8 July/August 2014
Where Buffalo Roam
For Jack Pleasant ’ 73, memories
from a 1964 trip to New Mexico came
stampeding back three decades later.
Not sunrises or rugged terrain or scenic
vistas. Just buffalo.
Steaks, to be exact.
In 1995, the former UNC faculty
member backpacked with his son Adrian,
then 15, at the Philmont Scout Ranch.
“I’d done it in 1964. That was the first
time I’d seen buffalo,” Pleasant said. “On
the cross-country bus trip back home, the
driver chided us all the way back about
how for 11 days we had eaten trail food
while he ate buffalo steaks and stayed in
When Pleasant saw buffalo again, he
realized that he’d never tasted the steaks
mentioned by that bragging bus driver.
“I refer to the meat as bison,” Pleasant
said. “The word ‘bison’ is technical.
So he gave bison a try, and it was
tasty. And he thought of farmland that
had been in his family for 200 years —
260 acres of rolling hills southwest of
Roxboro. He bought his first eight buffalo,
all calves, in 2001.
“What attracted me more than the
animal husbandry was bison’s nutritional
profile. Physicians advise us not to eat
red meat, but here was a healthy red
meat,” said Pleasant, who also received
his master’s in public health from UNC in
Traveling in their delivery vehicle, the
BuffMobile, Pleasant and his wife, Sandy,
sell steaks, roasts, burgers and jerky at
area farmers markets, through the farm’s
website and at the farm. Neither is ready
to be put out to pasture — not as long as
there are buffalo at the farm.
A more in-depth version of this
article — by Scott Jared, UNC’s Web
content director — is online at unc.edu/
PHOTO BY DAN SEARS ’ 74