Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam Partners with Agriculture Community to Offer Unique Hunting Opportunities to Wounded Veterans
~ 27 Veterans Across Florida Participate in Operation Outdoor Freedom Weekend ~
November 7, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, FL – Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam and Florida’s agriculture community plan to honor the service of our nation’s military by offering unique hunting opportunities to wounded veterans on Florida state forests and private lands during Operation Outdoor Freedom Weekends, November 10 through 11 and 17 through 18. These events are part of Operation Outdoor Freedom, a program of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Florida Forest Service that provides recreational opportunities to Florida’s wounded veterans.
“There is no greater sacrifice than to serve our country and I’m proud to honor our nation’s veterans through Operation Outdoor Freedom,” said Commissioner Putnam. “This hunting season, we’ve partnered with the agriculture community to offer more opportunities – on Florida State Forests and private lands – for wounded veterans to enjoy the company of their peers in Florida’s great outdoors.”
27 wounded veterans will participate in deer and hog hunts during Operation Outdoor Freedom Weekends, as well as other outdoor recreational activities such as forest tours and ranch activities. The hunts will take place on five different properties in Alachua, Brevard, Hardee, Polk and Suwannee counties. The hunts are hosted by five private landowners, in cooperation with Operation Outdoor Freedom. The hosts will provide meals and accommodations in addition to the activities.
Commissioner Putnam will host one of the events, with three veterans participating in a deer and hog hunt this week.
“This is just one way in which Florida’s agriculture industry gives back to their community,” said Commissioner Putnam. “Our industry often lends their time, resources and personal property to benefit the lives of others. I am blessed to be a part of such an exceptional industry.”
Operation Outdoor Freedom is a program of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumers Services’ Florida Forest Service that provides recreational opportunities, including hunting and fishing, to wounded veterans on Florida State Forests. Areas of Florida State Forests dedicated to this effort are fully equipped to accommodate the needs of wounded veterans, providing a unique opportunity for recreation and rehabilitation. For many participants, opportunities like these are their first opportunity to get outdoors since returning home.
Since the program was established in 2010, Operation Outdoor Freedom has hosted more than 100 wounded veterans on ten different state forests. The program expects to serve additional 200 veterans for the 2012-2013 seasons.
For more information or to get involved in Operation Outdoor Freedom, visit www.operationoutdoorfreedom.com.
For more information about the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit www.FreshFromFlorida.com.