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Farm Store Open: Saturdays, 1-5 p.m.


Raising Bison: Sugar Grove Farmer Really Does Have a Home Where the Buffalo Roam 2014 Article from the Times Observer website

Lazy J Bison: Hobby Explodes Into Full-Time Job 2009 Article from the Times Observer website

Pictures of Lazy J Bison from the 2007 Family Ag Tour



Bison tastes great!  Most people interviewed feel bison is the most flavorful meat they have ever tasted, with a sweet and rich flavor.  Bison is naturally flavorful and tender and can be prepared much the same as beef without special handling.


Bison falls into the gourmet or specialty meat category at your supermarket or meat market.  The value of bison is not what you pay, but what you get in return.  Nutritionally you  are getting more protein and nutrients with fewer calories and less fat.  Bison is a dense meat that tends to satisfy you more while eating less.


Bison are not subjected to growth hormones or stimulants.  The members of the National Bison Association feel so strongly about this that they have adopted a resolution opposing the use of these substances in the production of bison for meat.


Research has show that the meat from bison is a highly nutrient dense food because of the proportion of protein, fat, minerals, and fatty acids to its caloric value.  Comparisons to other meat sources have also shown that bison has a greater concentration of iron as well as some of the essential fatty acids necessary for human well being.

Nutrition Composition
(per 100 grams of cooked lean meat)

Species Fat Grams Calories KCAL Cholesterol MG
Bison 2.42 143 82
Beef 9.28 211 86
Pork 9.66 212 86
Chicken* 7.41 190 89

 USDA Handbook 8-5:8-10:8-13:8-17

About our Bison:

Our animals are grass fed and they receive minerals not found in this region, vital to their health, by way of grain supplement.

We practice rotational grazing, and we are opening up two new pastures this fall.

The nutritional value of our animals is exceptional, and works well for those on restricted diets.  Many people who cannot eat red meat due to cholesterol problems, can enjoy this product.

Bison Cooking 101  (a link to the National Bison Association website)
These introductory recipes are "designed to give the first time Bison meat buyer an opportunity to sample several Bison cuts."  They also offer several cookbooks for sale.

by Anita Cohan
Reprinted from Penn Lines, a publication of
Warren Electric Cooperative

With a lantern lit and the wood stove on, Warren Electric Cooperative members Linda Nicklas and John Hagberg wait for customers on a Saturday afternoon at their Lazy J Bison Farm in Sugar Grove. Advertising their specialty as "The Original Red Meat, Heart Healthy," Linda and John have been raising bison since 1999.

"It was a hobby that went mad," John relates with humor.

Taking some of the land from the family dairy farm he grew up on, John planned to raise beef cattle. Then he started reading about bison and formed a partnership with Linda with the intention of raising them. In February 1999 they purchased their first two bison.

"We named them Thelma and Louise," Linda adds with a laugh. They started restructuring the fence for the bison, making it stronger and higher than it had been for cows. They enclosed four acres for just the two animals. In the fall, six more bison were added with two expecting in the spring. Then along came the bull to balance out the farm. Along the way, John and Linda learned a lot about caring for bison.

"They are not to be pushed," John informs. "They are not cows, they are wild animals. You have to know the deception tactics that it takes to get them out of the pastures."

The bison have to be lured from the
pasture, driven across the road and into facilities where they can be vaccinated, have blood tests done, and checked for nutritional values. This feat can take four or five assistants, along with a veterinarian.

"I am always worried throughout the process that someone will get hurt and always give a sigh of relief when they are all done," Linda says.

John said he has learned that their
love of grain, which they are fed every other day, helps him gather the bison together to check them for problems like cuts, flies, injuries, or signs of illness. Their regular diet is dry grasses and summer field grass. As the farm developed, they've managed to yield 13 to 14 baby bison each year, with eight to 12 animals going to slaughter.

The marketing of bison products was also a learning process for Linda and John. Bison falls into the gourmet or specialty meat category at meat markets. Unlike with beef, pork, or chicken, where taxpayers pay for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) stamps on approved meat products, local bison producers must pay for USDA stamps on their products. Trail bologna, snack sticks, and canned meat for stew go through a very intense approval system. Labels and packages have to have approval from Washington, D.C.

As far as the meat itself, bison is low in cholesterol and fat, and high in iron. The DNA structure of bison does not allow the muscle to retain fat, the usual cause for marbling in beef. Bison are also not subject to growth hormones or stimulants.

"Most people feel bison is the most flavorful meat, with a sweet and rich flavor," Linda says.

Trying out that taste first was Richard's restaurant in Youngsville. The establishment was looking for a healthier menu and bison seemed to fit the bill. Then Warren's Farmers Market gave them a destination market for Saturdays during the season. That led to the Farm Store on Swede Hollow. Each endeavor got the word out to the public and generated sales and interest. The business is in the process of developing a web site to expand the market.

Copyright 2007 Warren Electric Cooperative


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Updated:  7/16/14