ATHENS, GA (August 20, 2019) – The Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA), in partnership with the Georgia R3 Initiative, has released a new video highlighting their highly acclaimed Field to Fork adult-mentored hunting program with the support of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF). The video is available on both YouTube and Facebook through the links provided below.
“We set out to increase hunting participation and societal acceptance of hunting in our local community,” said QDMA Hunting Heritage Programs Manager Hank Forester. “To some it was a wild idea, but to us it was simple — public approval of hunting is fortunately high, and attendees of farmers markets are inclined to hunt for food. Our idea was to develop a way to advocate for hunting to new audiences, to diversify hunter demographics and keep hunting relevant in an increasingly urbanizing country. The video is a testament to the reception we’ve had.”
Field to Fork Athens was piloted in Athens, Georgia in 2016 by Forester and Charles S. Evans, the Georgia R3 Coordinator with the Georgia Wildlife Federation, after considerable thought into how to create a sustainable adult mentored-hunting program. As a cooperative program, Field to Fork Athens included additional support from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources/Wildlife Resources Division and the National Wild Turkey Federation. The Field to Fork name, logo and branding were used with permission from the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.
“There is something about the authenticity of the message that brings non-hunters and hunters together focusing on common ground rather than what divides us,” said Evans. “With programs like this we can ensure that hunting is viewed as an activity for everyone who loves the outdoors or has a passion for natural food; an activity that transcends all societal, political, and religious boundaries, allowing participants to form a deeper connection with each other and their surrounding natural world.”
Since 2017, QDMA and the Georgia R3 Initiative have supported replication efforts of Field to Fork around the country through their members as well as a diverse list of partners. This fall, 20 Field to Fork programs will take place in twelve states. For more information on Field to Fork or interest in replication or participation visit QDMA.com/FTF or email Hank Forester email@example.com.