By Emily Buehler, Weaver Street Market Website Coordinator
This year on the Piedmont Farm Tour we headed out to Roxboro to visit Sunset Ridge Buffalo Farm. The farm was beautiful, with rolling, grassy fields and a lake with a fountain. We sat under a tent by the water to eat buffalo burgers, and then got tickets for the tour.
Farmer Jack was our tour guide as a tractor pulled a covered wagon full of visitors out to the fields. He shared the history of buffalo in the United States: after becoming endangered, they were successfully repopulated. In the 1700s, they even roamed in North Carolina! Sunset Ridge’s buffalo eat only the farm’s grass, and their meat is nutrient dense.
First we saw the handling area, where a series of chutes and gates is used to control the animals when they get their ear tags or examinations. A buffalo can jump over six feet from a standing position, and the animals move when they want to, Jack said. When it’s time to rotate them to a new field, he opens the gate and waits. Sometimes they run in, but other times they’re happy where they are, and don’t move for a few days.
Next we went out the driveway to the field where one of the herds grazed. Jack told us about the buffalo pecking order and about being charged by a buffalo. We passed some beekeepers tending to a hive and the farm dogs sleeping on the farmhouse lawn.
Visit Sunset Ridge Buffalo Farm online: http://www.sunsetridgebuffalo.com/.