Getting The Word Out About Bison

Melissa Wienkes is the second generation on her family farm in Seymour, raising over 100 head of bison.

She’s also active in the Wisconsin Bison Producers Association, actively promoting and preserving the American bison in Wisconsin.

Maybe you’ve had a bison burger from the association’s famous food truck. Wienkes says you can check out your local bison producer for even more cuts and products. The association launched a new website to help you do just that:

Wienkus has been around bison her whole life and is looking forward to this new leadership role. She says bison can bring value to a farm that’s looking to retire from dairy or beef but still wants to have animals. She says because bison are pretty hands-off animals, it’s also a good way to get into agriculture.

In May, bison will start calving. Bison calves are about 35 lbs – that’s a lot smaller than a 100-lb dairy calf. This means that calving is a lot easier for bison, and producers rarely need to intervene.

Bison are also built for the elements. Wienkus says it’s one of her favorite sites to see bison outside in the winter with snow on their backs. The snow doesn’t melt off of them because they are so well-insulated. The insulation helps in the hot summer, too.

The Wisconsin Bison Producers Association is also sponsoring vet students to come out to bison farms to get hands-on experience with the animals. This is another way the association is trying to grow engagement and knowledge about the industry.