Trophy Bucks Go To School Courtesy of the Cervid Livestock Foundation and Minnesota Deer Hunters Association

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More than 12,000 students from 25 schools got to see trophy bucks up close and personal when Steve Porter brought his traveling deer display to them on a state-wide tour of Minnesota. Mr. Porter owns and operates a deer farm in northern Minnesota, where he is also chief deputy of the Kittson County Sheriff's Office. Steve took most of his vacation days to educate kids about deer behavior, antler development and the family bonds formed when families hunt and farm together. His goal is to get kids motivated enough to turn off the computer, put down their cell phones and venture outdoors. The Cervid Livestock Foundation (CLF), North American Deer Farmers Association (NADeFA), and the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association (MDHA) provided funding for this project.

Steve Porter in Lake City, MN

I enjoy going hunting with family and friends. It is fun to just go and spend time with them and now I have some helpful tips to get close to a deer. I thought it was pretty cool that they raise deer and go around spreading their knowledge about them. These guys were fun and interesting to listen to. They are the first people I know that raise white-tailed deer and I hope to see them again.

Students from 25 Minnesota schools got to see trophy bucks up close and personal when Steve Porter and his sons Austin and Dillan, from Lake Bronson, MN brought his traveling deer display to them on his state-wide tour of Minnesota. Steve owns and operates a deer farm in northern Minnesota and brought the bucks to the 25 schools in a custom-built trailer. These bucks were used in his presentations to educate more than 12,000 students.

Steve is a chief deputy of the Kittson County Sheriff's Office and took most of his vacation days to educate kids about deer farming, hunting and the positive effects both have on building family relationships. Steve's goal is to get kids motivated enough to turn off the computer, put down their cell phones and venture out into the outdoors.

Porter's presentations touched on a wide range of deer and hunting topics, including deer behavior, antler development and the family bonds formed when families hunt and farm together.

A student from Lake City named Brianna was quoted as saying, "I enjoy going hunting with family and friends. It is fun to just go and spend time with them and now I have some helpful tips to get close to a deer. I thought it was pretty cool that they raise deer and go around spreading their knowledge about them. These guys were fun and interesting to listen to. They are the first people I know that raise white-tailed deer and I hope to see them again."

To view photographs of the Porter Project, along with quotes from students and faculty, visit Trophy Bucks Go To School, Full Article.

All 25 schools received grants for the Porter project. 70% of the funding came from the Cervid Livestock Foundation (CLF), the research and education foundation of the North American Deer Farmers Association (NADeFA). The CLF's mission is to facilitate public education about the agricultural and economic value of raising deer. The CLF is proud to support a program that promotes the non-traditional farming of alternative livestock to our future farmers. This educational program also educates non-farmers, helping them to make informed decisions concerning the non-traditional livestock industry, thus insuring the future success of the industry.

The remaining 30% of the funding was paid by some of the participating schools, the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association (MDHA) and local sportsman's clubs. Mark Johnson, Executive Director of the MDHA in Grand Rapids, MN, said the program provides considerable educational benefits. According to Johnson, not only do the students learn about how antlers grow, but they also learn how hunting is a very necessary part of deer management.

The North American Deer Farmer's Association is an association representing an industry that has an annual economic impact on this nation's economy of $3 billion. NADeFA is a political voice for approximately 15,000 deer breeders, ranchers and farmers across the nation. They represent the deer industry by working closely with state and federal legislators and regulatory agencies to develop rules and regulations that govern the deer industry. NADeFA is dedicated to the promotion of deer farming and ranching as an agricultural pursuit and serves its members through its educational programs, publications and by providing leadership in setting and maintaining quality standards.

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