The Annual Meeting of the AWBA was held in June in South Woodstock, Vermont at the Woodstock Water Buffalo Co.
The American Water Buffalo Association promotes the scientific study of raising, breeding, and marketing water buffaloes. The Association also serves to bring focus on the potential of this animal and to provide a forum for those who are interested in the growth and development of the breed. Established in 1986, the Association is worldwide, with members from 29 states and 20 countries.
Swamp buffaloes are from China, Southeast Asia, Philippines, and Indonesia. These animals are used primarily for draft purposes and have broad, wide horns, a chevron on the chest, legs lighter in color, and larger hooves.
River buffaloes are from India and Pakistan. These animals are used primarily for dairy products and meat production, have tightly curled horns, and hold their heads high.
Advantages in Raising Buffalo
1. Ability to subsist on a low quality, high roughage diet.
2. Resistance to most internal and external parasites that affect cattle.
3. Generally low birth weight and low incidences of calving problems.
4. Quick and easy calf growth due to the high percentage of butterfat and mild solids in the dam’s milk.
5. Growth rate comparable to cattle.
6. Meat flavor comparable to beef with about one half the cholesterol, and less than one-fourth the amount of fat.
7. Milk, with an average of 8 percent butterfat, is used in the production of mozzarella cheese and other dairy products.
8. Requirements for fencing, handling equipment, inoculations, and health programs are similar to those of cattle.
9. Ability to thrive in the United States, with swamp buffalo best kept in the southern states and the river buffalo ranging throughout the country.