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.
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.
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.
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.
(per 100 grams of cooked lean meat)
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
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
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.
THE LAZY J BISON FARM
Reprinted from Penn Lines, a publication of
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
"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
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