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Greg Martin National Mammal
by Greg Martin, click here for bio

Program: Line on Agriculture
Date: May 31, 2012

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National Mammal. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Line On Agriculture.

This is one of those scratch your head stories. Dave Carter, executive director of the National Bison Association has been in Washington DC trying to convince government officials into making the bison the national mammal. If you are like me...I assumed it already was.

CARTER: Well you know that’s funny because we had kind of figured the same thing and the only thing we had as an official anything in this country was the national emblem of course which is the Bald Eagle. That’s why a group of us last fall got to talking and representing some pretty diverse constituencies; the Bison Association with the private ranchers and the Wildlife Conservation Society, Intertribal Buffalo Council and we all talked about, gosh, this is such an incredible animal and it’s played such an important role
in the history, the heritage.

Carter says they sat down with Wyoming's Senator Enzi and South Dakota’s Senator Johnson.

CARTER: I think we’re going to be adding some co-sponsors as we go along because it was so funny when we sat down with the senators and threw out the proposal the reaction was almost universal. There was sort of this look of puzzlement at first of gosh, like you said, isn’t it already the national mammal and then sort of a smile of wow this is really kind of a neat idea.

This idea should really catch fire on a bi-partisan scope. Carter says in the long run there would be a great benefit.

CARTER: Ultimately Greg, the reason that I’m excited about it is it provides us a platform to tell the story of bison. And the story is that the conservationists, the tribal folks and private landowners are playing a critical role in restoring this animal to the rangelands and pastures across the country but also the diets of the American people. And from the standpoint of the private producers we look at our customers as an important part of this coalition as well.

So how can we the American public help?

CARTER: The first thing they can do is there’s a website called votebison.org and you can go on there and sign up as a part of the coalition. You’ll get updates as this process goes forward because once the legislation passes we’re looking at then designating the first Thursday of every November as National Bison Day. Of course Greg, if people want any information about bison at all they can go to bisoncentral.com which is our website at the National Bison Association.

That’s today’s Line On Agriculture. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network. 

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