Michael and Amy Billings are the owners/operators of Buffalo Lodge – a beautiful wedding venue and Buffalo ranch. Both of them tend to the animals and maintenance on the farm. They manage the entire product from the farm to the market so they stand behind every cut of meat.
“Our bison meat is raised completely on our farm,” Michael describes. “They are grass fed and free range, with minimal handling. Each animal is treated with respect and the utmost care and attention to provide the highest quality of life and produce the highest quality product.” Bison have a strong herd instinct so they are grouped in an appropriate herd size. They are rotated among many fields to not only protect the land but also to attend to the bison’s natural instinct to move.
“Our buffalo have positively loved the arrangement,” says Amy. “They have become quite adept at standing by the gate to a new pasture when they’ve had enough of the current one. Once we open the gate, they stampede into the new field, running in circles, prancing and kicking up their heels.”
The Billings’ goal is to bring bison back to the area in a sustainable way. “Our foremost priority is the care of our animals, not to produce meat for the market,” Michael explains. “That is part of the sustainability aspect, but we have always prioritized happy animals living as naturally as possible.”
Michael and Amy look forward to meeting customers at the market and sharing the history and benefits of bison.
“They are magnificent animals and we want to share that with anyone who will listen,” Michael says.
They offer tours of the ranch and the herd and more history of this keystone species of the Great Plains.
How did you get from there to here?
“I look out with surprise every time I see a herd of bison in my back yard.” Michael says. “I am awestruck to see that what started as a hobby has now become one of our main endeavors.”