Presentation on theme: "The American Bison: America’s Icon Kayla Oberg. Introduction I refuse to be completely sarcastic and cynical. Why bison? Scientific name: Bison."— Presentation transcript:
The American Bison: America’s Icon Kayla Oberg
Introduction I refuse to be completely sarcastic and cynical. Why bison? Scientific name: Bison bison
History Evolution Overpopulation? Main food source for Native Americans On the brink of extinction
History cont’d. Almost extinct Making a comeback Government refused to help Only 2 wild herds in existence today
Anatomy How they look: Dark brown, shaggy Short legs Calves are light brown/tan Coarse outer hair, with soft/fine undercoat
Anatomy cont’d. They’re huge! Up to 6 feet tall Up to 2,000 pounds Males vs. females
Diet Bison are herbivores grazing mainly on grasses When grasses aren’t available, they eat twigs and shrubbery Efficient grazers Grass finished vs. Grain finished
Land Use Land required to raise bison vs. land needed for beef Love thy neighbor Running water (stream, river, creek) is recommended to prevent erosion and pollution Should still have wallowing space The best pasture… King of the hill Saving the land Grazing cushion
Production Quality control USDA and FDA forbid the use of hormones and artificial growth stimulants The National Bison Association’s (NBA) Code of Ethics also forbids the use of chemicals in bison The North American Bison Cooperative (NABC) processes most of the nation’s bison meat. This has not barred small operations from being very successful The NABC also has very strict rules and regulations on the quality of the meat Earned stamp of approval from the USDA and also the European Union (EU)
Technology There are no “franken-bison” No need for much new technology with strict ban on chemicals and hormones Main concern: microbial control Just one problem: the meat has a short shelf life This can be fixed naturally
Economic Factors Just like any other small business or farm The bison industry is small-farm-friendly No corporations, monopolies, or giant feedlots
Health & Safety No chemicals, no pesticides, no hormones There is no giant collection of manure because there are no giant feedlots. Only danger is in the processing (sharp blades, heavy machinery) That is, unless you count handling a 2,000 pound bison dangerous…
Environmental Impacts Bison are incredibly sustainable. With no feedlots, there is not much waste produced to contaminate water Bison need less pasture than cattle, prime pasture land is that which cannot be used for anything else Don’t require as “prime” of land as cattle (efficient grazers) Main problem: erosion
Health Benefits Bison meat is much healthier than beef Leaner with almost no marbling Even healthier if grass finished
Health Benefits cont’d.
Native American Culture and Bison Bison have always played a major role in the Native American culture Involved in most creation stories Corn creation story White bison calf is an omen for a time of peace and prosperity
Transnational Market? There really isn’t a global market for bison meat yet Kept mostly in the U.S. Small amounts shipped to Europe by private ranchers Europe is starting their own small-scale bison industry.
Organic and Sustainable? Organic? Absolutely! Sustainable? Of course!