Before the 1900s, more than 80 million bison roamed the diverse ecosystem known as the prairie from Canada to Mexico, bison rancher Brittany Masters said during the Pitch Slam competition at Natural Products Expo West.
By the early 1900s, hunting, environmental factors and agricultural growth reduced the herds to just a few hundred. Today, only 1% of the fertile Great Plains ecosystem remains. At current rates, it will be gone by 2080, Masters said.
Six years ago, Brittany Masters and her husband, Jon Sepp, relocated to Montana to chase their dream. Roam Free Ranch, a grass-fed bison ranch and regenerative meat company, was born. By selling a variety of fresh meats and ready-to eat meals, Masters and Sepp use the entire bison after slaughter. Employing regenerative agriculture practices, the business improves the topsoil, increases biodiversity and provides people with nutrient-dense food.
One of 10 entrepreneurs chosen to compete in Pitch Slam at Natural Products Expo West 2023, Masters had to present her company's story, sales data and business plan to a panel of five judges in just three minutes. Then the judges had four minutes to ask questions. All the competitors sought the grand prize: a free booth at Expo West 2024, a free NEXTY nomination and numerous services from New Hope Network—in total, a package valued at $35,000.
After that grueling initial round, the judges selected five finalists, including Roam Free Ranch, to compete in a lightning round during which all the finalists answered the same questions from the judges. In the end, Roam Free Ranch took second place, which includes entrance to Expo East 2023 and being interviewed on stage during Expo West 2024.
Watch her interview: