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Indiana Bison farm is one of this year's featured farmers at the Indiana State Fair

Red Frazier Bison Ranch is in Greene County.
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Posted at 5:24 PM, Aug 12, 2022

On approximately 320 acres across the rolling hills of Greene County, Indiana you will find the Red Frazier Bison Ranch. One of these years featured farmers at the Indiana State Fair.

Zach Martin is one of the co-owners of the ranch that is now home to over 150 bison making it one of the largest ranches in the state. After working in construction for many years Zach took his passion for animals, land management and farming and turned it into a new career.

Starting off with 8 bison through purchase and reproduction he has turn grown the herd to what it is today. As president of the Indiana/Illinois Bison Association he is helping to not only grow the bison population in the state but is also helping to educate the public.

If you look at the Indiana state seal, you will see a bison on it. They roamed the land long ago but almost became extinct. That population is now once again growing in the state thanks to mainly private rancher like Red Frazier. I learned a lot about the animal from Zach as we ventured into the fields keeping safety in mind.

Bison are herd animals and roam the land together and are almost completely self-sufficient. On this ranch they are rotated into different pastures every 7-10 days all around a central water station. They all have access to the water and then eat the grass for food as they roam. They are never confined or placed in pens and stay in the fields no matter what the weather. They even birth their own calves in the field without any help.

The question many people ask is about safety. Should you be around these massive animals? Zach told us if they have space, they will likely run away from you. You should never try to pet, ride or get close to one. If they feel confined, they will run over you. They won’t want to eat you they will just run you over. As for attach out west, Zach tells us it is likely a lone bull bison that go kicked out of the herd. Remember, they like being in the herd. That is their security blanket. So, it is likely that male lost its dominance, got kick out of the herd and is already agitated. Some tourist then tries to get close and make him madder and as a result gets run over. Bottom line, if you give bison space they will likely just move away.

Red Frazier has a breeding herd and also a market herd as bison meat is growing in popularity. Especially with more health-conscious people as the meat is higher in protein and iron while lower in fat and cholesterol than beef. The meat is not gamey as many people think. It just needs to be prepared different with the key being at lower temperatures. You don’t want to overcook bison.

Red Frazier’s cuts on meat are already found in many butcher shops and restaurants around central Indiana. They also have a roving food truck that can be found across the area. That trailer will be parked near Pioneer Village for the entire duration of the State Fair so go check them out. If you can’t make to the fair they have their own store as well in Bloomington as well as online ordering through their web site Indianabison.com.