Feb 3, 2023
Greetings for the New Year, I hope everyone has managed to give themselves a break over the festive season albeit a busy time of the year for most.
New Zealand certainly seems to be a summer of two extremes with the North being inundated with precipitation and the South having a long dry spell. In the last 5 months we have had more than our average rainfall for the year, and this was over what is normally our dry months. Hawkes Bay is waving in the wind and green like spring. However, it has bought many challenges with slips, access issues, and simply trying to get things done.
The velveting has all but been ticked off for another year with tagging and weaning on the horizon. Most around Hawkes Bay have been happy with the weights they have been cutting, all those good genetics seem to be paying off. Our own MA stags (four year olds and older) lifted 450 grams this year, which goes someway to offsetting a tricky selling season.
The NZDFA Executive Committee has started the year in full swing hitting the ground running.
We have had the opportunity to following up our submission to NAWAC on the Code of Welfare for Deer with a couple of zoom meetings with the NAWAC subcommittee, this has given us the opportunity to explain our submission further. It is great to see the hard work by everyone involved having an impact.
Also planning for the industry conference is underway which will be a new look version, shorter and sharper but still giving farmers the opportunity to connect and update on what is going on in the industry. This year the destination is the sunny Hawkes Bay – hopefully it will have stopped raining by then so mark the date (9 May) in your calendars.
The Hawkes Bay DFA branch is also running a new initiative for their members and any deer farmers from around the country that wish to join them. They have called it “Deer to Succeed” and the plan is to create an annual event that addresses a topic of interest with a farm visit or two, a workshop and guest speaker and of course plenty of food and time to catch up to have a general chat about what’s most on your mind. This year the Topic is “Weaning and how to get the best out of your weaners”. Look out for the flyer and mark the 15 February in your calendar, you will need to register for catering purposes.
After this the Rising Stars will be the next event on the Calendar and the NZDFA Executive have decided to have their next meeting in conjunction with this, giving farmers the opportunity to touch base with us.
The DFA Branches around the country have also been involved in meeting with DINZ to discuss the new Industry Strategy. This is your opportunity to see what new initiatives there are for the industry and how the plan to tackle the forever-changing landscape will look. Covid has been a challenge for many, and the Board and DINZ office have worked hard to develop an innovative path forward. It is important that they get your input and feedback, please contact them if you would like to discuss it further.
There is plenty going on and the Executive committee hope to get around the country a bit this year and connect with you all. I hope everyone’s tagging and weaning goes well.
- Karen Middelberg, Executive Committee member