Who We Are
Peter & Judy Haase
Peter and Judy Haase have been the owners and operators of Buffalo Horn Ranch since 1994 when the bison industry was still in its infancy. We began our bison herd with pure plains bison, many of which we registered. Our philosophy was to keep a pure plains bison herd and to raise top quality plains breeding stock. Once our initial herd was established, we have maintained a closed herd other than to bring in the occasional pure plains bison bull with different genetics for breeding as needed. Over the years we have been involved in the bison meat industry and volunteered a great amount of time and energy to educate the public and increase awareness of the great qualities of bison meat. For over 20 years, we sold our own bison meat, labeled as Buffalo Horn Ranch Natural Meats, both at Farmer’s Markets in the Calgary and Cochrane areas and through an established home delivery system in the off season. We have almost entirely retired from marketing meat and have reduced our herd as well as our meat sales.
Throughout our bison ranching, we retained the top end of our heifer calves to improve our herd genetics and now have a very nice, consistent herd of dark plains bison cows as well as an extensive record of our herd and genetics maintained regularly. We now sell our weaned calves in the winter, heifers being sold to other bison ranchers as breeding stock, some bull calves being sold as potential plains breeding bulls, with the remainder sold to be fed out for the meat industry. Plans to retire from bison ranching are now under way with full retirement proposed for 2020. It is an emotional time as the ranch, our home and our bison are the love of our life but we have great plans for being active in our retirement. In a partnership arrangement, we are passing on our philosophy and herd to Adam and MaryAnne Wells of Calgary, who will maintain the closed herd plains bison genetics and similar management philosophy that we have established on the ranch over the years. We have plans to continue to live on the ranch and mentor Adam and MaryAnne as needed over the next years to come. Time will tell what comes in the future retirement chapter of our lives.
The Wells Family
Despite both being born in the city, Adam and MaryAnne Wells couldn’t escape the draw of the prairies or their family roots on the farm. They became interested in bison while researching ways to get involved in agriculture and started attending Bison producer conventions. The Bison community was extremely welcoming and generally reflected the conservationist/regenerative farming mindset they were seeking. They love the miracle of turning little more than rain and sunshine into the most delicious and healthy protein source available, all while improving the soil and supporting the prairie ecosystem that was created by the bison thousands of years ago.
In 2017, while searching for a place to start their own operation, some local producers put them in touch with Peter and Judy and the rest is history. Since then, their bison coaches have molded them from tentative city folks into appropriately fearful but confident ranchers with a strong appreciation for the right way to do things.
MaryAnne and Adam will carry on the established breeding and genetics program to continue the Buffalo Horn Ranch bloodline that has been carefully developed over the last 25 years. They believe Buffalo Horn Ranch is a great example of sustainable food production and how animals should be handled and treated with care and respect. The Wells’ are committed to providing the happiest and healthiest existence possible for the bison until they leave the ranch.
Whereas Peter and Judy were scaling back the operation preparing for retirement, the Wells’ will now slowly expand the herd again and have already retained a good group of heifers from this year’s calves. Operations will be primarily cow-calf for the time being to keep things manageable, but the meat business may eventually return as time and opportunity permits.
The Wells’ enjoy the opportunity to spend time working as a family and hope to instill a strong work ethic and appreciation for the environment and sustainable food production in their four free-range children. Aside from helping with ranch chores, the kids enjoy swimming in the river, building forts and practicing archery at the ranch.
In addition to ranching bison, the Wells’ maintain part time city jobs. MaryAnne works as a Registered Nurse and Adam is a director of IT consulting for a large firm.