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Gov. Jay Nixon visited Springfield’s Bass Pro Outdoor World Thursday to encourage Missouri’s hunters to donate their venison to needy families in the Ozarks. He's suggesting they do that through the state's "Share the Harvest" program. KSMU’s Shannon Bowers explains.
The Conservation Federation of Missouri, the Missouri Department of Conservation, food banks and pantries, and meat processors have joined hands for this program. They're trying to make it easy for hunters to donate all or a portion of their venison.
According to Missouri Department of Conservation, deer meat is a valuable source of protein because, unlike most red meats, it's low in fat.
J&L Processing’s John Rohlman is one of the meat processors helping with the Share the Harvest program. He says that after a hunter has killed the deer, he or she can simply bring it to him and fill out some paper work.
“The Conservations Federation picks up the all the cost of that. So all the hunter has to do is buy doe tags. And if fellows or ladies like to just hunt, they can go kill a deer or two drop it off and we can take care of it from there,” said Rohlman.
During the 2011 deer hunting season, the Share the Harvest program donated over 370,000 pounds of venison to low-income families statewide. That was about 6,200 deer; this year, Nixon says he would like to see 10,000 deer be donated through this program.
For KSMU News I’m Shannon Bowers.