The key to finding partners is finding agencies, organizations and individuals that share your goals and objectives. Carefully thinking about and writing down your program’s goals and objectives will not only help keep your program on track, but it will also help you think about who your potential partners may be – and why they may want to join forces with you.
Typically, the hunting and fishing community immediately thinks of state-level chapters of conservation-oriented groups when asked to think about partners. These groups are a good place to start because they have contributed untold hours – and dollars – to conservation causes, and are likely to support your food-motivated, new adult hunting/fishing program as well. These groups are especially important for finding “subject experts” to teach specific parts of your curriculum, and provide guides for your hunts or fishing outings, or potential long-term mentors for participants. See Instructor recruitment and training for information on selecting and training instructors, guides and mentors.
Other potential partners include local shooting ranges, hunter education instructors, state parks and their staff, and state agricultural agents and extension agents at the state land grant university.
Because your program is seeking new participants from different cultures (i.e., food-motivated participants) you will likely need to look for different types of partners. Fortunately, if you have done a good job of developing your goals and objectives, this task will be relatively easy to begin.
Obviously, you will want to look in the area that you are targeting. A good source of information on food-related activities in any given region is the food columnist of the local newspaper. Contact the columnist and ask for contact information for local chefs, local food networks, farmer's markets, food co-ops, culinary schools, restaurants who feature local/sustainable food, food kitchens and food banks, urban resource centers, brewing clubs, etc. Asking the local columnist for contact information is also a good way to “pitch” your program idea and obtain future newspaper coverage.
Each of the groups identified above are potential partners, or can lead you to other contacts that may be potential partners. Before contacting these groups, it is important for you to review your goals and objectives and think about how each specific group could benefit from partnering with your program.
If you want to host a fish/game dinner, event or cooking classes, visit the Recruiting section of this site. If hosting a wild fish or game dinner or event, you may want to consider reaching out to existing networks of groups that regularly meet for social events. A variety of young professional groups, meetups and networking groups exist in every urban area, and are often looking for new topics or focus for their events.