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County Executive's Office

Dane County, State Agreement Keeps Popular Deer Donation Program Going

January 28, 2008
Joshua Wescott, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823 or cell (608) 669-5606
County Executive

(Madison)…An agreement between Dane County and the state Department of Natural Resources to safely dispose of deer tested for chronic wasting disease made possible the continuation of a popular food pantry donation program this winter. Money the DNR saved by working out an arrangement to deposit the remains in the Dane County landfill saved the agency enough money to fund the Venison Donation Program that at one point didn’t have funding to continue for the fall hunting season. “This is a perfect example of what can be accomplished when state and local governments work together effectively and efficiently,” Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk said. “Keeping this program going has helped stock the shelves at food pantries trying to keep up with increasing demands for assistance.” Under the Venison Donation program, hunters donated more than 24,000 pounds of deer meat in southern Wisconsin after last fall’s hunting season. Statewide, 400,000 pounds of venison were collected for groups like Second Harvest and other food banks. The program has donated more than 2.8 million pounds of venison since starting in 2000. County Board Supervisor Pat Downing authored an amendment of the county agreement that urged the DNR to use the savings generated by disposing deer in the landfill to continue the donation program. “I’m very glad the DNR listened to us & saw fit to reinstitute their support of the much needed & beneficial deer food pantry program,” Downing said. # # #