Ken Throlson—more commonly known as “Doc”—was a key player in forming the North Dakota Buffalo Association, which is today the largest regional bison association in the U.S. He was also the driving force behind the formation of the North American Bison Cooperative located in New Rockford, North Dakota, on which he serves as Chairman of the Board.
Throlson had been a practicing veterinarian after graduating from Iowa State University. In 1963 he moved to New Rockford where he set up practice. He bought his first bison in 1973. After retiring from his practice in 1981, Throlson raised some of the country’s most admired and sought after bison on his family’s KenMar Buffalo Ranch near New Rockford, North Dakota. The operation consisted of about 280 cows and around 600 feeder bulls in 2010, when the Throlson herd was purchased by Wayne and Peter Cook and Ryan Homelvig, continuing operations today as KenMar Bison.
Throughout his career, Throlson has been well known for his knowledge of bison propagation and health. His contributions to bison research combined with his willingness to help others have greatly benefitted bison producers in both the U.S. and Canada.
The Throlson American Bison Foundation is a 501c(3) was established in his honor by the American Bison Association prior to the merger with the National Buffalo Association (NBA). The primary mission of the foundation is to annually award scholarships in bison-related studies. Scholarship winners have pursued degrees in veterinary medicine (production or pathology research), nutrition (livestock or meat), animal science, and behavior science. One common theme—they have all possessed an interest in the advancement of the bison industry.