HERE
2017 International Bison Conference (IBC)
When: July 4 -7, 2017
Where: Big Sky, MT
Details: TBD

2016 CBA Memberships 

You can access the CBA membership form HERE
The CBA has partnered with ATI Insurance Inc. to provide members with another benefit -- Comprehensive Travel Insurance at a discounted price.

Please go HERE and make this insurance program part of your annual travel plans.

Service is offered in English and French.
Need a Place to Stay?
The CBA has teamed with Choice Hotels to provide members with another benefit --
save up to 10%.

Please go HERE for all the details.
Buffalo Girl Cooks Bison
More than 100 delicious recipes that use North America''s original red meat, from bison rancher and award-winning food writer Jennifer Bain.
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Past Auctions/Sales

April 2,2016
MBA Great Spirit Show & Sale Results HERE

March 19, 2016
BPA Wildrose Show & Sale Results HERE

March 9, 2016
Cloverleaf Kramer Bison Auction Results HERE

March 4, 2016
2nd Annual SBA Canadian Bison Bull Draft Sale Results HERE

February 9, 2016
Sweetheart Kramer Bison Auction Results HERE

January 27, 2016  New Year's Kramer Bison Auction Results HERE

January 23, 2016, 2016 Gold Trophy Show & Sale Results HERE

January 16, 2016 Bison Auction by  Vold, Jones and Vold Auction Co. Ltd. Market Summary Report HERE

December 11, 2015 GMG Grand Genetics Sale Results HERE

December 2, 2015 Season Opener Kramer Bison Auction Results  HERE

November 24, 2015 23rd Annual Canadian National Show & Sale Market Summary Report HERE

November 21, 2015 Bison Auction by  Vold, Jones and Vold Auction Co. Ltd. Market Summary Report HERE

May 13, 2015 Kramer's Back to the Grass Auction Results HERE

April 4, 2015 MBA Great Spirit Show and Sale by Heartland Livestock Services in Brandon MB Market Summary Report  HERE

March 11, 2015 Kramer's Cloverleaf Bison Auction Results HERE

February 27, 2015 SBA First Annual Canadian Bison Bull Draft Sale held at Kramer Auction Sales Ltd. Market Report HERE

February 21, 2015 1st Annual Tiger Lily Bison Auction held at Heartland Livestock Services (P.A. SK) Market Summary Report HERE

February 13, 2015 Bison Auction by  Vold, Jones and Vold Auction Co. Ltd. Market Summary Report HERE

February 11, 2015 Kramer's Sweetheart Bison Auction Results HERE

January 28, 2015 New Year's Kramer Bison Auction Results  HERE

January 24, 2015 NBA Gold Trophy Show and Sale Results HERE

December 19th, 2014 Bison Auction by  Vold, Jones and Vold Auction Co. Ltd. Market Summary Report HERE

December 12th, 2014 GMG Genetics Sale Results HERE

December 3rd, 2014 Season Opener Kramer Bison Auction Results  HERE

November 21, 2014 Bison Auction by  Vold, Jones and Vold Auction Co. Ltd. Market Summary Report HERE

October 17, 2014 Bison Auction by  Vold, Jones and Vold Auction Co. Ltd. Market Summary Report HERE

September 19, 2014 Bison Auction by  Vold, Jones and Vold Auction Co. Ltd. Market Summary Report HERE

May 14th, 2014 Back to the Grass  Kramer Bison Auction Results HERE

April 14, 2014 Bison Auction by  Vold, Jones and Vold Auction Co. Ltd. Market Summary Report HERE

April 5th 2014 Great Spirit Show & Sale Results HERE

March 15, 2014 Bison Auction by  Vold, Jones and Vold Auction Co. Ltd. Market Summary Report 

March 15th, 2014 Wildrose Bison Show & Sale Champions & Reserve Champions Results HERE

March 12th, 2014 Cloverleaf Kramer Bison Auction Results HERE

February 24th, 2014 Bison Auction by  Vold, Jones and Vold Auction Co. Ltd. Market Summary Report  HERE

February 12th, 2014 Sweetheart Kramer Bison Auction Results  HERE

February 12th, 2014 Living Legends Conservations Genetics Sale Results HERE

 January 29th, 2014 New Year Kramer Bison Auction Results HERE

Bison Auction Summary Results for the 34th Gold Trophy Show & Sale that took place on January 25, 2014 in Denver CO USA HERE

January 20th, 2014 Bison Auction by  Vold, Jones and Vold Auction Co. Ltd. Market Summary Report HERE

For  2013 Auction Results/Summaries please go HERE
Wes Olson Books
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Bison Producers' Handbook
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Since CBA has indicated that we will be allowing ads in our weekly e-letter, there has been interest in placing ads in the e-letter. There have been questions of clarification. Our goal is to begin with a process that is simple and provides value to members and stakeholders. The ads are to be clear, straight forward announcements that outline a service or an event.
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Our goal is to develop this service based on feedback from our users. Please provide feedback on this service as well as suggestions to improve the e-letter. Copyright © |2016| |CBA|, All rights reserved.

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