The WVU Extension Service in Roane County is collaborating with the Roane County High School's Meat's lab to offer a Venison 101 workshop on Thursday, December 1 beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Roane County High School Vocational Agriculture Department.

This workshop, which is free and open to the public, including both experienced and novice hunters and even non-hunters, will begin in the classroom and conclude in the meats lab.

The workshop is designed to help hunters and their families bring deer from the woods to the table safely. There will be training on herd health management, proper field dressing of a deer, hands-on demonstrations on how to properly cut up a deer, an illustration of where the different cuts of meat are found on a deer carcass, and safe preservation methods such as canning, freezing and dehydrating.

There will also be samples of venison recipes that demonstrate the various tasty methods of preparation at this workshop as well.

"This is not the first time that the WVU Extension Service and the Roane County High School Meat's Lab have partnered to educate the public about the proper handling of meat," according to local Vocational Agriculture instructor Jim Workman.

About four years ago, he and Extension Agent Brandy Brabham conducted a five-part series on meat cutting, which included pork, lamb, beef, and venison.

Brabham adds, "That was a huge success. While we have not been able to coordinate another series quite like that, the popularity of deer hunting in our state prompted us to use this opportunity to teach our citizens about safe food handling, from start to finish.

Proper handling can help to prevent food-borne illnesses, and also maintain the quality of the meat." According to WVU Extension food nutrition experts, venison is a good source of vitamins, minerals and proteins and is a naturally low fat food that can be prepared in a variety of ways.

The Roane County High School's Meat Lab has been processing deer since its opening in the fall of 2005. Workman said, "Ideally, we would have liked to have held this workshop prior to gun season; but in my experience, the local sportsmen will harvest deer through the end of the year.

And, people are always looking for ways to use their processed venison throughout the winter."

Pre-registration is required for the course, as space is limited. Participants must contact the WVU Roane County Extension Office by Monday, November 28. For more information or to register, call (304) 927-0975 or email brandy.brabham@mail.wvu.edu

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