Missouri Governor Signs Bill Expanding Sharing the Harvest Program
On July 14, Missouri Governor Mike Parson signed House Bill 1711 in law. HB 1711 modifies provisions of the Conservation Federation of Missouri’s (CFM) Share the Harvest program. The Share the Harvest program provides an easy way for hunters to donate venison to those in need of red meat. HB 1711 will allow hunters to donate shelf-stable venison to be utilized in more ways across the state to feed hungry Missourians.
Under the old bill, donated venison needed to be frozen and packaged. Now, donated venison can be frozen or packaged in a shelf-stable manner such as snack sticks. Hunters donated 348,535 pounds of venison and 6,795 whole deer to the state’s Share the Harvest program this past deer season, providing over 17 million meals. Even more impressive, hunters donated more than 4.3 million pounds of venison since the program’s inception in 1992.
The new provisions that allow for the donation of venison that’s frozen or packaged in a shelf-stable manner expand opportunities for hunters to donate their harvests. Shelf-stable venison products will add variety to the program and will allow venison to be utilized in more ways to feed hungry Missourians. The bill also provides flexibility for the more than 100 participating meat processors who process and package the venison into ready-to-use packages.
Undoubtedly, HB 1711 only means good things for hunters, processors and Missourians.