Payton Molnar, of Melville, knows a champion bison when she sees one. She runs her own farm and has taken top prizes for her stock. Molnar says she fell in love with bison as a child, and as a third generation farmer, she is continuing the tradition in her own way.
“I've grown up in the bison industry,” says Molnar.
“In 2015 I became a proud third generation bison producer by purchasing twelve heifers. Then, in 2019, I decided to expand my herd and purchase another 50 choice cows. I grew up with being more in the meat market of things, but [I] decided to test my luck and see if I could do anything at agribition this year. I ended up doing pretty good.”
Payton wound up with Rookie of the Year, Grand Champion Female, Gold Senior and Junior Judging, Gold Yearling Heifer, Silver Yearling Bull, Bronze Bred-Two Year Old, and placed 4th with her yearling bull.
“I placed with all my animals, so I was very excited about that. It was a very cool experience for me, that's for sure. It starts at the farm. You choose which animals you think are the best, and then they get placed in certain categories. Then, you take them and you drop them off. They each get put in seperate pens, and a judge will walk around and decipher which animal looks the best based on their masculinity, their height, their weight, length of them and depth. That's pretty much it, and then they do the measuring from then on. They usually look for what everybody would like in their herd. So you want a nice, healthy strong cow. You want a nice, big hefty bull that's going to look good in your herd and produce beautiful offspring to what those animals are.”
When asked what produces the best specimens, Molnar says it is pretty simple.
“Just green grass and good hay.”