Through membership in the Canadian Bison Association (CBA) and their regional associations, bison producers provide financial support to assist the associations in protecting and promoting the interests of the bison industry. This support enables the national and regional associations to provide benefits that include:
- Smoke Signals, an industry magazine published three times per year
- A national electronic newsletter that is sent out weekly that offers the latest news and events (from local to international), that affects the Bison Community
- Regional newsletters to keep members current on industry issues
- Seminars and a national convention to educate members and to enhance their management practices both in production and marketing
- Marketing Materials, Newsletter Ads and RFID Tags offered at a reduce price to members
- Travel Insurance and Accommodations at reduce rates
- Weekly Market Report on bison prices
The Canadian Bison Association and regional associations represent their members in many ways. These include:
- Lobby on industry’s behalf to ensure the interests of the bison industry are considered in federal and provincial policy development
- Lobby on industry’s behalf to remove trade restrictions both domestically and internationally
- Lobby on industry's behalf to ensure government programs include bison.
- Lobby on industry's behalf to obtain financial assistance for market development.
- Represent the industry in dealing with animal health issues i.e. worked with CFIA to move to TB/Brucellosis slaughter surveillance.
- Lobbied on behalf of producers for inclusion in disposal compensation for death due to Anthrax.
- Lobby on behalf of the industry which prevented plains bison being listed as a threatened species under the Species at Risk Act.
- Represent the industry in dealing with conservation and environmental issues.
- Development and operation of the Canadian Bison Registry.
- Work with the National Bison Association in the U.S. to ensure free trade in bison and bison products as well as share industry knowledge.
- Develop national marketing strategies and promotional material.
- Increase consumer awareness by participating in food shows.
- Administer the bison identification and trace back program.
- Administer the On Farm Food Safety Program.
- Developed a Code Of Practice for producing bison.
- Developed grading program for bison.
- Funds research in production, finishing and marketing of bison.
- Worked on behalf of the bison industry to establish the Bison Cash Advance Program
Where appropriate, regional associations work with their provincial governments to ensure provincial programs and support include the bison industry.
The activities of the Canadian Bison Association and Regional Associations are supported financially by membership. Non-members have access to all of these benefits, and are encouraged to join to support the Canadian and Regional Bison Associations’ initiatives and activities.
IIt is important to recognize that when working with government to develop policies for the industry, there is strength in numbers and a common voice.