Our bison graze like their ancestors did, eating nothing but the grass beneath their feet. The nutrient-dense grasses they eat produce a delicious, healthy red meat that is rich in the omega-3 fatty acids that the body needs for optimum health. Unlike most buffalo on the market today, Wild Idea Buffalo are never feedlot confined or finished on GMO corn. Additionally, our buffalo restore the wild land they graze to a greater level of biodiversity.
Wild Idea’s 100% grass-fed, grass-finished buffalo produce a superior red meat alternative for consumers, that doesn’t come with an environmental IOU. Maintaining optimal prairie health is critical for our operation and business. By giving our bison room to graze much like their ancestors did years ago, they naturally regenerate the soil back to health, giving plants the chance to flourish. A healthy prairie eco-system is a habitat for thousands of species. Although the bison are the keystone species in maintaining and restoring prairie health, some prairie lands have been too abused and require our intervention to bring them back to their former glory.
In those places where poor agricultural practices have severely abused the land, Wild Idea resources go to restoration of the grassland community. This is a difficult and expensive process. Not incorporating till farming equipment and using the proper mix of native seeds is expensive, and the weather conditions must cooperate. Some ruined fields have to be seeded several years in a row before the seeds germinate and begin to grow. Once the growth begins, buffalo are put back on the land and naturally nourish it back to health.
The green grass you see in a healthy buffalo pasture is only a small portion of the plants that live there. Beneath the ground are many feet of long, tangled roots that are perennial - they do not die in the winter. Those roots lie waiting for the right weather conditions to once again send energy to the green leaves above ground. As long as the plants get a little moisture and some rest every year or so, those roots will remain the engine that powers the machine that sucks CO2 from the air, breaks the carbon atom from the oxygen atoms, and sends the oxygen back into the atmosphere for us to breathe. The carbon stays in the ground, and as long as the soil is healthy, it remains sequestered there – where it cannot get back into the atmosphere as a greenhouse gas that causes global warming. Keeping buffalo in those pastures helps keep that soil healthy and our climate from changing and threatening all life on earth.
The Great Plains once contained thousands of species of plants, animals, birds, insects, amphibians, reptiles, and microbes. Today that number has been greatly diminished, mostly due to the conversion of huge portions of “the sea of grass” to agricultural monocultures that consist of only one species. Loss of biodiversity has a cascading effect. Since every species depends on all the other species in its biome, the loss of a single species – for instance the eradication of prairie fringe orchids by overgrazing – leads to the loss of a particular suite of insects, which leads to the loss of the birds that feed on those insects, and so on. This cascading effect is in full swing on the Great Plains of America. By dedicating the land to buffalo grazing, the deterioration is shortstopped and even species that are rare get a chance to recover.