WESTMINSTER, Colo. -- The third-ever International Bison Conference, scheduled for July 20-28, 2007, in South Dakota, will provide ranchers, producers and consumers with educational sessions on important issues concerning bison heritage, culinary experiences and sustainable ranching.

Bison industry pioneers and key leaders from around the world will give their insights and forecasts for the growing bison industry. Educational sessions will be held at the Rapid City Convention Center in Rapid City, S.D., throughout the conference.

Bison herds are growing, as people in North America -- and around the world -- discover bison's deliciously healthy taste. Bison meat is exceptionally low in fat and high in iron, and is noted as one of the most heart-healthy of proteins. Because of increasing consumer popularity, sales of bison meat have doubled since 2002.

The North American bison industry has experienced a tumultuous decade in terms of both production and marketing. Following a four-year collapse in market prices, the industry began to rebound in 2003 and is now experiencing steady growth in consumer demand. Bison producers are once again rebuilding herds.

The conference will identify best practices in bison production and marketing, advance animal health and welfare and facilitate trade in bison products. Targeted attendees are bison producers, processors, retailers and traders; governmental and intergovernmental organizations; researchers, consultants and other service providers; veterinarians and animal nutritionists; and those who want to learn more about bison.

The event kicks off with a four-day covered wagon train through Custer State Park, the "Plains, Trains & Tatonka Wagon Train and Horseback Ride," and an opening ceremony at Mount Rushmore. Complete details can be found at www.ibc2007.com.

The National Bison Association and the Canadian Bison Association are sister nonprofit organizations that promote the preservation, production and marketing of bison. Their activities and services serve to better inform and educate members and the general public about bison. The NBA represents over 1,500 members who raise more than 250,000 head of bison and has members in all 50 states and in 10 countries. The CBA has approximately 850 members throughout Canada.

SOURCE: The National Bison Association via Business Wire.