Connor MacLeod Elliott

Named after the immortal Scotsman in the movie “Highlander”, Connor MacLeod Elliott clearly inherited his father’s public speaking ability. At an early age he also displayed an incredible comprehension of science and nature. At age 5, following one of his many “nature hikes”, Connor found an owl pellet containing the partially digested remains of a shrew. He carefully extracted the skeletal remains and meticulously reconstructed the skeleton. (His mother still has the prize in a glass case on her desk.)

As a high school junior, Connor competed against seniors from all classes of schools throughout Missouri to win 1st place in the FFA’s Advanced Public Speaking competition. Having won the Division I (freshman) contest and third place in Division II (sophomores), he was the first student in contest history to make three consecutive final four appearances. Connor culminated this amazing run as a semifinalist in the National FFA Competition at Louisville, Kentucky. His respective speech topics were biotechnology in agriculture, bovine spongiform encephalopathy and the utilization of ethanol in the production of hydrogen fuel cells.  

A gifted academic, Connor graduated in 2006 from Stewartsville C-2 High School with the highest G.P.A. in school history. He attended the University of Missouri-Columbia where he majored in Animal Science and Captive Wild Animal Management. Connor also attended The University of Pretoria, South Africa, in a six-month University of Missouri Study Abroad Program. There he worked with DVM Justin Benadi, a specialist in exotic and endangered species. Following his junior year, he was admitted to the University of Missouri School of Veterinary Medicine where he graduated in 2013.

Following Vet School, Connor served an internship with the Laurentian Wildlife Estate near Montreal Canada. He then worked two years with bison specialist Don Woerner, DVM, Laurel, Montana, before accepting a position with the USDA. Connor serves the Colorado Springs region and resides in Durango, Colorado. 


Connor is considered one of the nation’s foremost authorities on bison – the official mammal of the United States. He is a lifetime member of the National Bison Association and serves as chairman of the North American Bison Registry Committee.

Connor is a member of the Culberson United Methodist Church and recipient of the Boy Scouts of America God and Family, God and Me, God and Community, and God and Country Awards. He is an Eagle Scout with multiple palms and Keeper of the Sacred Bundle in BSA’s Tribe of Mic-O-Say. His hobbies include mountain biking, fly fishing, and serving as an instructor for West Coast Swing dancing.