According to the Associated Press, demand for bison meat is soaring these days, but after spending much of the past decade trying to convince people that bison's better than beef, farmers are now having a tough time keeping up with that demand! Why all the fuss? For starters, bison meat's healthier than beef. That's because the animals are wilder than cattle, so they eat more natural grass. That means the meat tends to be leaner, with less cholesterol, and more heart-healthy omega-3s. Also, bison are raised in all parts of North America - including Hawaii. Experts say that's important because today's consumers want food that's fresh. We're willing to pay more if we know bison meat came from a nearby ranch, instead of from a farm located hundreds of miles away. Don't think you have to go some fancy store to get it. You can easily find bison meat at your local Walmart, Kroger, or Safeway store. Even though bison costs an average of $3 more per pound than beef, it's selling like hotcakes. Unfortunately, experts predict it'll be at least five years before ranchers raise enough bison to keep up with current demand. They say one problem is that bison grow more slowly than other livestock. For example: A female bison - called a heifer - can't have her first calf until she's at least 3 years old, while beef cows begin to have calves by age 2. Because of that delay, North American ranchers could only process 92,000 bison last year. That's less than the number of beef cattle processed in an average day! Another problem is the bison's size. Ranchers say the large animals have been known to charge in the wild up to 40 miles per hour, and to use their big heads to plow through snow drifts taller than 5-feet tall! That makes bison difficult to keep fenced inside a ranch, and it explains why you'll never see ranchers herding bison with a horse and lasso - like they do with cattle. Bison herders prefer trucks.