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  • Ian Thompson

Rumors of Our Death Have Been Exaggerated

While, we haven’t actually heard any rumors floating around about the demise of the Nan Awaya Heritage Farmstead, with our last post coming back in June 2018, our readers may well have been wondering if our humble little endeavor had gone belly-up. Thankfully, our internet silence has been due to two relatively minor misfortunes: Ian’s camera and laptop both died within a few weeks of each other back in August. With the Oklahoma Bison Association sale coming up in November, it made better sense to wait on replacing them, and to use that money to bring an additional bison heifer calf to the farm. Recently, the camera miraculously rebooted, and we’ve found a stand in for the computer, so the blog is back in business.

Some exciting things have happened while we’ve been on internet silence:

With new fence work this fall, some of it done on our own and a lot of it done by Jerry Nuytten (, we can now graze our animals across 100% of the farm's acreage. This compares with only 25% a year ago. We have 10 completed pastures (up from 6 a year ago), with 8 more left to cross-fence. These new pastures will allow us to begin growing our herd more rapidly without damaging the land.

The Oklahoma Bison Association hosted its first auction in 4 years. With Ian becoming president of the Association two months before, the event represented a tremendous opportunity for us to learn and also for us to help give back to the bison-producing community. During the sale, the Nan Away Heritage Farmstead sold two animals, and purchased two heifer calves along with two yearling heifers. These charming young buffalo ladies are more than just pretty faces. Properly managed, they will help the rest of the herd up speed the healing process for our soil. In a few years, they'll also begin helping us to pay down our loans on the farm much more quickly after they begin to have calves of their own.

For the last two years, we’ve been making the 100-mile round trip from our house out to our farm every-other-day. Thanks to an incredibly positive set of circumstances, we have finally sold our home. Over the next few months, our new home will be built on the farm. Designed and constructed with the help of family and friends, it is meant to cover all of its own needs for energy and water. Incredibly exciting for us, this is also a prime opportunity to learn about green building construction. At the end of the process, we’ll not only have a cozy spot to live and welcome visitors to the farm, we’ll not only have zero utility bills to pay (hopefully), but we’ll also be actively diminishing the destructive impact that our own household has been having on this planet.

Stay tuned for more regular posts. We’ll also be putting a few back-dated posts up online, to help document the story of our farm. Expect to hear from us soon if the creek don’t rise and the charming young buffalo ladies don’t step on the camera!

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