May 5, 2023
Knowledge is something we often take for granted, often knowledge become tacit knowledge, and everybody believes that it is their own, or that they have always known it, institution knowledge is also often underappreciated until it is lost. I am the new member on the NZDFA Executive, I am approaching a year soon, and it has been a whirlwind of new knowledge acquisition. However, it is not just me coming up to speed, with Tony Pearse retiring and John Somerville stepping off the Executive we have not necessarily lost institutional knowledge, but it is not at our fingertips. We have been frequently referring back to the constitution and double-checking documentation to ensure we are doing the right thing.
Institutional knowledge and leadership skills are critical for NZDFA to remain as a high functioning organisation that can represent and deliver to our members. It has been heartening to see several candidates put their names for to represent for the Selection and Appointments Panel, and as I write this the votes will have been tallied. This is an important leadership position for NZDFA helping to select our Producer Members on the DINZ board.
Local NZDFA Branch committee positions are critical, as the Branches are the lifeblood of NZDFA and offer excellent experience in organisational leadership. I would strongly encourage some more younger members to give it a go on a local branch. I was the secretary of our local NZDA (not a typo) Branch for 6 years when I first started working, it was a pretty big jump at the time, but gave me a lot of skills and confidence that served me well in many roles and circumstances in my life since. Put your hand up, give it a nudge and pick up some new skills for a bit of time, while doing something for your industry and community at the same time. None of us are getting any younger and we all need new people to chase, support, or replace us.
The second thing we have been working on, in light of all of this change in personnel, but also what seems to be increasing demands for our input is to pause and check that we as the NZDFA Executive are doing what we need to be doing for you, our NZDFA members. This is something we have called our ‘Focus’, as we want to focus our time and energy in the best places for deer farmers. We will be sharing this very soon and working through it with Branch Chairs prior to Conference. Speaking of Conference, it is nearly upon us, and thanks to the Canterbury West Coast Branch for offering to host after Cyclone Gabrielle cancelled the hosting for the Hawkes Bay. I hope we will see plenty of you out and about at Conference to share a bit of knowledge, hopefully gain some new knowledge and work together to keep NZDFA and the deer industry strong.
- Jamie Ward, NZDFA Executive Committee