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23 November 2011

Dugger: Thanksgiving Great Time To Share The Harvest

From the first Pilgrim observance in 1621, to the nine years before and during the American Revolution when the Continental Congress declared days of Fast and Prayer and days of Thanksgiving, we have turned to Almighty God to express our gratitude for the bounty and good fortune we enjoy as individuals and as a nation. –Ronald Reagan

Throughout the passing of time the unsurpassed freedoms and liberties we have as Americans have truly allowed for a bountiful harvest in so many ways. It is unlikely the Pilgrims at the first Thanksgiving could even imagine the many comforts we enjoy today. America is truly blessed.

Earlier this month, we thanked America’s Veterans who have and continue to fight in order to protect our freedoms. Much of America’s success would not be possible without the courage and bravery of our military forces. America is also indebted to the farmers that ensure there is food to place on our Thanksgiving tables. This week, Missourians thanked our 108,000 farmers on Thank a Farmer Day. These hardworking men and women account for twelve billion dollars of Missouri’s economy and the labors of each one feeds 150 people on average. America undoubtedly has much for which to be thankful.

However, as we enter this holiday season, let us not forget that Thanksgiving is not only a time to be thankful, but that it is also a time to extend a helping hand to those who are less fortunate. Americans have long understood the importance of voluntary giving. Since the first Thanksgiving, the spirit of fellowship and giving has become engrained in the American character.

Missouri’s Share the Harvest program is an excellent way to give back and make another family’s holiday a little brighter. The Share the Harvest program provides a way for deer hunters to donate venison to the needy. Hunters simply take their deer to an approved processing plant and tell the processor how much venison they wish to donate. This could be a few pounds or the whole deer. In Douglas County hunters can go to Oldfield Packing, LLC in Oldfield; in Texas County, Cummins Custom Meats in Licking; and in Wright county, Forrest Meat Processing in Norwood.

As you gather with family and friends this holiday weekend I encourage you to remember that Thanksgiving is a day of giving as well as of thanks. May God bless you and grant you and your family a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend.

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