Sep 8, 2023
After one of the wettest winters in many regions, the fine settled weather over the last two weeks has certainly been morale boosting for both man and beast. In my home patch of Taihape as an example, we have to go back to the 1960’s to find something comparable, with most areas either at or ahead of their annual rainfall by July. Now we are in spring and looking towards summer we are all hoping that a year of weather extremes is now behind us.
Our local NZDFA branch recently helped co-sponsor a mudshout organised by Heartland Services hosted by the Taihape golf club. Around 120 people attended and was a great evening for farmers and their families to leave the gumboots and wet weather gear behind and have a social evening off farm. It once again showed the value of bringing farmers together which at times does not always need to be about production and productivity. As was shown during and after Cyclone Gabrielle, the NZDFA’s well connected structure remains unique to the deer industry and often the value of farmer led organisations is not fully realised until times of adversity.
The Executive Committee are currently halfway through meeting with the marketing managers of all the five venison companies. This has been a regular part of the calendar since the covid lockdowns caused chaos in the venison markets. This allows us to raise and discuss concerns farmers have directly with the companies and additionally for us to answer questions they may have at the farm gate level. This again highlights the opportunities a small connected industry brings and plays a part in ensuring the recovery of venison continues and remains sustainable. We will update you all on the discussions and outcomes in the next Stagline once we have finished meeting with all the companies.
The next major event on the NZDFA calendar is the Branch Chairs and New Faces Meeting held in Wellington on the 5th and 6th of October. We are currently putting the agenda together and will be circulated once completed. It is always great to have all parts of the organisation together in one place, which only happens twice a year. If there are any burning questions you would like your branch chair to raise on your behalf this is the perfect forum to do so. Additionally, if there are members within the branches that are interested in seeing how this side of the industry operates the New Faces initiative provides funding to help make that possible.
I wish you all well for the busy spring season ahead and hope you are enjoying the rising vitamin D levels and diminishing mud.
- Mark McCoard, Executive Committee Member