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a film by Darcy Turenne
Our Buffalo Jerky is made from grass-fed buffalo that roam the wide-open prairie on Dan and Jill O’Brien’s Cheyenne River Ranch and other affiliated Wild Idea Buffalo ranches. These ranches, both large and small, are guided by a shared conservation ethic, and a commitment to producing the highest quality meat. As Dan says, “Conservation and the protection of prairie biodiversity are our main products. Buffalo meat is the delicious byproduct that (sometimes) helps pay the bills.”
Wild Idea Buffalo affiliates now include five separate herds on more than 50,000 acres of grassland, along with select tribal herds, The Nature Conservancy ranchlands, and smaller private ranches as well. Instead of following the cattle-industry livestock model, which negates the nutrition, flavor and conservation benefits of buffalo, these ranches raise buffalo that live, feed and roam on the land as their ancestors once did. The result is exceptionally flavorful, lean meat that’s as delicious as it is good for the prairie ecosystem.
The ranchers who produce buffalo for our jerky believe that their animals should live a good life, and deserve to be harvested by the most humane method possible. As such, the buffalo are not herded into crowded, stressful slaughterhouses, but are, instead, harvested and processed in the field with mobile, USDA-approved equipment. This process, along with the local production of the jerky itself, provides employment and economic benefits to small communities in the Great Plains.