Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic presented by Cabela’s concluded today, drawing 28,855 to the weekend event – and the conservation nonprofit’s 30th anniversary celebration – at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Next year, Pheasants Forever will take its signature event to Milwaukee, Wisconsin for the first time, to run February 14-16, 2014 at the Delta Center.
Pheasants Forever welcomed U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to its 30th anniversary banquet Saturday night, where in front of 1,300 Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever members and supporters, he formally announced the country’s 45th Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) General Sign-up. U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, U.S. Senator Al Franken and U.S. Representative Collin Peterson joined the crowd in a standing ovation for the announcement concerning the nation’s largest and longest-standing wildlife habitat creation program.
“Once again, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever members made National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic the center of the upland universe,” said Howard Vincent, Pheasants Forever’s President and CEO, “Despite 30 years and 9 million acres of conservation success behind us, this event was less about our accomplishments and more about the work ahead. We have the most dedicated group of chapters and volunteers, and it was inspirational to see them – many who have been volunteers for 10, 20 or even 30 years – so energized and passionate about the cause of upland habitat conservation.”
In addition to providing an economic boost for the host city and attending outdoor industry vendors, Pheasants Forever uses its National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic to recruit members for its wildlife habitat conservation mission. Nearly 1,700 individuals signed up as Pheasants Forever or Quail Forever members.
The event also delivered wildlife habitat benefits for pheasants and quail via Pheasants Forever’s Landowner Habitat Help Room. This feature of the show serviced 276 landowners, providing conservation guidance on 46,338 acres of land, much of it located in the Upper Midwest. Accompanied by a trained Pheasants Forever or Quail Forever biologist, landowners were educated on ways they can improve their acres for wildlife and even what local, state and federal conservation programs their lands qualify for.
Next year, National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic returns to Wisconsin for the first time since 2009, when more than 20,000 visited the event at Exhibition Hall at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison.
National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic is also the country’s largest event for upland hunters, sport dog owners and wildlife habitat conservationists, combining a national outdoor tradeshow, wildlife habitat seminar series, and family event complete with puppies, tractors, shotguns, and art. The event is open to the public.
Image courtesy Pheasants Forever