There's a lot of optimism in the bison industry.

The Canadian Bison Association's national convention in Regina wrapped up yesterday.

"We're looking at record high prices right now for market ready bison," says CBA president Mark Silzer. "That's fueled strictly by a growing consumer demand for the product and as a result, there's a lot of optimism building in this industry."

"Currently we're hearing prices up in that $3.40, $3.50 (per pound) on the rail for market ready bison. That's up substantially. Even back in the glory days of the industry we weren't there," he says.

He expects to see strong interest in animals at the National Bison Sale today at Agribition in Regina.

Meanwhile, federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced more than $370 thousand dollars in funding for the bison industry at the convention yesterday.

The money will support two projects:
· $194,500 through the AgriMarketing Program to participate and promote bison products in trade shows; advocate with U.S. industry stakeholders to improve Canada’s market access, and prepare for the 2012 International Bison Conference in Quebec.
· $177,760 to continue the development of a Bison Industry Traceability Program.
~ Tuesday, November 23, 2010 ~