Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 42

C O M PA N Y P R O F I L E

Mike Fogel's trained
buffalo provided a means
to stay in the niche meat
business for over 40 years.

It's at this point in the process that Fogel's
years of experience in ranching and farming
give him an advantage in today's marketplace.
"After they raise them and feed them, they
may try marketing product themselves. But
to do the marketing, that's a big part of the
whole business," Fogel said. "The website, the
boxes, we've got to have our labels approved,
etc. People find out what's involved, and they
realize they can't, or don't have the time and
the resources to, do it themselves."

PIVOTAL CHANGE
The change from raising to buying animals
for product isn't the only evolution Fogel and
Buffalo Gal experienced over the years. When
Fogel first got into the business of raising
buffalo, the scales favored selling animals
rather than slaughtering them for the meat.

42

MEAT+ POULTRY | 11.20 | www.meatpoultry.com

"Years ago, when the numbers were down,
I used to sell the animals," Fogel said. "I didn't
get them processed because back then there
wasn't a real good market for buffalo. You'd go
to a grocery store and try to sell them buffalo
and they had no interest in even trying it. So,
back then I'd deal in the live animals."
But the industry changed over time. Now,
buffalo meat has a place in many mainstream
retail grocery cases, along with numerous
specialty markets and websites offering the
meat. Fogel said there was a time when banks
would laugh if you asked to borrow money to
raise buffalo because there weren't any records
showing it was a viable business. Today
though, buffalo meat prices are listed on the
USDA report.
"Now the live animals we sell are a small
part of the animals we raise," he said. "It's
better for us to put them into meat because
we've already got the website, we've already
got everything in place, but if you had to put
all that stuff in place and start over, that kind
of changes."
Fogel cites starting the retail website early
on as a key to the company's current success.
At the time in 1997, he admits he didn't
realize how important it was to get online. He
also trademarked the name Buffalo Gal and
recently dealt with someone else using it.
"You put Buffalo Gal in the search engine
and somebody else's name comes up, it
confuses your customers," he said.
Buffalo Gal secured its place in "buffalo
meat" web visits through Google ads and
vigilantly maintaining the website since
the beginning.
"In the beginning, I thought it was kind
of a novelty or something, but now I see that
without the internet, we'd be out of business,"
Fogel said.

CODY CONNECTION
In 1988, as Fogel hauled a load of buffalo from
Cody, Wyo., back to Montana, one of the calves
got separated from its mother. Because of
the separation the mother lost the smell and
rejected the calf when they arrived back in
Montana. Fogel brought the calf, Cody, into the
house and raised him with his other dogs.
"He thought he was a Great Dane," Fogel
said. "He'd run with the dogs. He'd go out
hunting. He'd go out when we'd go out in


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Meat+Poultry - November 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meat+Poultry - November 2020

Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 1
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 1
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 2
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 3
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 4
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 5
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 6
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 7
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 8
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 9
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 10
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 11
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 12
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 13
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 14
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 15
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 16
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 17
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 18
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 19
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 20
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 21
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 22
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 23
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 24
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 25
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 26
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 27
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 28
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Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 33
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 34
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 35
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 36
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 37
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 38
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 39
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 40
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 41
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 42
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 43
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 44
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 45
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 46
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 47
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 48
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 49
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 50
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - VDG1
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - VDG2
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 51
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 52
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 53
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 54
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 55
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 56
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 57
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Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 62
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