Our Story

Our Family

Bison Bluff Farms, owned and operated by the Howell family, is a picturesque farmstead nestled cozily on 1000 acres of green farmland and bluffs near Cobden, Illinois. In 1997, the Howell family acquired five bison as an exotic hobby. Over time, the hobby herd was enlarged from amusement, to avocation, to a full time labor of love, with over 350 head of bison. The herd is truly a magnificent display on their panoramic spread.

Owner Clifton Howell familiarized himself with the science of bison husbandry, and acquired a thorough comprehension of how to raise them as an excellent, nutritious food. He saw the importance of bison as a healthy, tasty, and lean source of protein. By adding a variety of good breeding stock from over 10 different states, he now has a herd of exceptional quality. Throughout their lives, the bison roam free on the vast, scenic farm, and are grass-fed then grain-finished, free of hormones and chemicals. The herd is robust, steroid-free, natural and unadulterated.

Meet the Team

Clifton Howell - Bison Bluff Farms

Clifton Howell

Born and raised in Carbondale Illinois, later moving a few miles south to Cobden, Clifton has been a Southern Illinois native all his life. Has had a knack for working hard and starting his own businesses. He started a successful construction company that he still runs today as well as Bison Bluff Farms.

Before acquiring bison he raised various other animals for fun at his farm property with his family, and then decided that he wanted change. He decided to purchase five bison as a hobby, which since has grown into a much larger herd through both breeding and purchases from other herds. Those five animals captivated him and made him want more.

Margaret Kruse

Margaret is the youngest of Clifton’s four children and was born and raised in Cobden Illinois. She is a SIUC graduate in photography and loves the outdoors and nature. At a young age her father introduced her to the bison business and ever since she has been enjoyed being a part of it all.

Bison Bluff Farms - Team

Leslie Knapp

Leslie is a graduate of SIUC where she acquired a bachelor of science in forestry. With her background in forestry she loves the outdoors and animals. She started working for Bison Bluff Farms in May of 2013.



Great Tasting Burgers.



Great Recipes.



Massive Flavor.


Nestled in the rolling hills of Southern Illinois, Bison Bluff Farm is located in Cobden, Illinois.

We’re a family owned and operated farm which started as a hobby and grew into a full time labor of love.

Find out for yourself why we’ve been the bison experts since 1997.