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New co-op processes culled deer for food bank


Last updated 2/20/2023 at 11:13am

Havre Daily News/Patrick Johnston

Havre Animal Control Officer Pete Federspiel, left, and Montana Premium Processing Cooperative manager Bill Jones load venison Friday from deer culled in Havre's deer management program and processed at the cooperative to haul to Havre Community Food Bank.

The Havre Food Bank received a few hundred pounds of venison harvested from local deer culled as part of the City of Havre's Urban Deer Population Management Plan, deer that were processed in the newly opened Montana Premium Processing Cooperative.

Havre Animal Control Officer Pete Federspiel picked up the nearly 250 pounds of venison Friday morning to be carted off to the food bank, a donation he said wouldn't be possible without the co-op's help.

"We don't have a processor in Havre so their involvement is what is really making this possible," Federspiel said.

He said when the city was putting together the deer management plan the co-op reached out to them and offered to process the animals culled during the winter hunting season so the food bank can use the meat.

The management plan, implemented by the city last year was an effort to control the population of urban deer, a population that has in recent years grown significantly prompting increasing calls for the city to do something about the animals which many residents said are becoming more and more of a nuisance.

Federspiel said as long as the deer population remains problematically high and the city permits hunting to deal with the issue the co-op has agreed to do this for the food bank each year.

He said he wanted to thank the co-op for their work and Gary & Leo's Fresh Foods for donating the beef fat that was mixed into the venison so it could be properly ground.


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