Apr 6, 2023
With daylight saving behind us for another year the focus is firmly on preparing for the winter ahead. After the extreme weather events that parts of the country have experienced we can only hope the winter ahead is a benign one.
With stags running around doing their own thing the focus on many deer farms is weaning and all the other associated animal health treatments required to ensure good stock performance. For breeding operations this weaner sale season will be crucial to their decision making surrounding future stocking policies and priorities. Pricing has been made even more complicated with the decision by the Taihape Ruapehu branch not to run this year’s weaner fair and was a very difficult decision for the committee for an event that has run for the past thirty-five years. This is a further indication of the changing nature of the deer industry over the past three years. Many farmers will be looking to the impending strategy document that DINZ has been working on to display a pathway towards increased and sustainable profitability.
The ability to get through even the most basic of tasks has been very difficult on many farms across a number of regions affected by cyclone Gabrielle and other extreme weather events. The loss of fences and other key infrastructure will be a long-term undertaking to return to its original condition. A huge thanks has to go to all the volunteers that have assisted with boots on the ground assistance, along with all the generous donations received to support the recovery effort.
The recent Bidr auction organised by the NZDFA’s Mark Tapley, Todd Crowley and Kris Orange was a great success and raised $118,000, which was kindly donated to the NZDFA for further distribution. All the affected regions are highly appreciative of their efforts along with all the generous auction donations and of course, very active bidding. The NZDFA Executive Committee, in consultation with the auction organisers and North Island branch chairs, have decided to donate the funds directly to the affected branches to spend in a manner that best suits their regions farmer’s needs. The amount that each branch receives will be on a percentage basis relative to the number of affected farmers they have.
The next major event on our calendar is the NZDFA AGM and Deer Industry Conference which are to be held in Ashburton on the 10-11 of May. This is a great opportunity to get off the farm and be involved and listen to the issues and industry undertakings that are shaping our deer farming futures. There will be a field day run by the Canterbury West Coast branch on the final day to add some outdoors balance to the event. For those unable to attend please arm your regions Branch Chair with your thoughts. The NZDFA organisation is the” farmers voice” and this has never been more important than it is currently.
- Mark McCoard, NZDFA Executive Committee