Gold Trophy bison sale reflects industry optimism |

Gold Trophy bison sale reflects industry optimism

DENVER, CO – Prices bid by bison ranchers at the Jan. 22, 2011 Gold Trophy Sale at the National Western Stock Show reflected producers’ commitment to build herds to keep pace with consumers’ expanding demand for the lean, nutritious meat.

The Grand Champion Bull, a yearling shown by Trails End River Bison of South Dakota, brought $36,000 during the annual auction, sponsored annually at the Stock Show by the National Bison Association. The 2009 Gold Trophy Grand Champion Bull was a two-year old animal that brought $8,000.

Prices paid by ranchers more than doubled in nearly all classes of animals, in this year’s Gold Trophy Sale.

“As customers have increased their purchases of bison meat, ranchers are making a solid financial commitment to build herds across the country,” said Dave Carter, executive director of the Colorado-based National Bison Association. “The great part of our business is that our customers are providing the incentive to help ranchers restore bison to the pastures and rangelands across North America.

At Saturday’s sale in Denver, bison ranchers paid an average of $3,817 for yearling heifers, compared to $1,490 in 2010. A new class of Pen of Five “Ranch Ready” Yearling Heifers this year brought an average of $2,490 per heifer. Heifer calves brought an average of $1,715, compared to $825 in 2010.

The National Bison Association’s Gold Trophy Show and Sale is considered to be the premier showcase of quality breeding stock in the bison industry. Ranchers purchasing animals at the Denver sale included established industry participants, along with several newcomers to the business.

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Carter said, “The strong prices paid at the Gold Trophy Sale demonstrate that producers are investing in quality stock and expanding the North American bison herds.”