Branch Chairs Profile: Ian Bristow | Issue 194

Nov 3, 2023

Ian with his wife Diane after they were awarded the Matuschka Award in 2021

Raised in the small rural district of Hunua, I was brought up on a small farm and always showed interest in the agriculture industry from a very young age.

I had various jobs and then in my early 20s was employed as a stock agent and auctioneer by Elders Australia, worked in the upper North Island and moved to branch manager (stock agent and auctioneer). During this time the ieer industry started with all the hype when businesspeople became involved. I was deeply involved in the buying and selling of deer in those record times.

I then went on to purchase a dairy farm in south Kaipara and also carried on as a stock agent and auctioneer. After the loss of my wife, I continued with dairy farming. 2 years later I met my now wife Diane, she had previously lost her husband and they had been actively involved in the deer industry.

Diane convinced me to convert the dairy farm to a deer farm. We then farmed her block and mine for around 5 years, moving to selling both properties and purchasing a 1000-acre block in South Head, Kaipara. Where we still farm today.

Diane's big love is the Fallow Deer which we farm around 900 head all for the trophy market, we also run 1500 red deer for velvet, venison and some red trophies.

I have been a member of the South Kaipara branch for around 30 years, 23 years as chairperson. It is a small branch which includes a handful of dedicated members who keep it alive and prosperous, with velvet competitions, annual dinners and the odd field day.

I am forever grateful to Diane for moving us into deer farming, but don’t tell her that though……

- Ian Bristow, Kaipara Branch Chair

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