NADeFA Applauds West Virginia Leadership for Venison Market

NADeFA applauds the recent article by Douglas Imbrogno (Charleston Gazette Mail) on farm-raised venison showing up in West Virginia restaurants and retail stores.

Opening up the venison market will be a significant boon for West Virginia agriculture and retailers, and it demonstrates that the Mountain State is leading the nation in developing a home-grown venison market. Others states should learn from West Virginia. For most of the country, venison sold commercially is imported from New Zealand and promoting venison products raised in America just makes good sense — for both the consumer and local economies.

Venison — the meat from deer, elk and reindeer — has been enjoyed by people for thousands of years. Compared to the meat from wild deer or elk, farm-raised venison is often considered milder and more tender. Farmed deer and elk are also closely health monitored and tested for diseases, as wild deer are not.

Raising animals and tending the land is a way of life that has been handed down by our grandfathers and their fathers before them. But today many landowners are finding it increasingly difficult to pay the bills, and the outdoor way of life is fading from the North American landscape.

Thankfully, deer farming is giving many families a fresh outlook on land stewardship and a new means to save and grow the family farm.

Shawn Schafer, Executive Director
North American Deer Farmers Association