About The Bison Industry

The modern bison industry grew out of the need and desire to save the species from extinction. As bison were rapidly disappearing from the wild, a few ranchers and conservationists decided to take action. It’s estimated that less than 1,000 bison existed prior to 1900 before efforts were made to preserve and restore the species.

Today, the number of bison in the United States residing on private ranches and farms is over half a million, with an additional 30,000 existing on environmental and government preserves. Roughly 15,000 bison are considered wild, free-range bison not primarily confined by fences.

Best feed

Though the current population is approximately only 1-2% of its historic numbers, they are not considered endangered or at risk for extinction. Careful breeding practices have preserved the herds’ genetic diversity, and a plentiful number of bison (over 60,000) are safely and sustainably harvested every year.

While the popularity of bison as a food source increases every year, it is still considered a small niche in the marketplace, especially compared to beef. Whereas over 60,000 bison are harvested every year, the US beef industry vastly overshadows that amount, at about 125,000 per day.

According to the 2017 USDA Census of Agriculture, there are 1,775 private U.S. ranches and farms raising bison. At J bar S Ranch, we are proud to be a part of continuing this historic tradition!