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Center of Excellence for Bison Studies Competitive Grants Awarded

The Center of Excellence for Bison Studies is nearing its two-year anniversary, having been established in the Fall of 2020 as a partnership between South Dakota State University, the National Bison Association, and the National Buffalo Foundation. The Center, housed at SDSU’s West River Research & Extension office in Rapid City, was formed in response to the bison industry’s aspiration to advance research and education efforts.

Shortly after its launch, the Center announced the start of an annual competitive grants program to fund research and outreach projects that align with bison industry priorities such as animal health and nutrition, end-products and marketing, cultural aspects, educational outreach and ecological impacts. In 2021, the Center announced support for eight selected projects:

  • A baseline inventory assessment of biological and cultural impacts of buffalo restoration in Indian country (InterTribal Buffalo Council)
  • An integrated approach to assess parasite burden and anthelmintic treatment success in North American bison (Kansas State University)
  • Benchmarking live animal and carcass quality outcomes at slaughter to identify factors impacting bison carcass value (Colorado State University)
  • Bison on the move: How translocations affect bison production and disease prevalence across space, time, and organization (South Dakota State University)
  • Characterization of bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) in bison (South Dakota State University)
  • Comparison of ground nesting bee (Apoidea) abundance and diversity between bison wallows and adjacent prairie (USDA – Agricultural Research Service)
  • Habitat use and avoidance in a large, patchy landscape by American plains bison: Implications for management and conservation of the species (University of Nebraska – Kearney)
  • Investigating the ruminal metagenome of grass-fed bison to uncover metabolic activities that impact the efficiency of forage utilization (South Dakota State University)

These projects are now entering their second year, with several expected to be completed by next summer. 

In the second year of the grants program, the Center again received numerous applications from across the country that were highly competitive and addressed numerous issues important to the bison industry. The Center is excited to announce the two projects selected for funding in 2022:

  • Assessing factors that influence the virulence of Mycoplasma bovis in bison (University of Wyoming)
  • Investigating mineral and vitamin status and needs for bison (Colorado State University)

These new projects will continue to add to the volume of research being supported by the Center. Details and deadlines regarding next year’s competitive grant program are expected to be announced in early fall.  For more information about these projects and other COE projects, visit us at or contact Center Director Kristi Cammack or 605-394-2236.