Oct 8, 2021
Our branch area of Taihape Ruapehu, like many areas around the country, are really looking forward to some warmer spring weather to arrive. A combination of slow grass growth and very hungry porina has meant feeding out is still on the daily list of jobs for many farmers.
Many of you will now be aware that Tony Pearse is planning to retire after giving a huge amount of energy and knowledge to the deer industry over many years. He has been the go-to guy for large parts of our industry and beyond and as such has become something of an icon within the industry. We plan to have a farewell at this year’s Branch Chairs meeting for Tony, but we will continue to see his involvement on some specific projects ahead.
The producer managers role is a vital one within the deer industry and we are pleased with the announcement of the appointment of Lindsay Fung to the role. He is well known and respected for his tireless efforts representing our industry in the environmental space. The DFA Executive Committee are looking forward to working alongside Lindsay to continue representing deer farmers with the challenges ahead.
The deer industry has been dealing with a wide range of issues in recent times which has certainly done nothing to alleviate the growing on-farm pressures. These issues are also shared in some way by other pastoral, arable, horticultural industries and by wider businesses community in general. This was really highlighted by the support the Groundswell movement received by the provincial community in the recent marches around the country.
Many of the decisions that are now being made within many government departments and some governance structures demonstrate a lack of personnel that have the practical knowledge to ensure that the changes being proposed are workable. In this period of transitional change, we are currently experiencing we need to ensure that the decisions being made now to support our deer farmers and industry are well considered and achievable.
This is an area that the NZDFA as part of the tight knit structure of the deer industry can and does make a significant contribution to on behalf of the farmers it represents. The feedback we receive from farmers is invaluable as it gives us strong farmer input to ensure the governance and management roles of our industry are supplied with balanced information to position our industry well, both now and in the future. History tells us that the good decisions made during times of adversity sets the groundwork for a prosperous future.
A structure to replace the highly successful P2P programme is now well underway. This will be on the agenda to be further discussed at the upcoming Branch Chairs and New Faces meeting in Wellington. This is a real opportunity to ensure that funding and support is made available to deer farmers for many of the issues we now deal with. Please speak to your branch chairman so your thoughts on shaping the future of the P2P2 programme, as well other issues, can be heard.
While it is easy to focus on many of the difficulties we now face, it is also important to get balance and find time to socialise and enjoy the company of other farmers, family, and friends. Events such as the upcoming velvet competitions are a great way to get off farm and enjoy the company of like-minded people. I wish you all well for the season ahead.
- Mark McCoard, NZDFA Executive Committee