Deer Farmers Pleased with Farm Bill

Chuck Zimmerman

North American Deer Farmers AssociationThanks to the Farm Bill I just learned about the North American Deer Farmers Association. Farm Bill? Yep. They sent me a release about their take on the legislation which I’m posting below. I’m thinking of joining. I may not actually farm deer but work a property lease where we harvest them!

“We’re very pleased to have a final, comprehensive Farm Bill,” says NADeFA Executive Director Shawn Schafer. “This bill is a significant step forward for the deer industry and includes several provisions specific to the deer industry, not the least of which are disease research for deer, elk and other cervidae; country-of-origin labeling for venison; and much needed disease indemnity for individual farmers.”

The 2014 Farm Bill includes several key victories for NADeFA and the national cervid farming industry, such as:

• Deer in USDA’s Research Initiatives: The USDA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiatives (AFRI) program has been amended to include emphasis on disease (EHD, CWD), mapping the genome, pest/parasite, diagnostics and vaccination research for deer, elk and other cervidae.

• Venison Added to Country-of-Origin-Labeling: The Country-of-Origin-Labeling (COOL) program requires fresh meat and produce to be clearly labeled in English as to its origin, allowing the U.S. consumer to know if they are buying a foreign or domestic product. Venison, a product heavily imported from New Zealand in addition to domestic production, had been added to the meat products covered by COOL.

• Disease Indemnity: The bill allows for the industry to work with the Secretary of Agriculture and the Farm Services Administration to provide indemnity to deer farmers for deer lost due to EHD and Blue Tongue.

“This is a victory that was years in the making,” adds NADeFA President Ray Burdette. “Dozens of NADeFA members have dedicated their time and resources, traveled to D.C., lobbied their members of Congress, met with the House and Senate Agriculture Committees, and provided invaluable support for our industry and NADeFA’s legislative priorities. We would like to thank everyone who has helped to make these successes possible.”

In addition, NADeFA expresses its sincere appreciation for the exemplary support and guidance of Capitol Hill Consulting Group of Washington, D.C., a highly acclaimed government relations firm which has represented and assisted the deer farming industry for many years. The industry’s recent legislative achievements would not have been possible without their efforts.

The North American Deer Farmers Association was founded in 1983 and is dedicated to the promotion of deer farming and ranching as an agricultural pursuit and serves its members through its educational programs and publications and by providing leadership in setting and maintaining quality standards. NADeFA represents the deer farming industry at all levels of government, and works closely with livestock producers and other organizations to promote ethical standards of conduct and husbandry in deer farming and to actively market standards for deer and deer products. NADeFA representatives are also available to media for expert testimony and information about deer farming and animal health issues, such as Chronic Wasting Disease, EHD and other topics.

For more information about NADeFA programs and membership, call 330.454.3944 or visit

Ag Group, Farming, Food