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Missouri Expands Program For Donating Deer Meat

Governor Jay Nixon, along with members of the Missouri Department of Conservation, stopped at Bass Pro Shops Friday to announce the expansion of the Share the Harvest initiative. Share the Harvest is a program where hunters donate their deer meat to needy families in the area. KSMU’s Kristian Kriner reports.

Amidst the camouflage and rifles as dozens of mounted deer appeared to look on, Governor Jay Nixon took a tour of the newly renovated Bass Pro Shops in Springfield.

Nixon was in town to let hunters know that they can donate their deer meat to local meat processors, so the meat can be given to hungry families.

Several years ago due to limited funds, participants in Share the Harvest had to cap the contributions of deer meat.

But Nixon announced today the program has been approved for about $200,000 in additional state funds so that more families can receive the meat they need.

“Helping those in need is a value we all share. Generosity is what the Show Me State is all about. Share the Harvest is one of the best examples of that Missouri spirit and I’m thrilled to be able to announce a significant initiative today that will allow the program to provide nutritious food to more Missourians all across our state,” Nixon said.

Conservation officials project that the additional resources will mean almost twice amount of meat processed and delivered to families over the next three years.

Lonnie Lowry is the co-owner of J&L Custom Processing which is one of the meat processing companies that participate in Share the Harvest in Greene County.

He says hunters bring in their deer meat and their company processes it and gives it to Crosslines to distribute.

“We usually just make strictly burger. We grind it for hamburger and package it in one pound packages for them to distribute to the needy when the season is done. We get up in the thousands of pounds,” Lowry said.

Hunters can go online to www.missouriconservation.org to see a list of the meat processors involved in Share the Harvest and the counties each processor is in.

Deer firearms season begins tomorrow in Missouri.

Nixon ended the press conference by saying that any deer he shoots over the weekend will be donated to Share the Harvest.

For KSMU News, I’m Kristian Kriner.

Several mounted deer are on display at Springfield's Bass Pro Shops. Photo Credit: Alex Crowder Several mounted deer are on display at Springfield's Bass Pro Shops. Photo Credit: Alex Crowder Several mounted deer are on display at Springfield's Bass Pro. Photo Credit: Alex Crowder Several mounted deer are on display at Springfield's Bass Pro Shops. Photo Credit: Alex Crowder Several mounted deer are on display at Springfield's Bass Pro Shops. Photo Credit: Alex Crowder