USDA Approves $17 Million Purchase of Bison Meat
Agency OK’s Bison Industry Request for Section 32 Program Purchase
WESTMINSTER, CO (Dec. 4, 2020) – Bison business leaders hailed today’s announcement from U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) that the agency had approved the National Bison Association’s request for a $17 million purchase of ground bison under the Section 32 Surplus Removal program.
The association filed the request for the Section 32 purchase in late August, noting that market pressures created by an unanticipated large crop of harvest-ready bison in 2019 was compounded by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The purchase of bison meat is part of a $170 million Section 32 purchase that also included beans, butter, fluid milk and fresh grapes.
“Today’s announcement helps place a foundation of stability under the bison business. That foundation will enable us to rebuild the strength and profitability that our business has enjoyed over the past decade,” said Dave Carter, executive director of the National Bison Association.
Carter thanked the USDA personnel who had carefully weighed the economic information submitted by the bison association. He also thanked the 12 U.S. Senators, led by Sens. John Hoeven (R-ND) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) who weighed in with the USDA on behalf of the bison industry request.
“Individual bison ranchers who took the time to contact their congressional offices to push for this purchase deserve a lot of the credit for making this happen,” he added.
Today’s announcement binds the agency to buy up to $17 million in bison meat, with the actual purchases dependent upon the number of bids submitted by qualified suppliers.
While the USDA purchases will be made from commercial processors, Carter noted that the purchase of bison meat will benefit everyone along the supply chain.
“We are just getting into the major auction season for live bison. This announcement provides buyers and sellers with a degree of confidence in the economic outlook of our business,” he said.