New series educates Kentuckians on how to prepare wild game  

FRANKFORT – The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) and the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources are teaming up to raise awareness about “Cook Wild Kentucky,” a new recipe card series from the University of Kentucky’s (UK) College of Agriculture, Food and Environment aimed at educating Kentuckians on how to prepare wild game.

“It is an unfortunate reality that 1 in 6 Kentuckians is food insecure, and at the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, we started the Kentucky Hunger Initiative to find new and engaging ways to combat hunger,” Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said. “The Cook Wild Kentucky program fits in perfectly with the Kentucky Hunger Initiative. We are excited to join our friends at the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, the University of Kentucky’s Nutrition Education Program, Feeding Kentucky, and Kentucky Hunters for the Hungry to help educate folks on how they can cook up delicious meals using Kentucky game.”

Cook Wild Kentucky is a partnership of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, the UK Cooperative Extension Service, Kentucky Hunters for the Hungry, and Feeding Kentucky. Many Kentucky food banks receive donated venison, turkey, and other wild game throughout the year, but there is a lack of knowledge about how to prepare such foods. Cook Wild Kentucky provides 17 unique recipe cards to help Kentuckians cook wild game.

“The Cook Wild Kentucky initiative is a great complement to the Field to Fork program, a learn-to-hunt program for adults that we’ve successfully developed in Kentucky with the help of partners like the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service,” Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources Commissioner Rich Storm said. “Teaching essential field skills is a vital part of the hunter development process, and this culinary initiative will help us complete the process. It takes the guesswork out of turning locally harvested game meats into nutritious and delicious table fare. We hope this partnership leads more people to explore and enjoy the abundant and healthful natural food resources available to hunters and anglers in the Commonwealth.”

“Kentucky Hunters for the Hungry continues to expand, and our relationship with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources and the KDA through the Kentucky Hunger Initiative could not be stronger,” Kentucky Hunters for the Hungry executive director Roger LaPointe said. “This project’s completion by the University of Kentucky’s Nutrition Education Program will help fill a critical educational need at food banks across Kentucky.”

"Lack of knowledge about how to prepare and cook wild game can be a barrier to accessing this food source among our neighbors at risk of hunger,” Feeding Kentucky executive director Tamara Sandberg said. “Cook Wild Kentucky is an excellent resource for addressing that barrier. We are grateful for the impact this new effort will have on the fight against hunger in Kentucky."

“We are thrilled that there has been so much excitement surrounding Cook Wild Kentucky, and we look forward to seeing the positive impact the recipes, cooking demonstrations, and trainings really take hold in our Kentucky communities,” said Marisa Aull, director of the UK Nutrition Education Program.

Commissioner Quarles launched the Hunger Initiative in 2016 to bring together farmers, charitable organizations, faith groups, community leaders, educators, and government entities to look for ways to reduce hunger in Kentucky. To find out more about the Hunger Initiative, go to kyagr.com/hunger.

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