The bison industry has seen a lot of changes over the years. The 27th Annual Convention of the Canadian Bison Association is underway in Regina. A bison show and sale will be part of Canadian Western Agribition. Bison meat prices have never been higher. Back in 2003 in the wake of the BSE crisis, prices were only $1.15 a pound hot hanging weight. At the beginning of 2010, prices were around $2.25 per pound. This fall, prices have been in the range of $3.40 a pound hot hanging weight. Unfortunately, there’s a shortage of product to meet consumer demand. A decade ago, there was a huge market for bison breeding stock and big prices were paid for heifers. As a result, membership in the Canadian Bison Association hit a high of over 1300. Those heady days didn’t last and the breeding stock market came crashing down to earth. Today, the industry is based on a solid market for meat both here in Canada as well as in the U.S. and Europe. The Canadian bison herd is estimated at about 180,000 head, but there isn’t enough production to supply the growing market. There are now only 500 members in the Canadian Bison Association, but the future appears bright for the tasty, healthy meat and one of the major thrusts of the association is growing the production base.

I’m Kevin Hursh.

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