One-Arm Bandit to Keynote Bison Conference


The following is a press release from the National Bison Association:

John S. Payne, the notorious One Arm Bandit, who has thrilled rodeo audiences with his inspirational performance that has been honored as the Specialty Act of the Year 11 times by the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association, will keynote the annual National Bison Association Winter Conference on January 19th at the Renaissance Hotel in Denver. 

Payne was invited to kick off the association’s two-day meeting because of his inspirational story of perseverance and success, and to share his experience in incorporating bison in his award winning specialty performance. Mr. Payne-who lost his right arm in an electrical accident in 1973-developed his first rodeo act in 1988. His act caught on quickly, and he nabbed his first Specialty Act of the Year Award from the PRCA in 1989. In recent years, Payne has added buffalo to his performance, and never fails to inform his audience about the historical significance and the majestic presence of bison.

Payne will be addressing more than 250 ranchers, processors and marketers expected to gather in Denver January 18-20 to celebrate the commercial success of the American buffalo business, and to plan for continued growth in 2012.

The U.S. bison business is enjoying a sustained period of growth and profitability as growing numbers of consumers discover the great taste and the nutritional benefits of buffalo meat. The National Bison Association is now engaged in an aggressive campaign to recruit new producers to meet the burgeoning demand. It is a significant triumph for ranchers who have persevered through the past several years to introduce bison meat to the American public, according to Dave Carter, executive director of the National Bison Association.

Carter noted, “John Payne is the perfect person to keynote our convention. His story is one of facing adversity, demonstrating perseverance, and achieving success. That is a story that everyone in the buffalo business can relate to today.”

At the NBA Winter Conference, Payne is scheduled share his story of overcoming adversity to establish his presence as a premier national performer. It was in 1973, while helping his dad tear down a house, Payne climbed an electric pole to cut some wires, thinking that the power had been shut off. He was electrocuted with 7,200 volts and fell 25 feet to the ground, where he was dead for at least five minutes. The doctors treating Payne amputated his right arm, and also wanted to remove his left leg. Payne told them, “I can’t ride a horse with one leg, and if I can’t ride a horse, I don’t want to live.”

In his rodeo act, Payne educates his audience about the healing bond between man and animals.

Other sessions at the association’s conference will focus on issues surrounding production and marketing of bison. Special breakout sessions on Thursday afternoon will allow conference participants to interact with experts on financing, marketing, pasture management, and other topics.

Also scheduled in conjunction with the association’s annual conference will be the annual Gold Trophy Show and sale, featuring the premier breeding bison stock in the country. The event will begin with the arrival of the first bison at the stock show on January 17th and wrap up with the Gold Trophy Sale on January 21.

More information is available on the Bison Association’s winter conference and the Gold Trophy Show and Sale at


Source:  National Bison Association

Posted by Haylie Shipp


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