Spring Kansas Buffalo Association Meeting


Periodically throughout the year, the Kansas Buffalo Association has general membership meetings. When we first considered going into the bison business, we attended our first meeting at then-KBA President Ryan Hanna's ranch. It felt a little awkward just showing up, but we were really glad we went because we learned a lot.

It's not so much that the KBA offers seminars, although the group did have a guest speaker at that first meeting. The real value in attending the meetings is the opportunity to talk to the members, many of whom have been in the business for at least a decade. Everyone was and continues to be wonderfully helpful and encouraging.

We became members at that first meeting. A couple of meetings later and before we could even vote (you have to have bison to be able to vote on membership concerns), Kevin was nominated and voted in as a board member.

It isn't really hard to become a board member in a volunteer organization. You mainly have to show up consistently and be willing to spout your opinions, which has never been a problem for Kevin or me. In case you're wondering, I was just nominated for and voted into a two-year board membership following the expiration of my previous one-year term.

A motion was made that a unanimous vote be recorded for my re-election. You might think that was a huge compliment, but it was really an attempt to move the meeting along to get to the main attraction: the ranch visit.

At least one KBA meeting every year is held at one of the member's ranches. This one was in Cimarron, Kan., and the ranch is Instinct Bison Producers. We do the ranch visits because it gives the membership a chance to see how other members manage their bison operations. Every ranch is different, so it's a great opportunity to find out how producers deal with their unique circumstances.

If you are considering raising bison—or starting any endeavor—I urge you to look into organizations that have been established to help others in that particular endeavor. We've learned a lot from the KBA members, and we get energized all over again every time we  attend a meeting.