A $103,675 grant was awarded to the National Bison Association recently bolster the organization's efforts to expand bison ranching across a 12-state region in the north central United States.
The grant, awarded by the North-Central Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NC-SARE), will allow the bison association to develop a bison-specific curriculum and learning tools that can be used in all levels of education, from Ag in the Classroom, to universities and extension centers. The association was one of nine organizations selected for funding from among 100 applicants.
The funding will enable the bison association to partner with a wide range of project partners, including Black Hills State University in South Dakota, North Dakota State University, The Inter Tribal Buffalo Council, five state/regional bison associations, three private ranches, and a consulting service specializing in holistic resource management.
"The Bison Advantage Outreach and Education Program will expand the ability of producers in the North Central region to increase their economic sustainability by strengthening their connection with the people who value great taste, nutrition, environmental stewardship and humane husbandry," said Jim Matheson, assistant director of the National Bison Association. "This is a tremendous boost for our ongoing efforts to expand bison production to meet growing consumer demand."
Resources provided through this grant will enable the NBA and its project partners to expand education and outreach through a three-fold approach:
Create a bison-specific curriculum that extension agents and agricultural educators can utilize to educate the next generation of producers;
support bison-specific research on pasture management protocols with partner ranches; and
development of a Best Practices Manual for producers to utilize in the production of their animals.
The two-year project also includes 15 workshops to provide curriculum-based workshops to producers and educators across the region. States included in the grant are, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
Source: National Bison Association