Teachers and life outside of school


The Mirror reporter

Teachers have a life outside of school? That seems a bit far-fetched or is it?

Ione Hausler, a teacher at Stevens Point Area Senior High (SPASH), surely has a life outside of school and what she does is amazing.

Most people think there is not a difference between bison and buffalo, but according to Hausler, there is a big difference.

“Buffalo are native to South America. They are the Water Buffalo and Cape Buffalo versus bison who is the American Bison from Canada or North America,” Hausler said.

She also said bison, who are in captivity, should be in a natural environment where they are able to roam because their normal diet is many types of grasses.

Like all animals, bison show personalities. “In the spring of the year when they are calving, so in May and June, it’s just fun to see the babies out there playing and jumping around. It’s almost like they are playing tag. You’re it and then they run off. The adults tend to do a follow the leader scenario,” Hausler said.

Along with personalities, bison also have a hierarchy. “There is a hierarchy in your herd and with that, there is an alpha cow. The alpha cow is the one who manages the whole herd and everyone else is below her. It is typically cows then calves then large bulls then younger bulls,” Hausler said.

There are many ups and downs when it comes to owning a bison ranch. Some of the most difficult parts are their health.

“The bison tend to be very healthy animals, but when you do have a sick animal they don’t show symptomology or symptoms until it’s almost too late. They are very hearty and because they are very hearty, they try to fight it out themselves and if they fight it off because you provided them with the diet and the minerals and the environment that they need, wonderful, but if they cannot fight it off for whatever reason, by the time you catch them, it’s almost too late,” Hausler said.

With the hard parts come good and fun parts as well. She likes to watch the behavior of how they interact with each other and their environment.

“They are very environmentally friendly. Horses and cattle will eat a pasture down to the ground. Bison aren’t going to do that. Bison are more environmentally friendly in that the way they walk doesn’t compact the earth as much as cattle,” Hausler said.

Another one of Hausler’s favorite parts is when it comes to selling the meat.

“I really, really love the educational part of it in selling the meat to the consumer because I think maybe the teacher in me comes out in that I really like to educate people about the pluses and the huge benefits that bison have on our livelihood, our economy and our health,” Hausler said.