Thursday, June 17, 2010
Bison Meat: Tasty, Versatile, and Good for You, Too
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Doubt whom you will, but never yourself.—Christine Bovee
Page and I recently spent five travel-packed days in Arkansas and Missouri touring quite a few properties and getting a feel for the beauty and livability of the various small- and mid-size towns. Land is considerably less expensive there than it is here in Oregon, and just as beautiful.
Missouri and Arkansas are situated in the middle of the original bison habitat of North America.
The Happy Buffy Ranch in Witter, Arkansas
We saw several beautiful farms and ranches, including one in Witter, Arkansas. Axel Heye’s property in Witter is what started us moving in the direction of Arkansas. I happened across the Happy Buffy Ranch for sale on the internet. Everything needed to successfully raise buffalo is already there on his ranch, and Axel proved to be an informative and gracious host. In the end, we decided that his 177 acres were more than we were ready to take on, even though it was hard to resist the serenity of his green, rolling pastures. It is a fantastic opportunity for someone looking for a ready-made buffalo ranch.
80 Acres of Heaven (and a few goats)
On the last day of our trip, we traveled from Branson, Missouri, to another little town in Missouri called Thayer, where we met a friendly realtor named Leroy. Leroy drove us just past the town of Mountain View and introduced us to the place we fell in love with: a beautiful 80-acre farm in the heart of the Missouri Ozarks. We were greeted by the most convincing good will ambassadors you could imagine: three cute and talkative floppy-eared goats. Their plaintive greetings seemed to say: “You’ll like it here! Now, scratch my ears!”
If I could use only one word to describe the animals, the serene pastures, and the overall feeling of the place it would be “balanced.” A yellow farm cat with giant paws sauntered over to say hello, a turkey fanned its tail feathers for us, and a small herd of goats glanced our way then nonchalantly continued their grazing. Even the dogs, who greeted us briefly and without the usual dog fanfare, were calm and unconcerned about strangers in their universe.
Entrance to the farm
One of six ponds
Home with flower and herb garden in the foreground
It’s a Foregone Conclusion
After seeing this 80 acres in Missouri, Page and I no longer have the slightest doubt that we could be successful as bison ranchers in the area. The location, five minutes from the progressive community of Mountain View and 30 minutes from the larger town of West Plains, is perfectly situated to raise buffalo and still be within reach of employment and community services.
Owning a farm, and obtaining financing for it, is not as easy as simply buying a home, so we face some challenges in realizing this particular dream. However, we are determined to exhaust every possibility to obtain it. Now, more than at any time since the birth of our crazy idea, we are certain we will reach our goal of owning a bison ranch.
There is nothing like a dream to create the future. Utopia to-day, flesh and blood tomorrow.—Victor Hugo