Social Justice: Wild Idea Buffalo Co. Has A Lot of Heart

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Social Justice has covered a fair number of apparel & outdoor sporting companies for two reasons; the former, because there are so many challenging fair labor issues, and the latter, because its consumers are connected to nature regularly and therefore more eco-aware.

This week we turn to a business segment we’ve never covered before: MEAT, and Wild Idea Buffalo Co. had me at “Rediscover Bacon”, one of the sliders on their home page.  Besides offering a new kind of bacon, Wild Idea Buffalo meat is Grass-fed, Free-Roaming, Hormone & Antibiotic free, and Humanely Harvested.

The Wild Idea That Started the Company

In 1997 Dan O’Brien started the Wilde Idea Buffalo Company on his small ranch after raising buffalo as a hobby. The company website describes his vision:

Preserving land for wild things has been the focus of Dan O’Brien’s life. Bringing buffalo back to their native homeland on the Great Plains has been at the center of his preservation efforts.

The ranches that are essential to allowing buffalo to roam free across the plains total well over 60,000 acres, and the company describes its land and animal management practices as “as close to nature’s intentions as possible.” Their aim is not only to restore the buffalo population, but to restore the grasslands as well.

In 1997 Wild Idea sold the meat from 3 or 4 Buffalo; in 2012 they showed over $1 million in gross revenue.

ArCompany Wild Idea Buffalo

The Health Benefits of Buffalo

Americans began turning to Buffalo (also known as Bison) as a healthier substitute for meat years ago.  Wild Idea Buffalo Co. lays out the benefits as such:

  • Lower in calories, fat, and cholesterol than chicken or fish.
  • Higher in protein than beef.
  • Nutrient-dense, flavor rich, outrageously lean, and high in antioxidant Omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin E.
  • 100% native grass fed – delivering 3.5x more omega-3 fatty acids than grain-fed bison.

Wild Idea Buffalo meat is lower in calories, fat and cholesterol than beef, and if you’re interested in the Paleo Diet, the website has an entire page dedicated to it.  You can purchase their meat on their website.

Dan’s Writings Show You The Heart of it All

As big proponent of blogging, it is rare that I find a company actually doing it right in the social good community; most of the businesses I cover are either small and short staffed, or just not aware of how important their blog is to building awareness for their brand and trust with their community.

Wild Idea Buffal has not only one blog, but 2, Jill’s Journal and Dan’s Writings. My first read of Dan’s, Sustainable Practices?, blew me away. Not only is it great writing, this post gets to the very heart of why companies like WIB are essential.  Here are a few of the must read segments that are at the heart of Wild Idea:

 From a country of nearly all farmers we have become a nation of 83% city dwellers. Our rural population declines by about 1.5% every year and with that decrease comes an erosion of the intimacy with land that makes us human. Before 1960, most farms were small, integrated operations growing a garden and some small grains with a few cows, hogs, chickens, maybe a couple turkeys and sheep. Those animals would roam around the farm all summer, choosing their diet from the vegetative biodiversity offered up by the land.

Suddenly farmers had powerful tractors to plow up the ground and alter it from a bio diverse farm to a field, where only one species could grow. All other plants, animals, or insects could be destroyed with chemicals or mechanical cultivation. If the natural fertilization systems were destroyed in the process, they could be replaced by chemical fertilizers. Fertile farms became monocultures where tremendous amounts of one crop were grown.

Driven by the machinery and chemical companies, legislation was passed to make this transition from fertility to sterility easy and profitable for farmers. They were able to exchange the lifestyle of farming for the businesses of industrial agriculture. The age of the row crops was born.

All of that fabulous, riveting content was found in Dan’s latest post, and it makes one thing clear: Wild Idea Buffalo Company is the real deal.  This is not a company jumping on the sustainable, organic, cleaning eating bandwagon.

Wild Idea Buffalo and Social Media

Wild Idea’s Facebook Page is healthy, active, and 28K strong.

Twitter is much less engaged, with just over 600 followers; and yes, I again advocate for beefing this up (pun intended) since the social good, eco friendly community is very active on Twitter.

Pinterest is also in need of some love and attention; with an over 45, highly educated and majority female user group, Pinterest is a prime space for WIB to grow their brand reach.

Although WIB shows no Google+ presence, I think all companies targeting specific communities should take a second look AT G+ Communities, since many are vibrant and full of ideas and exchange in a way that Facebook Pages fail.

If you have an extra 3 minutes, take a look at this You Tube video that shows both the beauty of the Wild Idea Buffalo grasslands, and the beauty of the foundation Wild Idea Buffalo Company is based upon:

VP of Content & Strategy at ArCompany. She has an extensive background in Sales, and focuses on generational marketing and content. With Hessie Jones she founded ArCompany’s Millnnnial, GenX and Boomer Think Tanks and writes and speaks on those topics from an insights/strategy perspective.

2 thoughts on “Social Justice: Wild Idea Buffalo Co. Has A Lot of Heart

  1. Karen says:

    I admire what this company is doing but the whole thing is rather obscene considering that millions of bison freely roamed the Plains before Europeans deliberately annihilated the population to eliminate the Native Indians’ food source. This was genocide. Mass genocide. And now Bison is being brought back as a vogue food choice. Disgusting!

  2. RB says:

    @Karen – Bison are actually very beneficial to the restoration and conservation of the
    prairies; this is a good thing. What is it you find disgusting about a healthy, ethically raised and slaughtered, sustainable food source that is also good for the environment?  Perhaps bison is coming back as ‘a vogue food choice’ because consumers are becoming more discerning and socially responsible.

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