We at The Buffalo Guys believe that actions have consequences. We believe that through thoughtful examination of the problems endemic to the American diet, to American agriculture and to the American environment we can act in such a manner as to reduce or eliminate these problems. Our production and business practices are designed to limit the negative and maximize the positive consequences to the environment, the buffalo population and to our consumers' health.
- We believe that animals should be treated with dignity.
- We believe the environment can be renewed through wise use.
- We believe that what we produce for others to eat should be equal in quality to what we, ourselves, choose to eat at home.
- We support the growth of "Organic and Sustainable" agricultural practices and feel that the American Buffalo fits this well.
- We believe that our employees and member ranchers should be fairly compensated for their efforts and in so doing be empowered to enjoy a full and fruitful life.
We believe that animals should be treated with dignity.
We have carefully devised our growing specifications to preserve the buffalo's native characteristics. Most are only handled once a year and then for a very brief time. Our management philosophy stresses the continuation of the buffalos' age-old habit of roaming large spaces in extended family units.
We believe the environment can be renewed through wise use.
We feel the lands we use to raise buffalo are not ours to keep; we are only the current tenant. We subscribe to Teddy Roosevelt's thoughts on this when he said, "The Nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased, rather than diminished." We are educated in Alan Savory's principles of Holistic Resource Management that help us manage the natural world around us. Some tools we use include rotational/planned grazing, stock water developments, wildlife friendly fences and monitoring of native plants and animals to assure their sustainability. We prohibit the use of non-organic chemical means to solve a problem that can be solved, or prevented, through good management or organic means.
We believe that what we produce for others to eat should be equal in quality to what we, ourselves, choose to eat at home.
We strive to bring to market products that meet the highest standards of health and wholesomeness. Buffalo meat coming from the production models that we have devised is the best and most healthy meat one can buy. In all we do, we strive to maintain the original integrity of the meat.
We support the growth of "Organic and Sustainable" agricultural practices and feel that the American Buffalo fits this well.
Animals are, and have been, an integral part of the health and balance of this earth and all its' many ecosystems. The earth will not function sustainably without the benefits that animals provide. This is inescapable. A very small portion of the earth's surface is covered with farmable ground. A much larger portion is covered with grasslands with thinner soils, in not so temperate of areas. Just as the buffalo need grass to survive and be healthy, so the grasslands need the buffalo for their health and survival. Grasslands need grazing coupled with rest to invigorate growth and keep invasive weeds in check. This balance between the grasses and the native grazers has been in place for millennia and can be sustained indefinitely.
A grassland produces almost nothing vegetable that a human can get sustenance from. These grasses can be efficiently converted to meat, which humans can then use. We agree that grain-feeding cattle or bison is unnatural. However, a wild ruminant will seek out the grain in the heads of certain plants when it is in season but will never have the opportunity, or desire, to have a diet based solely on grain. Also, we have found that some grain feeding is necessary to produce a consistent, quality, year-round product. After much study and thought we have devised a system that has overcome these apparent contradictions. First, we raise buffalo on their native ranges in a holistic manner. They spend the bulk of their lives in the herds that they love. When it comes time to prepare them for market we gather the animals destined for slaughter and place them in our feeding paddocks. These paddocks contain self-feeders of hay and grain. We do not force feed the animals but allow them the choice of what and how much they would like to eat. These small paddocks (over 1,000,000 sq ft each) are then planted to a crop each year after the animals are removed. Since these paddocks are planted to a green and growing crop each year we never create the filth or require the animals to live in the filth and stress of a feedlot. Each paddock is monitored to be certain that the nutrients that the animals leave are never more than the planted crops can utilize. Perhaps the biggest environmental benefit gained is that by keeping the soil microorganisms alive and healthy under these paddocks they are able to decompose the manure and bring it back into the system.
This method of finishing animals has been in use for generations in Europe and Africa and is called folding. Benefits to the environment include the most efficient use of nutrients and the protection of water tables. The planted crop effectively utilizes the nutrients rather than letting them leach past the root zone and enter the water table. Runoff and air emissions are greatly reduced too. Oil based energy and equipment inputs are dramatically reduced. An African research project has found that the practice doubled sorghum and millet yields. We have also found that the insect life cycle is greatly disrupted and, as such, the parasites associated with confining animals are not troublesome.
The hay we feed is naturally raised. It is cost prohibitive to purchase or raise certified organic hay. Hay production requires lots of acres and one buffalo can easily eat a ton or more in a winter. Organic certification is costly and so only works on acreages which produce high value crops. Hay production does not fit this. The grains we feed are not certified organic. We have found that there are not sufficient supplies from nearby organic farms to supply our needs. We would use only certified organic feeds if it were possible and cost effective but to date, it is not.
The reason we have chosen to raise buffalo is because of their natural abilities to forage, their independence from disease and sickness (and so from antibiotics), and their ability to balance their own diet when in the feeding pastures. Cattle, hogs, sheep and chickens are not suited as well to the natural world around them and so they are not as suited to a minimalistic system. Buffalo meat is also lower in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol than all of the above mentioned animals. Amazingly, it is also lower in these items than even skinless, white chicken meat! Buffalo fit perfectly both the land and the human diet of this age and that is why we do what we do!
We believe that our employees and member ranchers should be fairly compensated for their efforts and in so doing be empowered to enjoy a full and fruitful life.
We, as an employer and a purchaser of buffalo from other ranchers, adhere to the principle that every human should have the opportunity to make their life better by providing a useful product or service to their fellow man.