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Grassfed Bison. The Opportunity. Lee & Mary Graese Northstar Bison, LLC. Our Story. Started in 1994 Business plan based entirely on meat value Family owned and operated. Our Story. Please watch our video available on YouTube at: http://youtu.be/ColhR_G-KxI

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grassfed bison

Grassfed Bison

The Opportunity

Lee & Mary Graese

Northstar Bison, LLC

our story
Our Story

Started in 1994

Business plan based entirely on meat value

Family owned and operated

our story1
Our Story

Please watch our video available on YouTube at:

http://youtu.be/ColhR_G-KxI

Once you complete the video, return to the slideshow.

the opportunity
The Opportunity
  • Animals: Grazing and finishing on grass
  • Meat Sales / Direct Marketing
animals grazing and finishing on grass
Animals: Grazing and finishing on grass
  • Minimal input ranching
    • Get the iron out
    • Let animals be the harvesters
    • Each ton of hay provides $50.00 value of fertilizer
animals grazing and finishing on grass1
Animals: Grazing and finishing on grass
  • Rotationally graze
    • No longer than 17 days per pasture
    • Minimum of 45 day rest
    • Parasite Control

Yearling heifers, taken on 11/16/09

cool season grasses
Cool Season Grasses

November 7, 2009

November 13, 2009

parasite control
Parasite Control
  • Fecal testing
    • 10% herd exams
    • Monthly routine
    • Very cost effective
    • Minimize animal handling
weed control is handled through
Weed Control is handled through:

Grazing

Mechanical

Manual

animals grazing and finishing on grass2
Animals: Grazing and finishing on grass
  • Genetic selection
    • Cows > 1050
    • 2 year old bred >950
    • 2 year old bulls for breeding > 1250
  • Weaning weights of calves = minimum of 40% of cows’ weight
land base
Land Base
  • Leased land
      • Higher profitability
      • Belwin Project
      • Contract Grazing
belwin project
BELWIN PROJECT
  • Restoration of Native Prairie Grasses
belwin project1
BELWIN PROJECT

Mixture of forbs and prairie grasses

Summer 2009

the opportunity1
The Opportunity
  • Animals: Grazing and finishing on grass
  • Meat Sales / Direct Marketing
meat sales direct marketing
Meat Sales / Direct Marketing
  • Identify your customers and market needs
    • Direct to consumer:
      • Retail, Buying clubs, Farmer’s Market, Website
    • Direct to chef:
      • Restaurant, Chefs, Food service
    • Direct to store:
      • Wholesale, Health Food Store, Grocery
  • Fresh or frozen
    • Weekly routine orders
meat sales cont
Meat Sales cont…
  • Value added products
    • Whole carcass utilization
      • Whole
      • Halves
      • Quarters
      • Eighths
      • By the pound
  • Specialty cutting
  • Private labeling
meat sales cont1
Meat Sales cont…
  • Diversified product line
    • Grassfed Bison
    • Grassfed Beef
    • Grassfed Lamb
    • Pastured Poultry: Chicken, Turkey
    • Elk, Venison
    • Ostrich
meat sales cont2
Meat Sales cont….
  • Convenience packaging
      • Combo packs
      • Holiday Specials

Bison Sampler Pack

Bison Lover’s Pack

BBQ Pack

“A Little Bit of Everything”

Steak Lover’s Pack

HOLIDAY FEAST

meat sales cont3
Meat Sales cont…
  • Know your product
    • Health benefits of grassfed meat
      • Lower in total fat
      • Lower in saturated fat
      • 2x as much Beta-Carotene
      • 3x more Omega-3 fatty acids
      • 4x more Vitamin E
      • 5x more cancer-fighting CLA’s
          • Richest natural source of CLA (Conjugated linoleic acid)
meat sales cont4
Meat Sales cont…
  • Bison Meat Nutritional Analysis Chart

[1] Marchello et al [Data has not yet been published in a peer review journal]

[2] Marchello et al, Journal of Food Compostion and Analysis 11, 231-239 (1998)

[3] Simopoulos, A. and Robinson, Jo. The Omega Plan. Herper Collin, 1998

meat sales cont5
Meat Sales cont…
  • Distribution methods
    • Ranch Store
    • Shipping couriers: FEDEX, SPEEDEE, DHL
    • Delivery, Shipping coops
    • Website,Ecommerce
    • LTL
in summary
In summary
  • 100% Grassfed
    • Better for the land, the people, and the animal
  • Family owned and operated
  • Sustainable
    • Vertical integration
    • Financial stability
meat sales cont6
Meat Sales cont…
  • Promotional Materials
      • Table tents, cookbooks, POS card,

glossy brochure, recipe cards…

  • Demos, tasting events

Annual Bison Feast

in summary1
In Summary…
  • Fully Integrated
    • Raising animals
    • Processing
    • Marketing products directly
    • Diversify products
      • “ poly-culture”
in summary2
In Summary…
  • Plan your business around your dreams & passions
    • Niche marketing
  • Own your customer
    • Sell your products direct at least 40-50%
    • Multiple distribution arms / venues
meat sales cont7
Meat Sales cont…
  • Pricing Considerations
    • Cost of production, Raising
      • Worksheet: www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture
    • Margin of profit
    • Competition / Market
    • Retail, Wholesale, Case lots, Minimum orders
fecal testing parasite control
FECAL TESTING – PARASITE CONTROL
  • Quantitative Fecal Analysis Kit$75
    • “Paracount EPG” recommended by Dr. Murray Woodbury, MB
        • Website: www.vetslides.com
        • Email: chalexcorp@att.net
      • CBA website – presentation by Dr. Woodbury on Parasite Control
  • Parasite Detection Manual:
    • “Veterinary Clinical Parasitology” 7th Edition
          • By Anne M. Zajoe, Gary A. Conboy $30
  • Microscope: 40-400 power (we use 100 power) $200
  • Fecasol : 1 gallon $20
fecal testing parasite control1
FECAL TESTING – PARASITE CONTROL
  • Tips for successful analysis:
    • Make sure sample is within 1 hour of being deposited. The fresher the better! Must refrigerate in a sealed container or bag until test – will last up to 1 week. If it lays in a warm environment (dash of the truck) in 30 minutes the eggs can begin to hatch.
    • Try to track and chart the animal(s) that you test from. Always test 10% of the herd to get a proper herd assessment. Retest again 10-12 days after treatment to be sure you have accomplished a 70-80% reduction or more.
  • The price we paid……………..
    • 100 calves – 6-8 different herds combined
    • Cost $30-$40,000
      • Rent paid for grass & pasture not utilized
      • Numerous wormers used
      • Loss of yield on the rail(never reached full potential)