Farmer, hunter chapter hopes to feed hungry

The Jackson County chapter of Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry has begun planning for the deer gun hunting season that begins Saturday.

This is the fifth year hunters can help feed the hungry in Jackson County.

Dirk Botkin of Vallonia, co-chairman of the chapter along with his wife, Shannon, said the program is a way for hunters to combine something they love — being outdoors — while also giving back to others and feeding the community.

To participate, hunters can drop off unwanted deer at Darlage Custom Meats, 5974 E. County Road 410N, Seymour.

The meat is processed and packaged free-of-charge because the fees are paid through donations. Some funding comes from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources’ Sportsman’s Benevolence Fund, which comes from hunter license fees. Walmart stores also contribute.

The venison is distributed to Jackson County programs that help supplement the diets of the underprivileged. Those agencies include Community Provisions of Jackson County Inc., Human Services Inc. and Anchor House.

You do not have to be a hunter to become involved. Cash or check donations are accepted and appreciated because they will go toward fees or processing, Botkin said. Checks can be made out to Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry program, specifically for “Indiana 28,” which is the Jackson County program.

The national Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry organization was founded in Virginia in 1997. There are 15 chapters in the state, including southern Indiana that serves Dearborn, Decatur, Franklin, Jefferson, Jennings, Ohio, Ripley and Switzerland counties.

Information: Call Botkin at 812-216-5031 or visit