About Us

Our Mission

Our mission is to foster a greater association among people who raise deer for commercial purposes. NADeFA® is dedicated to the promotion of deer farming and ranching as an agricultural pursuit and serves its members through its educational programs and publications and by providing leadership in setting and maintaining quality standards.

What We Do

The North American Deer Farmers Association® exists to:

  • establish, encourage and facilitate an exchange of ideas on breeding, handling and deer farm management among members
  • promote deer farming and ranching and venison consumption in North America
  • to acquire and distribute information on all aspects of deer farming and ranching to members
  • provide a forum for the solution of deer farming and ranching challenges and to keep members informed regarding the implementation of such solutions
  • represent the deer farming and ranching industry to all levels of government, to livestock producers and to other related organizations
  • provide a registry for privately-owned cervidae
  • establish and promote ethical standards of conduct and husbandry in deer farming and ranching
  • establish, promote and actively market standards for deer and deer products
mule deer
Why Deer Farming?

Raising animals and tending the land is a way of life that has been handed down by our grandfathers and their fathers before them. Today many landowners are finding it increasingly difficult to pay the bills, and the outdoor way of life is fading from the North American landscape. Thankfully, deer farming is giving many families new ways to save the family farm and preserve the lush landscape for future generations. 

Deer farming is one of the fastest growing industries in rural America, and it generates $7.9 billion for the U.S. economy and supports tens of thousands of jobs. This alternative agricultural pursuit is a promising way to preserve the traditional rural way of life while taking advantage of a booming industry. Today, many Americans raise and work with whitetail deer every day. Here are a few quick facts about deer farming: 

  • Deer farming has been around since 5,000 B.C. in China, and it first came to the United States over 100 years ago. 
  • Raising deer maximizes land potential so that even small tracts of marginal property can become extremely profitable.
  • Raising deer helps conservation efforts by preserving open space for wildlife. 
  • Deer farming helps preserve our American outdoor traditions and encourages the next generation of Americans to connect with their environment.
  • The whitetail deer is the most popular big game animal in North America. There’s no reward greater than watching and caring for these amazing animals.

Our Board & Staff

Our Board of Directors

Executive Committee

Chris Ezell 2026 – President

Ryan Halfman 2025 – 1st Vice President

Daniel Jennings 2026 – 2nd Vice President

Alan Hochstetler 2026 – 3rd Vice President

Dr. Hank Dimuzio 2025 – Treasurer

Shawn Schafer – Executive Director

Board of Directors

Brad Farmer (2025)

Brad Heath (2027)

Brandon Walker (2026)

Brian Pierson (2027)

Chad Jelinek (2026)

Chris Ryckman (2027)

Fred Huebner (2027)

Jacques deMoss (2025)

Juan Lino Garza (2027)

Mark Cobb (2025)

Rich Meech (2027)

Troy Zacchini (2026)

NADeFA Executive Director

Shawn Schafer

Phone: 651-212-1315