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Bison in the international marketplace

Courtesy of National Bison Association

Recently, we talked about the success bison is having domestically. The animal is a native to North America and has spent centuries adapting to the changes in the frontier. However, just like others in the agriculture industry, bison producers are facing challenges in the international marketplace.

Audio: Full Interview with Dave Carter & Dick Gehring.

Dave Carter is the Executive Director of the National Bison Association. He talks about some of the troubles they are having in international trade. The European Union (EU) has been keeping a 20% tariff on bison imports Carter says the beef sector did an amazing job with the High-Quality Beef Export Program, to show they weren’t using growth hormones and get tariff-free access to the EU. Carter says it should be a natural progression for bison to have the same access being it is illegal to use hormones in bison. However, the program only covers beef, so they are still having to fight.

They are also working with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to get back into markets they lost because of the 2003 bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) incident and the ensuing red meat bans. Carter says Bison have never had BSE. Beef has gotten back into the international markets they lost, but bison is still outside in the cold.

There have been positives on the international stage for bison as well. Carter talks about the progress they are making into markets in Mexico. Recently, representatives of the bison industry joined the USDA on a trade trip with the Secretary of Agriculture.

If you are looking for where you can buy your own Iowa-grown bison, check out the “Buysome Bison” app.