GFM Network News


Bison producers Steven and Michelle Lunty have kept a spark of hope alive for the future of the industry despite the challenges that have come with COVID-19.

Oh, give me a home: Canada’s bison have nowhere to go

Restaurant closures have rocked the bison sector, with prices down by a quarter and a backlog building

The pandemic’s effect on the bison industry has been “absolutely staggering” over the past two months. “Our slaughter numbers in federal plants are down 81 per cent over this time last year,” said Steven Lunty, chair of Bison Producers of Alberta. “That means if we processed 100 animals in April of 2019, we processed 19 […] Read more



The updated bison code of care has a wealth of information

Beef 911: Although written specifically for bison, the code also has good tips for beef producers

In 2017, new codes of practice came out for bison and veal cattle, following revisions to the codes for dairy cattle in 2009 and the beef, sheep, and equine sectors in 2013. Other codes have also been released or are in progress. The format has multiple chapters (with numerous appendices at the end) and each […] Read more

For the first 10 or so weeks of their lives, Elk Island bison calves have a reddish-orange colour, earning them the nickname ‘Little Reds.’ Most have mixed parentage but are indistinguishable from purebred wood or plains bison.

‘Wood’ you know what kind of bison that is? It’s plain difficult

Woods and plains bison are impossible to tell apart, but a new genomics test will settle that question

Can you tell the difference between a wood bison and a plains bison? Most people can’t — which is partly why Delta Genomics and a team of collaborators are developing a genomics test that will be able to distinguish the two. “The biggest difference is that wood bison — their natural habitat is restricted to […] Read more


Bison sector has learned how to make best use of bulls

Beef 911: Artificial insemination is rare so there’s been a lot of attention paid to breeding capacity

Since the beef industry adjusts breeding capacity based on libido, semen production, and length of breeding season, I thought it good to review breeding capacity of bison bulls. While longevity is longer than beef bulls, we rarely talk about breeding capacity. The bison industry does not utilize artificial insemination like the beef industry (although it […] Read more

Anthrax an increased threat this summer

Weather conditions have created the ‘perfect storm’ for increased anthrax risk in many parts of the country. The highly contagious and infectious soil-borne disease can infect most mammals, but especially bison and beef cattle. It is most common if there is a drought after soil has been disturbed (such as by flooding, heavy rains, soil […] Read more



Bison prices rise with market access

CNS Canada — Prices for Canadian bison are slowly gaining ground as the industry continues to try and expand its global footprint. While the U.S. remains Canada’s largest export market, efforts have been made to increase access to Mexico, Europe and some parts of Asia. Last year, roughly 11,500 animals were slaughtered domestically while 17,600 […] Read more


The 2018 Bill Lenton Memorial Award was presented to Brad and Carmen Ramstead of Fort McMurray by the Manitoba Bison Association.

Alberta bison ranchers win top Manitoba award

Fort McMurray bison ranchers Brad and Carmen Ramstead are the winners of a top award given out by the Manitoba Bison Association. The association, which has several out-of-province members from Alberta, Ontario, and even the U.S., gives the Bill Lenton Memorial Award to members who have “shown dedication and commitment as well as given of […] Read more

You can make good money raising bison — if you can keep your feeder costs down.

There’s a fine line between average and excellent

A multi-year benchmarking study of the most profitable bison producers 
offers insights to any livestock operation

What sets a top-performing bison producer apart from a low performer? About fifty cents. That was one of the key preliminary findings of a multi-year benchmarking study that compares performance indicators in Alberta and Saskatchewan bison herds. “Our main objective was to develop a performance indicator that allows us to evaluate farms relative to one […] Read more