Bison ranch offers meat options

CADIZ – Looking for a healthier red meat? Try bison!

Boss Bison Ranch is located at 45701 Unionvale Road, Cadiz. It sells all kinds of bison meat, including tenderloin, rib-eye, top sirloin, flank, and round steaks, tenderloin, tri-tip, chuck, and bottom round roasts, brisket, sirloin tips, back ribs, short ribs, stew meat, ground bison, bison patties, summer sausage, bison bratwurst, Italian sausage, hot dogs, breakfast sausage patties, organ meat and soup bones. All meat is frozen, and inspected by the state.

Boss Bison Ranch is open Monday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. In addition to packaged meat, the ranch serves hot lunches. The lunch wagon is open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The wagon serves bison burgers, deep-fried bison hot dogs, pulled pork, soup of the week, wagon fries, and coleslaw.

Patrons can call ahead at 740-942-8726 to have the food ready for pick-up, or place an order on site. The ranch also hosts a small gift shop offering hats, blankets and gloves made from bison wool along with jewelry and trinkets. The wool used to make the items is gathered in the spring as the bison shed their winter coats, and sent to the Buffalo Wool Company. The company has stated the wool they receive from Boss Bison Ranch is “top quality.”

Boss Bison Ranch is a working farm which raises bison primarily for meat, but also for locals to learn about the animal. Karen and John Sticht established their ranch in 2000, but they’ve worked with bison for over 25 years. They’re invested in promoting bison as a healthier alternative to beef. Bison is high in protein and amino acids, and low in cholesterol and fat. The meat sold at Boss Bison Ranch is 95-98% lean.

Karen Sticht takes pride in the all-natural feeding regimen for the bison; they eat only grass and hay, never corn. They also do not use growth hormones or anything artificial. The results are healthier bison, and a healthier meat for consumption. Sticht says they care deeply about the bison, and most of the producers they have met through the National Bison Association and the Eastern Bison Association feel the same way.

“We respect the animal, we respect the history of the animal,” she said.

In case you’re wondering, bison are often called buffalo, but the term isn’t really accurate. Buffalo is a slang term that originated for bison when French fur trappers began calling them “boefs.”

Bison were once hugely populated throughout North America, but were forced to migrate to the plains as the East Coast was taken over by humans. They were hunted nearly to extinction, and hugely slaughtered during the Industrial Revolution. The population has been built back up since then; there are now approximately 400,000 bison in the United States.

Boss Bison Ranch’s herd stands at around fifty animals. Sticht says people often come to the ranch just to see the bison. Visitors are allowed to pet the bison and feed them treats, preferably bread or apples, for no cost, though donations are accepted. Sticht enjoys teaching the general population about bison.

“We have people coming here all the time who have never seen a bison. We educate adults and kids alike. They’re different than cattle, that’s for sure.” she said. Sticht says that bison can never be truly tamed as they are not a domesticated animal, but the herd at Boss Bison Ranch is socialized.

On June 21 and 22, Boss Bison Ranch will host “Baby Bison Days and Native American Gathering.” The two-day festival will include interaction with baby bison, vendors and Native American dancing. The cost of admission will be a non-perishable food item, which will then be donated to the Harcatus Tri-County food pantry.

“We’ve adopted Harcatus,” said Sticht. “We also did Hunters for the Hungry, and processed deer here for Harcatus. If I can get meat donated to them I will.”

In addition to food donations, the ranch finds other ways to participate in the community. They brought the food wagon out for Oktoberfest and Fourth of July activities.

“It’s a means for us to make money because of the wagon, but also it gets our name out there and it helps promote bison as a healthy food,” Sticht said.

Warner may be reached at