We are Theresa & Ron Miskin, our family has been raising bison for almost 30 years, and we are passionate about bringing you the best quality bison products. The last ten years we have been developing a supply chain incorporating small mills, local designers, and large ranches, and along the way, it is our belief that together we can preserve one of America's great symbols, and help bolster the U.S. economy by focusing on American Made products
All About The Buffalo Wool Co
We are Theresa (or "T") & Ron Miskin. Our family has been raising bison for almost 30 years; and we are passionate about bringing you the best quality bison products. It is our belief that together we can preserve one of America's great symbols, and help bolster the U.S. economy by focusing on American Made products. Learn more about our products at https://thebuffalowoolco.comPosted by The Buffalo Wool Co on Wednesday, April 25, 2018
1. We are committed to helping conserve and promote the American plains bison and the ranchers that raise them.
2. We stand behind every product 100%, if you don't absolutely love your purchase here, we will replace, exchange or buy it back.... your choice.
3. We are available to answer questions most of the time, and we love talking to people about bison, and our bison products. Please, if you have any questions, call or write.. we answer emails fairly quickly, and the phone most hours.
1. Do you really raise bison? yes, my family has been raising American Plains Bison for over 30 years, we have just recently purchased a part of the historic Goodnight Ranch (Charles Goodnight was the inspiration for Woodrow Call of Lonesome Dove, his wife also is one of the people responsible for saving the bison at the turn of the century, and responsible for founding the Caprock Canyon Herd, sending bison to Yellowstone, and I believe to the Bronx Zoo) Dad is responsible for bringing the bison back to Goodnight after almost 100 years. We do also work with almost 200 ranches across the country.
2. How do you get the fiber off a bison? Very Carefully :) Actually we harvest 3 different ways, A. We started originally using just naturally shed fiber, these creatures grow out a downy winter coat, and slough it off in the spring, we would pick it up off the fences and brush, and process it from there. We still harvest shed fiber from ranches across the US, using street sweeper brushes on fence posts. We also shear the hides at the packing plants, these are all ranch raised animals for meat, and we hate to let any of this gorgeous stuff go to waste. We also do a little bit of live shearing on some of the really large ranches that have hydraulic squeeze chutes when they are doing the spring round-ups … that is something to see, and we are taking volunteers to hold the horns :)
3. Why do you do this? We are fans of bison, and if you have 10 minutes or an hour or so, I would love to tell you why bison are awesome and very necessary to this country. These majestic animals roamed coast to coast, and from Alaska down to Mexico City, and it is only through the commercial ranching, and the animals having a value that has helped them make such a comeback. From 100-1000 animals left at the turn of the century, to over 700,000 today, it is due to the ranchers who have dedicated land and resources to them. We are big supporters of bison ranchers all across this country and started this as an extra income source to add more value to the animals. Once you actually wear the fiber, you will understand just how luxurious, warm, and durable it really is.
4. Bison or Buffalo? And why are you called “The Buffalo Wool Co.” if you only raise bison? The American plains bison (Bison Bison or Bos Bison to be scientific) are native to the U.S. (and Canada, but they have funny accents) is the animal we work with, and the only true buffalo are the water buffalo, Asiatic Buffalo, and Cape Buffalo in Africa, India, and Australia … and they really don’t have usable fiber. It was supposedly the French who gave them the nickname Boufs- after cattle (I like blaming the French as much as possible) and us being American’s changed that to “Bufflers” and eventually buffalo.
5. Established 1821 Re-established in 2011? The Buffalo Wool Co. is a historic name originally founded in 1821 by the Hudson Bay Co, in Red River Manitoba… only lasted about 5 years before bankruptcy, and as they weren’t using the name, and we thought it sounded good, we adopted it in 2011.
From the Archives of Manitoba
The Buffalo Wool Company was founded with these ideals in mind.
1. To provide a substitute for wool; as it was supposed, from the numbers and destructive habits of the wolves, that sheep could neither be raised nor preserved in Red River, at least to any extent.
2. The substitute contemplated was the wool of the wild buffalo, which was to be collected in the plains, and manufactured both for the use of the colonists and for export.
3. To establish a tannery for manufacturing the buffalo hides for domestic purposes.
It was the chairman's belief, to quote his own words, that "To accomplish these important ends, neither much capital nor much skill was required;" but others thought very differently of the project, and were assured that much would depend on economy and proper management. Nevertheless, the capital, amounting to 2,0001., was no sooner placed in the bank than operations were commenced with as much confidence as if the mines of Potosi had been at their door. All the plain hunters were set in motion; the men were encouraged to exert every nerve to procure hides, and the women to gather wool. A new impulse was thus given to industry, but it was attended with two evils—evils which might have easily been foreseen. First, the wool and the hides were not to be got, as stated, for the picking up; and, secondly, all who had previously applied themselves to the cultivation of the soil, threw aside the hoe and spade to join the plain-rangers. The hope of realizing gold from articles hitherto perfectly useless, diverted the elements of civilization into the channel of barbarism, and substituted an uncertain resource for the solid reliance of agriculture. The hides, likewise, rose in price proportionate to the demand, and soon cost 6s. each to the company; wool, 1s. 6d. per pound. Still warning was not taken. Orders were sent to England for machinery, implements, dyes, and skilled workmen; a superintendent, a clerk, a storekeeper, and many others, were engaged at high salaries; and as nothing could be done in those palmy days without the bottle and the glass, spirits were imported by the hogshead.
An establishment was formed befitting the dignity of the Buffalo Wool Company. All Red River at work. High wages gave a high tone to the undertaking. A second immigration of operatives consisted of curriers, skinners, sorters, wool-dressers, teasers, and bark-manufacturers, of all grades, ages, and sexes. Boys and girls advanced from 2s. 6d. to 7s. each per day; men had at first 7s. 6d., but they kept ascending the scale till they reached 15s. per day. Such were the prospects, the encouragement, the miscalculation, the extravagance! Light come, light go! Money was spent as if the goose that laid the golden eggs was to live for ever. Meanwhile, provisions became dear, and at length scarce; for while labour obtained these high rates at the manufactory, no one would willingly take the hoe or the spade at 2s. per day.
Such was the state of things in full operation when curiosity led a few disinterested persons, the writer among others, to take a peep at this fool's paradise. Alas! what scenes of disorder! what waste, what excess and folly! Half the people were off duty, officials as well as others, wallowing in intemperance. One man lying drunk here, an-other there; the bottle and glass set up at every booth, and all comers invited to drink free of cost. The hides were allowed to rot, the wool spoiled; the tannery proved a complete failure. In short, besides ex-pending their 2,0001. capital, the company found themselves indebted in the amount of 4,5001. to the Hudson's Bay Company, who had been their bankers. This heavy loss hung over their heads for several years, till the honourable Company drew the pen through it, and relieved the bankrupt Buffalo Company from the terrors of a lawsuit. A few samples of cloth had indeed been made and sent home; but that which cost 21. 10s. per yard in Red River, would only fetch 4s. 6d. in England!
The office number is 802-379-WOOL (9665)
Ron can be reached at 817-905-4584
Theresa can be reached at 817-320-2966