Mule Deer Foundation and Progressive Agriculture Foundation® Collaborate to Educate Youth

Cooperative effort will promote safe and ethical outdoor practices, wildlife conservation and environmental stewardship among young individuals

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., April 19, 2011 — The Mule Deer Foundation (MDF) and the Progressive Agriculture Foundation (PAF) announce their collaboration to educated youth about safe and ethical practices in rural settings, wildlife conservation and environmental stewardship. MDF is a leading organization ensuring the conservation of mule deer, black-tailed deer and their habitats. PAF is the largest rural safety and health education program for children in North America.

“Through a joint effort with the Progressive Agriculture Foundation, our dedicated member volunteers hope to educate young individuals about becoming safe, ethical stewards of the environment who also take an active role in conservation, hunting and shooting sports,” explains Miles Moretti, Mule Deer Foundation president and CEO. “Our members are safe, ethical and caring hunters and conservationists who value everything that the rural lifestyle embraces, including mentoring young people when it comes to safe, healthy outdoor activities.”

Both Foundations echo the belief that today’s youth are one of the country’s greatest resources, making the need to educate them about safety and sound ethics all the more important. MDF’s youth education program, M.U.L.E.Y (Mindful, Understanding, Legal and Ethical Youth), currently runs a parallel course with the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® program. Under the joint effort, the organizations will work together to enhance the reach and awareness of each program among existing and prospective members, volunteers and sponsors.

Per the collaborative effort, MDF will provide space at its 2012 Big Western Hunting and Conservation Expo to educate youth about ATV, firearm and knife safety. A trained Safety Day volunteer will provide educational instruction and demonstration.

“This collaborative relationship will afford us the opportunity to generate awareness about the Mule Deer Foundation, while growing the reach of the Safety Day program in the western United States,” explains Randy Bernhardt, chief administrative officer and executive director of development for PAF. “The Mule Deer Foundation shares principles that closely mirror those of the Safety Day program. It made perfect sense to join forces and work together, and we look forward to further developing our relationship.”

Safety Days are fun, hands-on one-day events that take place throughout North America. Through education and training, children learn about safety and health lessons that can keep them and those around them safer and healthier on a farm or ranch, and at home. The program explores more than 30 topics, for which PAF provides curriculum and coordinator training. Since the program was founded in 1995, it has grown to become the largest rural safety and health educational program for youth in North America.

The Mule Deer Foundation is a national non-profit 501(c)(3). MDF’s mission is to ensure the conservation of mule deer, black-tailed deer and their habitat. MDF is dedicated to restoring, improving and protecting black-tailed and mule deer habitat resulting in self-sustaining, healthy, free ranging and huntable deer populations. It is also dedicated to encouraging and supporting responsible wildlife management; promoting public education and scientific research related to deer and wildlife management; supporting and encouraging responsible and ethical behavior and awareness of issues among those whose actions affect mule deer; and acknowledging regulated hunting as a viable component of mule deer and black-tailed deer conservation.

The Progressive Agriculture Safety Day program is the largest rural safety and health education program for children in North America and a program of the Progressive Agriculture Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation. The Foundation’s mission is to provide education and training to make farm, ranch and rural life safer and healthier for children and their communities. In 2008, PAF was awarded the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance National Charity Seal, demonstrating its commitment to accountability and ethical practices. Safety Day applications are due each July 15 for Safety Days that will be conducted the following calendar year.

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