Oregon Trail game

This story highlights the unique partnership between a Minnesota bison farm and coffee shop.

Does this image ring a bell? The Oregon Trail was a fixture in the late 90s – early 2000s classroom. Kids who were “early finishers” would spend the rest of the class time trying to survive a treacherous journey to the Pacific coast. For a young Craig Fischer, this game introduced him to an animal that would hold his curiosity for years to come… the bison! Craig’s dream came true when he and his wife Elizabeth were gifted a bison on their wedding day. From there, one bison became hundreds, and now Sleepy Bison Acres is producing pasture-fed bison for the surrounding community.

Sleepy Bison Acres caught the attention of another local business, Sleepy Eye Coffee Company and Brewery. The two have cultivated a partnership that has turned into a symbiotic relationship that allows each to benefit off of the “Farm to Fork” philosophy. The Coffee shop serves the bison in their homemade chili and sandwiches, and the farm uses the spent grain from the brewery as bison feed.

Craig and Elizabeth are passionate about the power of local food and food awareness. On average, our food travels 1,500 miles to get to our plate. When we support local businesses, we help nurture community while understanding exactly where and how our food gets to our plate.

Photo credit: Evan Frost, MPR News

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