Bison ranchers went to D.C. to corral lawmakers, regulators

National Bison Association
Farm Forum

WESTMINSTER, Colo. — A delegation of 25 U.S. bison ranchers and marketers from 12 states went to Washington, D.C. on Sept. 17 for three days of lobbying and meetings during the National Bison Association’s annual Washington, D.C., Policy Roundup.

Topping the priority list for the bison delegation was rounding up support for The Truth in Buffalo Labeling Act, introduced by U.S. Sens. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.). That bill would prohibit any water buffalo meat or ingredients sold in the U.S. marketplace to be labeled only as “buffalo.”

According to Dave Carter, executive director of the National Bison Association, an increasing number of deceptively labeled products have cropped up in meat cases and in pet food products over the past few years.

“Consumers deserve to know what they are buying when they see the word ‘buffalo’ on a package. The Truth in Water Buffalo Labeling bill will provide assurance they are getting what they are paying for,” he said.

The ranchers will broke into teams to hold meetings with senators and representatives and their aides.

The delegation will also held meetings at the U.S. Department of Agriculture with officials from the Agricultural Marketing Service, the Foreign Agricultural Service, National Institute for Food and Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, and the Food Safety and Inspection Service.

Carter noted, “We have been very fortunate over the past decade to have built a strong, positive relationship with USDA agencies, and with lawmakers on the Hill. Those relationships are the result of the participation of the grassroots produces who come to Washington, D.C., with us each September.”