Aug 17, 2022
Joining the NZDFA Exec. was not something that had been anywhere on my radar, so when John Sommerville asked me if I would consider being an appointed member, I was dumbstruck. While AgResearch has been a member of the NZDFA, I have not personally been a member, but knowing the pivotal role NZDFA plays in the New Zealand deer farming scene, I accepted the appointment.
Effectively I represent AgResearch and the deer farm at Invermay just out of Dunedin. The farm entered winter with 515 R3 & MA breeding hinds, 126 R2 hinds, 437 R1’s and 33 sire stags on 165 effective Ha deer fenced. The farm also runs sheep mostly breeding ewes for the sheep central progeny test. We are carrying slightly more deer than average to cover for terminal R1 females in the across-herd breeding connectedness (ABC) trial. In a normal year 500 MA & R3 hinds are artificially inseminated to produce progeny for the science trial requirements. It is my role as project leader to determine the breeding requirements for the herd each year based in science needs. The science direction means we have effectively been a breeding and finishing farm for the past 15 years.
I have stayed in the deer science as I enjoy the animal and the humans in deer farming. It is a privilege to represent deer farmers and I am enjoying the NZDFA so far. But equally I hope there are plenty of candidates for NZDFA Executive next year when my position comes up for election.