Southern Plains Bison Pointers Jan 2016

Successes, Failures &Taking Responsibility

Tis the season in which we find out about our management, our handling and our bottom-line validation in raising and producing bison. I am not home much this time of year and am privileged to watch, and be part of, many operations in the process of evolving as proficient bison operations and managers.  It is my sincere hope that all the good folks I help – continue to fail… Let me explain.

We tend to listen to advice given by those with great successes. I think most would agree that Bill Gates would fall into the category of ‘successful’. He famously conveyed, “It’s fine to celebrate success, but (!) it is more important to heed the lessons of failures”.  There are tricks to raising bison, and the number one trick is to embrace your failures, as yours, and analyze the scenario, then move forward with corrections.  The scenarios may include conception rates, handling success, and body score and general health of the herd.  Recording weights each year is a great way to ascertain the general health of adult bison – which requires working them – which requires smooth bison works. Everything is linked including the health of the habitat, also called a farm or ranch, provided for the bison.

Personally, I consider the animals under my care my responsibility and guests. I provide for their needs and there stay, including as much comfort and consideration as I can. As a stockman, I was taught that this axiom is the most profitable. As a person, it has everything to do with my reputation with others in business and myself in the mirror. It’s busy-busy this time of year. Slow down once in awhile and ask not (!) what your bison can do for – but what you can do for them… 🙂

Southern Plains Bison Pointers Jan 2016