Nixon encourages donations to Share the Harvest program

The program supplied more than 300,000 pounds of venison to Missouri food banks last year.
Cait Campbell / Graphic Designer

Gov. Jay Nixon visited hunting supplier MidwayUSA Inc. on Thursday to encourage hunters to donate venison to Missouri’s Share the Harvest program.

Nixon said the program, now in its 21st year, is an important part of Missouri’s tradition of sportsmanship and conservation, according to a news release.

“I want to thank all the hunters who have made Share the Harvest so successful over the past two decades, and I encourage even more Missouri hunters to join me this year in helping our neighbors in need,” he said during the visit.

The program is a partnership among the Conservation Federation of Missouri, the Missouri Department of Conservation, local food banks and meat processors. More than 6,000 hunters donated 317,882 pounds of meat to the program during the 2011 deer season, according to the MDC website.

Hunters can donate meat by taking slain deer to a meat processor and notifying the processor of the amount of venison they plan to donate. Local sponsoring organizations then pick up the packaged meat for distribution.

Nixon brought special attention to children and youth, encouraging them to participate in outdoor traditions in Missouri such as deer hunting, according to the news release. As part of his continuing effort to include Missouri’s youth, he also hosted the inaugural Governor’s Youth Deer Hunt dinner Friday.

"Brenda and I enjoy donating deer from our farm to Share the Harvest," MidwayUSA Inc. founder and CEO Larry Potterfield said. "We're also very excited to hear about the governor's new youth hunt. This opportunity supports something near and dear to our hearts: educating our youth on the importance of our hunting heritage and ethical hunting practices.”

With partners such as MidwayUSA Inc., the program has expanded its capacity to accept donations. It now has the ability to process no more than 10,000 deer this season for families in need.

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