We are so proud to announce that 777 Bison Ranch in Hermosa, South Dakota has earned G.A.P.’s Pasture Raised / Step 4 Animal Welfare Certification and is our first bison ranch to be certified. The ranch is owned and operated by the Hillenbrand family and has been for over 40 years. Daughter, Mimi, is now leading the operation – raising over 1,000 bison each year.
Mimi cares deeply about animals and the environment dating back to when she was little, and spent her summers on the ranch. Mimi finished her undergrad with a degree in Wildlife Biology and then earned a Masters of Agricultural Science. She attended field school in Africa when she was younger because she thought she wanted to be a research scientist, but later realized that her passion (and heart) was truly on the range – raising animals and caring for the land. She’s now working on a second Masters degree in Natural Resource Science, specializing in Rangeland Stewardship.
About the Ranch
The 777 Bison Ranch is a grassfed cow-calf-finisher operation, growing the herd based on planned grazing techniques (holistic/regenerative management). Planned grazing allows the herd to graze year-round, while giving the plants ample time to rest and recover before being grazed again. This process allows for higher forage production, more plant diversity (and a yummier mix of food for the bison), healthier plants and animals, and, most importantly, a sustainable environment.
Mimi heard about the G.A.P. program about a year ago, and our comprehensive animal welfare standards resonated with her. In fact, she says she “loved” how detailed the G.A.P. audit was, as she appreciates how thorough the animal standards have been developed. Raising animals holistically, sustainably, and humanely is truly at the heart of everything 777 Bison Ranch does. They strive to be a productive and profitable bison ranch with the highest regard and respect for the land, the animals, the people who work there, and the surrounding communities. And now they can add G.A.P. Animal Welfare Certification to their ongoing list of accomplishments. We are absolutely thrilled to have them on board and wish Mimi and her team continued success for years to come.
Want to learn more?
For more information on 777 Bison Ranch, visit their website. And to learn more about G.A.P.’s comprehensive bison standards, check out our Bison page here. Thank you for your interest in farm animal welfare and the G.A.P. program! Remember to look for the label and #MakeitGAP!