Building a Bison Homestead: Life at Cherokee Valley Bison Ranch

| 10/11/2013 10:13:00 AM

bison cow and calfEarlier in the summer we had the good fortune to travel down Lonesome Lane to meet a woman farmer - I think Carie’s story is a good example of how many of us ease into our dreams.

In Carie’s words: “My grandmother was a big influence in my upbringing. In the 50 years she owned this farm she didn't allow any pesticides to be used. I remember her talking about the "conventional" farmer who farmed the adjoining fields and hoping one of the hoses would come off of his sprayer and choke him!

In the 90's she divided up her farm and gave land to each one of her children. She wanted to see them enjoy her gift. My parents were hippies who brought my sister and me up with “organic gardening”. We didn't know it was called that at the time but all of these things made an impression. No surprise that when I went to college I studied Environmental Science.

My first job was at a water testing lab. Then I worked in an anodizing factory doing process control analysis and their wastewater testing. It was awful and I was exposed to so many nasty chemicals. 

In 2001 I had a lot of life changes, and moved back home. My aunt was kind enough to let me stay in a house she had. I begged my mom to let me put a house on her property and within six months I had a home in the middle of a 25-acre hay field.

In 2006, I went to work in a veneer mill as a safety coordinator. To celebrate my new job I went to eat at a restaurant where they served bison.  It was the best thing I had ever tasted.  I thought to myself that I would like to eat it all the time. That's when the light bulb went on! I lived in the middle of 25 acres AND I could raise bison!

10/14/2013 12:04:26 PM

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