July 8, 2024

Member Spotlight: Adams Natural Meats

By Mary Adams, Adams Natural Meats

Originally published in December 2022 newsletter

Where do I begin? A look into my journey in the bison world is an adventure I’m always excited to share.

When people ask me today how I got into bison, I tell them I married into them. My late husband, Bryan, had a small herd when I met him. He started in years past with a bull calf and two heifer calves which he had traded for a blasting job for Paul Jonjak. I soon learned, coming from rural Nebraska, I had a lot to learn about this amazing animal and all the benefits of raising them.

The years went by and we moved the small herd from Colorado to Arizona in 1997 and formed Arizona Buffalo Company. The business plan didn’t stop there, as we all know, and there had to be a place for the end product.

We began this process by culling out most of the original herd and replacing them with genetically better animals from the GTSS, the Northwest Bison Sale, as well as Western Bison Association Show and Sale of which Bryan and I had, along with others, helped to form. Animals were then brought in from Canada and the herd was growing.

We had what we thought was our game plan for the meat and had a walk-in freezer put into our garage. We started promoting our bison products at gourmet grocery stores while flipping burgers on the weekends.

A second ranch was then purchased in 2000. With the growth and move of the company came the hiring of Kristen McGuire into a full-time position with us, marketing and selling our products. Kristen remains with our Arizona company yet today, coming up on almost 21 years as our dear friend and employee!!!

We incorporated Adams Natural Meats for the selling of our bison products and the Arizona ranch became Adams Acres.

But why stop there? We bought a second home back in Colorado in 2006 and when more land became available, our dream continued, expanding Adams Acres into Evergreen, Colorado, as well as Arizona Buffalo who owns all of the bison and Adams Natural Meats with the opening of our second meat store in December 2018.

Growing & Looking Ahead
Fast forward to today, we have been blessed to continue raising these majestic animals, knowing Bryan’s respect of them and honoring his legacy and the love he had for the bison, be it through our stores or with my sitting on the National Bison Association Board of Directors as the Region 1 Director.

Colorado Adams Acres now holds many GTSS trophy winners, including Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion Female winners for 2021 and 2022. Our production animals are purchased usually as calves or yearlings from the City of Denver, NBA or Rocky Mountain Bison Association member ranches.

The Arizona Adams Acres ranch is expanding in numbers as well, purchasing 30 two year-old bred heifers this past winter from Canada. Between the two ranches, our herd numbers at 150 bison.

Our stores continue to flourish and as with others, processing through COVID was a challenge – but with perseverance, we weathered the storm and have come out at the top of our game in sales.

We continue to market our bison products throughout Arizona, Colorado and on social media. Daily we put our product in front of the public, taking pride in the grass fed only bison product we provide for their consumption.

We have laughed at our mistakes. We have learned from our experiences. We are blessed to say, we have persevered in the bison world and continue to grow.

Our company believes we are all in this together as a bison family and we will continue to increase the public’s awareness of the benefits of bison, learning from each other, and succeeding in the promotion of the majestic bison we all were introduced to, no matter the circumstances.

Marrying into them is a story I continue to proudly share.