The Manitoba Advantage in Bison Protein

Bison producers in Manitoba are known for their sustainable production practices, high quality genetics and breeding stock. The province has significant crop and forage grazing acres to support growth in the bison industry.  


Manitoba’s Bison Industry

  • Manitoba is home to the third largest provincial bison herd with 86 bison farms raising 14,025 bison, according to the 2016 Census of Agriculture.
  • The average herd size per farm in Manitoba is 163 bison.
  • New on-farm video technology has made it more efficient for producers to hold public auctions.  Bison are also sold at private auction markets. 
  • There was one Federally Inspected processing plant and 9 Provincially Inspected plants harvesting bison in 2020.

Bison producers market their calves to finisher operations in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.


Industry Associations:

Market and Consumer Trends

Canadian marketers exported fresh and chilled bison meat to 9 countries in 2020. The United States, Switzerland and The Netherlands are the largest export markets.

Canadian fresh-meat exports have almost tripled from 2014 to 2018. 

The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement can support the growth of Manitoba’s bison industry as it allows for 3,000 tonnes of Canadian bison to be exported to the European Union tariff-free.


The University of Manitoba has conducted research on improving the colour of fresh bison meat, using packaging technology and essential oils.


Email: Manitoba Agriculture