2000 Bison Research Report

Bison Research at North Dakota State University

The bison industry is growing rapidly and deserves legitimate research effort.  Few universities have embraced bison with planned research conducted with dedicated resources.  North Dakota State University has had bison research activities underway in a number of disciplines for several years.  This publication is the first volume of bison research information from NDSU.  Additional perspectives are provided by Tribal bison program coordinators and NDSU departments.  Subject matter is included from Veterinary and Microbiological Sciences, Textiles and Clothing, Animal and Range Sciences, and the Carrington Research Extension Center.  Subject matter includes bison health/disease issues, meat nutrient content, bison nutrition, production economics, and bison fiber characteristics. 

Meats studies were initiated several years ago as was nutrition research conducted on producersí farms and ranches.  Some studies have been conducted in cooperation with the North American Bison Cooperative.  In 1997, bison producer input to the North Dakota legislature resulted in an appropriation of $100,000 for the biennium for initiation of a bison nutrition research facility at Carrington Research Extension Center.  Grants supplemented the appropriated funds for constructing a modest research facility.  The facility consists of 16 pens with holding and handling facilities specially designed for bison.  The bison research program at Carrington will focus on nutritional aspects of bison production including basic nutrient requirements and practical production methods.  Research is underway to evaluate energy needs for maintenance and gain with several other high priority projects on the list. Studies in animal health issues and economics have high priority.

A multi-state bison center of excellence has been proposed to foster joint research and educational activities.  North Dakota State University and South Dakota State University will bring unique talents to the organization.  Tribal colleges in both states will participate with animals and land where studies can be conducted using herds in their native habitat.  This center will support bison producers of all management philosophies and ethnic backgrounds by coordinating research and educational activities.

Those of us involved in bison research and educational activities are actively soliciting input for our research programs.  You may contact us through the Carrington Research Extension Center at (phone) 701.652.2951, PO Box 219, Carrington, ND, 58421, or email vanderso@ndsuext.nodak.edu

Practical Lessons in Feeding Bison Bulls for Meat Maximizing Forage and Minimizing Grain Intake in Bison Bulls Fed for Meat
Rabies in an American Bison from North Dakota Characterization of Putative Haemophilus somnus Isolates from Tonsils of American Bison (Bison bison)
Pasteurellaceae Isolated from Tonsillar Samples of Commercially-Reared American Bison (Bison bison) Nutrient Composition of Fed Bison
Consumption of Ground Bison Does Not Increase Early Atherosclerosis Development in Hypercholesteroliemic Hamsters

Palatability and Nutrient Composition of Grass-Finished Bison


Concentrations of Selected Vitamins and Selenium in Bison Cuts Nutrient Content of Bison Meat from Grass- and Grain-Finished Bulls
Bison for Fun or Profit? Commercial Bison Production: Economic Analysis and Budget Projections
Economic Contribution of the Bison Industry
to the North Dakota Economy
Bison Wool Fiber Characteristics
Bison Research for the Native American Community The Development and Mission of the NDSU Bison Nutrition Research Facility
Perspectives on Nutritional Management of Bison Bulls Fed for Meat Demonstration of Lignite Fly Ash for Stabilizing Soil Surfaces - Progress Report


NDSU Vice President,
Dean and Director for Agricultural Affairs
NDSU Extension Service ND Agricultural
Experiment Station
NDSU College of Agriculture NDSU College of Human Development and Education