The project that we are proposing would be a demonstration and outreach/education focused effort that will allow new, prospective and existing bison producers to tour six working bison farms and ranches across the north central region over the course of two summers that will also include expert speakers as to obtain first-hand knowledge on how to properly manage bison grazing and handling to maximize their regenerative potential as a livestock species. The bison species has evolved with North American grasslands for over 200,000 years and, as a keystone species in the region, has the potential to maintain soil health and fertility, improve carbon sequestration through the expansion of grasslands, all the while providing a valuable livestock component to working farms and ranches. These problems of soil health/fertility and atmospheric carbon impacts on climate change will be addressed through the rare opportunity to tour a working regenerative bison operation, which has been greatly hampered for the last two years due to the COVID pandemic, which will be further enhanced with the inclusion of presentations from expert speakers on a variety of sustainability topics. The north central region includes the largest bison-producing states in the world according to the USDA Ag Census.
Project objectives from proposal:
The achievable objectives that will be offered through this project include direct, face-face holistic and sustainable bison management education/demonstration to an estimated 450 bison producers as well as resulting educational materials in print and video format. Outreach will be expanded as we plan to film these demonstration and presentations to offer remote learning to countless more bison producers by streaming these videos online. Producers will be educated on specific management and animal handling topics that will allow them to practice a more holistic and regenerative approach to agriculture on their own operations as a result of this project.