Greetings, My Fellow Missourians

Sunday would have been my 9th year to saddle my horse and take him by trailer to the Pioneer Heritage Days in Warsaw.  However, a steady, cold rain changed my plans.  Each year I have been delivering the circuit riding preacher’s message to the exhibitors and guests outside on the slope of a hill as everyone sits on straw bales.   I was still able to deliver the sermon, thankfully, inside the little one-room schoolhouse located on the grounds nearby and heated by a wood stove.  It brought back memories of yesteryear.  My message was about objects of remembrance entitled “Building Memorials to Remember.”  Bible text found in the Book of Joshua, Chapter 4, explains when the Israelites crossed the Jordan River to enter the Promised Land for the first time, God commanded Joshua to pile up a mound of stones at that place. These stones were to become a memorial to the sons of Israel forever. They were memorial stones of God’s great grace.

Sharing the harvest:

If you are a deer hunter with surplus venison this year, please consider donating to the Share the Harvest program.  This program is administered by the Conservation Federation of Missouri and the Missouri Department of Conservation.   In 2016, almost 4,300 hunters donated venison.  Since the program was started in 1992, Share the Harvest has provided more than 3.6 million pounds of venison to help feed hungry Missourians.

The program works by deer hunters donating their extra venison — from several pounds to whole deer — to participating meat processors throughout the state who grind and package the deer meat. The packaged venison is then given to food banks and food pantries for distribution to Missourians in need of food assistance.  Processing fees are fully covered or in part by local and statewide sponsors that include: MDC, CFM, Shelter Insurance, Bass Pro Shops, Missouri Chapter Safari Club International, Missouri Chapter National Wild Turkey Federation, Midway USA Inc., Missouri Food Banks Association, and United Bowhunters of Missouri.

Hunters need to contact individual processors to determine what funds are available. The cost of processing is the hunter’s responsibility when funds to help cover the full cost of processing are not available.  Local meat processors participating in District 125 are Jackman’s Meat Processing, 417-998-6488, in Fristoe at 36892 Jackman Avenue and Hays Processing, 417-282-5853, in Quincy at Route 1, Box 79.

Nonprofit, charitable organizations distribute the frozen, uncooked venison directly to families or individuals in need.  For more questions on this program, please call Share the Harvest, Missouri Department of Conservation, at 573-751-4115.