Dear potential grassfed bison producer,
Thank you for your email and interest in Lindner Grassfed Bison.
There are no short answers to your question, but we believe that love for the species is essential. Also, loving them for the right reasons is essential. They deserve our most ethical care and steadfast devotion to their humane production and survival. This may require sacrifice beyond anything most have ever experienced. In other words, dont quit your day job.
Unless you are independently wealthy, before starting, determine if there is a local market for the meat. If not, determine if you are willing to build that market. This may take time, but if there is no market for the meat, there is no reason to raise the animals, since they are just too big to keep as pets.
Arrange to visit a local bison meat processor, so you understand what that means. If there is no local processor, determine the nearest one and travel there. This is an important element to your success, so be diligent on this point. Your meat processor may be your strongest or your weakest ally. When you find a good one, nurture and build this relationship at every opportunity.
Again, our story is how we started, so you already know we did absentee ownership to minimize mistakes while we learned. This approach also tested our metal. How much were we willing to do? We found we were willing to do more than most people. The rest we didnt know we could do until we tried. So much is on our website, its hard to articulate beyond that, except to say we are still learning.
We believe that others are chosen by the Bison. If you are chosen, you will know it. Among other things, it becomes a nagging feeling that just doesnt go away. Trust it and if you are like us, you will be guided and teachers will appear. Know that it is work of the hardest kind. Bison need ethical producers who are willing to work hard.
Educate yourself by visiting the websites below, or a more local version to your state. There are all kinds & personalities of producers, so be prepared for that. Their experiences are meant to be a guide, but not necessarily what you may experience. Seek out those who are inclined for calm instead of drama. They are the ones who best love and understand bison.
www.americangrassfed.org (seek out local grassfed bison producers listed here)
Remember first, last and always: Bison are not cattle. They deserve our absolute best. If you cannot provide that, support someone who can.
And finally, Ken and I certainly do not have it all. We believe though that we are living proof that the best is yet to come. For those who are willing to work hard for it, it can be better - for us, for the bison, and for the earth.
We hope this helps and we bless you on your journey!
Kathy & Ken Lindner
California Grassfed Bison® Bringing them home!
661-254-0200, fax: 661-254-0224
California Grassfed Bison is a registered trademark of Lindner Bison.
From: [potential grassfed bison producer]
Subject: American Dream
I must say, you have it all. I've read about you and your husband, and your choice to leave corporate America in pursuit of something real...something tangible. Well, I promise not to spend a lot of time on my sad story, but....
My wonderful wife and I have been through the ringer in the last 5 or 6 years, and we have, thank God, settled on our exit strategy. Before I get into that, I will spend a few words on our plight. I was Mr. Wonder-boy for many years. After serving our fine country, I joined the electronics manufacturing industry which served me faithfully for years, eventually allowing me to reach the ranks of Plant Manager.....but alas, the joy-ride could not last forever. With the decline of manufacturing in our great country, my wife and I lost everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING.
Having little or no options, at age 37, I decided to return to school to finish my Electrical Engineering degree (no small task) and follow my true passions....Sounds so easy does it not? Well, I'm about to graduate, and I do want to work as an Engineer, but how hard I want to work at it is now in question. I've long desired the peace of rural living, having spent my youth in such an environment. I'm fairly confident that I can get hired with the local power company, or even by an oil company. But I have, as of late, become more and more interested in starting a small ranch in Colorado or Wyoming. And at the top of my list is raising bison. Unfortunately, I learned absolutely nothing about grassfed bison in college.
Can you kindly let me know what I may be getting myself into? And God bless you and your family for preserving our American heritage.
A potential grassfed bison producer [name withheld]
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