DENVER — The National Bison Association’s Gold Trophy show and sale attracted 107 animals Jan. 24 at the National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colo.
In addition to the live animals, meat was sold from 18 market class animals.
The grand champion male, a 2-year-old bull exhibited by Noland Miller, Silver Creek Bison, Binscarth, Manitoba, Canada, sold for $5,750.
The grand champion female, a 2-year-old bred heifer exhibited by Michael and Kathleen Gear, Red Canyon Ranch, Thermopolis, Wyo., sold for $2,900.
Overall prices were higher for 2-year-old bulls, yearling bulls, futurity bulls, and 3- to 4-year-old bred cows, but lower in the heifer and calf categories. The average per-pound price of the sale of live animals was $1.45.
While the price of live animals was steady to lower, bidding on market animals was brisk, with final prices at record levels, a reflection of strong demand for bison meat throughout the country.
“Sale results for breeding animals are understandable given the jitters being felt by many about the overall economy,” said Dave Carter, National Bison Association executive director.
“The other thing we have going here is that the pendulum has swung from the industry seeking out and paying high prices for breeding animals to a more meat demand-based market.”
Carter adds that he expects demand (and prices) for breeding animals will strengthen as the economy improves.
“Projections tell us the meat demand will continue to expand, which will also positively impact the prices of breeding animals,” he said.
According to NBA data, overall, sales of bison throughout the nation have been steady in 2008 and at the beginning of 2009, despite the nation’s economic downturn.
Market animals, selling by the carcass weight, were strong at the 2009 Gold Trophy sale. The average price paid for bulls by the carcass was $2.91 per pound, with average heifer prices by the carcass selling at $3.39 per pound.