WESTMINISTER, Colo. – Surging consumer demand for quality bison meat is fueling record-level production in the processing of everything from tenderloins to ground buffalo meat, according to the National Bison Association.
In demand. According to figures released by the USDA, bison meat production through the end of November is 14.4 percent ahead of last year’s figures and a whopping 81 percent ahead of the level five years ago.
Through the end of November, 31,669 bison were processed in federally inspected plants this year, compared to 27,694 processed during the same time frame in 2004.
In 2001, 17,583 bison were processed in USDA plants through the end of November.
November numbers. In November, alone, 3,492 animals were processed in USDA plants, compared to 2,540 processed during the same four-week period in 2004.
The previous annual record for bison production was set in 2003, when 34,432 animals were processed in USDA plants. However, much of the 2003 processing was conducted to fill orders for a special one-time USDA commodity purchase program.
The current production figures reflect actual consumer demand in restaurants and retail stores.
Learn more. Consumers wanting to learn more about the many attributes of bison meat, as well as tips on how to prepare it, should log onto www.bisoncentral.com, the official Web site of the National Bison Association.
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