We have learned at Back Forty Bison to view ourselves as a member of an intricate ecosystem. We have discovered that bison and their hooves are perfect plows to increase the native prairie we are bringing back to Dade County. We have learned that bees make great pollinators and play a vital role in cover crops. And we are fascinated with how insects create a rich climate of growth in our topsoil. We also recently discovered the major role that birds play in this ecosystem. They control pests, pollinate plants and spread seed. In fact scientists frequently use birds to gauge the overall health of an ecosystem. Not to mention their beauty and the music they bring to us in their song!
Back Forty Bison is excited to announce we are the first bison only operation in the nation to achieve Audubon Certification! This certification represents a commitment to the Audubon Conservation Ranching Program that serves to preserve bird habitats. The primary one in our area is the Eastern Tallgrass Prairie. Did you know that grassland species of birds are among the most imperiled bird groups in the United States? According to the Audubon Society’s 2019 North American Grasslands & Birds Report, total populations have declined more than 40 percent since 1966. This decline is primarily attributed to the significant decrease in tallgrass prairies that provided necessary habitat for their survival. With this certification, we are committed to creating land-management practices that not only serve our bison well, but target specific bird species and their habitat needs. These practices will be audited annually by the Food Alliance, a non-profit organization that certifies farms, ranches, food processors and distributors for sustainable agriculture and management practices. Our grazing land will be monitored by the Missouri River Bird Observatory who will walk our pastures and actually count the birds, giving us a “bird friendly” score we can work to improve upon every year.
Our primary mission here at Back Forty Bison is to be a good steward of God’s creation. With a lot of work over the past few years, we are now a totally grass fed operation, our pasture soil health is better than ever before and our bison are thriving! We would like to thank the Audubon Society, Missouri Department of Conservation and Dade County Soil and Water Conservation District for being such amazing partners with us in this endeavor. We will also be proudly displaying the Audubon Bird Friendly grazing emblem on our meat products to assure our customers that animals and meat purchased from us have been produced in a conservation minded, responsible and sustainable manner! Be watching future posts where we will be highlighting the specific birds we will focus on here at Back Forty Bison! For more information, check out the following website: