The bison, more commonly known as buffalo, surpassed near extinction when white settlers invaded North America during the expansion to the west.
Perhaps considered one of the proudest states and a little self-centered, Texas is home to many bison ranches. Known to many as being a state that has tremendous and breathtaking storms through out the year, listening as the flash of lightning streaks from the clouds to the ground and the inevitable and deafening thunder that seemingly tends to last nearly 20 to 30 seconds afterward. The great bison, nicknamed “thunder of the plains,” may just have more in common with Texas.
Mark Worthington, a resident of Weatherford, fulfilled the wish of his daughter Bree Clay, when she just a teenager by getting her a buffalo. Bree, the youngest trick rider and the youngest woman to be nominated into the Cowgirl Hall of Fame, became interested in raising and training a buffalo to do tricks on when she was in her teens.
Mark finally gave into his daughter’s passion and determination, and found a buffalo ranch near College Station. Mark purchased their oldest Mo, at 3 days old and have had Mo for eight years. Bree bottle fed and trained Mo to do exactly what she set out to do. Bree has taken Mo to several rodeos and is now under contract with Plains Capital Bank as their living mascot.
Bree and Mo attend miscellaneous functions and grand openings for the bank. A new addition to the buffalo girl’s family, is Tuffy. Bree received a call from a buffalo ranch in South Texas, who explained that a female buffalo had abandoned her baby and offered Bree the opportunity to revive the young calf. Suffering from severe dehydration, from being without nutrition for four to five days, Bree spent many days and nights at the veterinarian’s office hoping for the calf to make it.
Now about 3 months old, the calf is just as spry and eager for attention as any young toddler may be. Bree decided on the name Tuffy, because she felt that’s just what this calf was, tough little guy. The two have a lot in common, Bree and her persistence with her father to get her the buffalo and Tuffy, his will to live.
Bree and her two buffalo are now under a two year contract with the Plains Capital Bank.
Ranches of bison in Texas, provide an alternative to beef, offering a lean buffalo burger, that is 96 percent more lean, contains 30 percent more protein, has less calories and 50 percent less cholesterol. A well-known restaurant chain, Riscky’s Barbeque, with a location in the historic Fort Worth stockyards, offers a trail boss burger, that is made with six ounces of ground buffalo meat for only $7.95.
The company’s administrator and buyer, Melvin Morgan, purchases all of their buffalo meat from the Lone Star Meat Company, out of Austin, Texas.
“The location in the stockyards is a pretty popular place, people come in just so they can say they’ve tried buffalo meat. We also offer buffalo rib-eye at our steakhouses,” Morgan said.
“Bottom line is that buffalo meat is a much leaner meat,” Morgan said.