Feb 3, 2023
- VelTrak Password Change Approaching
- 2023 Awards and Competitions
- Natural Knowledge Programme
- Interim CWC chair and BC contact details
- Production Feature: weaning
- Joke of the Month
- Deer 2 $u¢¢eed hosted by the Hawkes Bay Branch NZDFA, Tikokino,15 February 2023
- Summer Field Day hosted by Southland Branch DFA, 16 February 2023
- 2023 Rising Stars, Te Awamutu, 25 February 2023
- 2023 Deer Industry Conference, Napier, 9 May 2023
VelTrak Password Change Approaching
As a result of behind-the-scenes work on VelTrak, all users will have to change their passwords before the start of the 2023/24 velvet season.
“Quite a few people this season have had difficulties with the current password system for VelTrak. This has caused them considerable frustration and delays in approving their VSDs. This isn’t acceptable, so we’ve had to look for a better alternative,” says Rob Gregory, General Manager Quality Assurance.
As a result, VelTrak will be moving to a different password verification system, which should offer a greater degree of security and protection for user’s personal information, as well as being more cost effective in the long run.
“The change is currently planned for the middle of March, but we wanted to give everyone who uses VelTrak as much notice as possible, to avoid confusion when it does happen,” says Gregory. “A range of other communications are in the pipeline, but even if someone misses all of these, the next time they try to log on to VelTrak after mid-March, they will be prompted to change their password, so it is not something to worry too much about.”
2023 Awards and Competitions
2023 Biennial Environment Awards
The DINZ Environmental Awards are convened every second year and are part of the industry’s commitment to environmentally sustainable farmed deer production.
The awards’ primary goals are:
- To promote the adoption of sustainable deer farming practices on all deer farms.
- To recognise innovative deer farmers for implementing and practising sustainable and profitable deer farming practices in land and deer systems management
- To encourage sharing of experiences and proven best sustainable management practices and innovation through the resource of the NZ Deer Farmer's Landcare Manual
If you are interested or would like to know more information*, click here >>
Nominations generally close at the end of March with the judging taking place in April.
*An updated information pack and entry will be uploaded when ready.
NZDFA Matuschka Award
The New Zealand Deer Farmers’ Association “Matuschka Award” recognises the grass roots farmer and unsung contributor to local area activities, functions and core spirit of deer farming.
Nominations should be made through the appropriate Branch or can be direct to the convenor. There is no set format or form to nominate someone. The nominations can be informal, from individuals or Branch nominations or industry groups, or have a nomination endorsed by the branch or other individuals and it’s not necessary to advise a candidate of the nomination.
For more information, head to deernz.org/matuschka-award
Nominations must be submitted to the NZDFA via firstname.lastname@example.org no later than two weeks before the Annual Conference (e.g. Mon 24 April).
Deer Industry Award
The Deer Industry Award is an annual award presented each year to the person, persons jointly, or organisation who, in the opinion of the judges, has made the most outstanding contribution to the New Zealand deer industry, either in the previous year, or over a period of years.
The selection panel is made up of three judges who are the nominees of the following organisations: Countrywide Magazine (NZ Farm Life Media), The NZ Deer Farmers' Association (Inc) and Porter Holdings Ltd.
A updated entry form for 2023 will be uploaded here when ready: deernz.org/deer-industry-award
2023 MSD Allflex Deer Industry Photo Competition
Last year's competition saw some spectacular entries from all over New Zealand making the job of judging a very difficult one. Many of the images you would have seen featured in the industry's magazine, Deer Industry News and on deernz.org
There are some great prizes on offer, including;
- $500 cash prize for the first-place winner
- Category winner cash prizes
- Premium gift pack for "People's choice" award
- Framed photos of winning photographs
Entries open now! Competition closes 5pm, Wednesday 12 April 2023. Click here for more information >>
Please note that this competition is for amateur photographers only. Professional photographers, who derive income from photography, are not eligible to enter. Also please ensure that photos from phone cameras are of a high quality and can be viewed clearly on a large display screen.
Natural Knowledge Programme
Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is providing DINZ with more than $1millon of funding support to enable us to collect deer farming data over three years. This brings together physical, environmental and financial farm-level data to provide a snapshot of farm performance and build quality benchmarking information.
This information on ‘real life’ deer farms is incredibly important to help provide a statistically significant dataset that can be used to model the potential impact of both national and regional policy on farm performance. Without this data deer farms are made up or excluded and the real impact on our industry is not understood.
We are looking for Canterbury and Southland based deer farms to be involved in the project and would love your help.
You’ll receive analysis of your farm data, a Farm Environment Plan (FEP) including an OverseerFM nutrient budget and modelling of your farm Greenhouse Gas emissions. In collecting this anonymised information, we help build a credible database.
If you are keen to hear more about the project and want to be involved. Please email all enquiries to our Environmental Stewardship Manager Sara Elmes email@example.com.
Interim Chair CWC branch and contact details for Branch Chairs
Canterbury West Coast Branch Chair Stu Stokes has recently tendered his resignation. Committee member Lorna Humm has taken on the role as Interim chair until the branch can meet and confirm a new chair.
A timely reminder that branch chairs are there to represent NZDFA members. If you'd like to get in touch with them to discuss industry topics, check in on what's happening in your region or to get involved, you can reach out through their details below:
|Branch Chairs Contact Details|
Ph: 07 827 3787 / 027 272 3151
Ph: 07 872 5551 / 027 256 3551
Bay of Plenty
South Canterbury/North Otago
Ph: 03 205 8166 / 027 276 0664
|Elk & Wapiti Society
Ph: 027 224 5542
Contact details can be found at
Production feature: Weaning
Weaning is the physical separation of calves from the hinds so that the calves are no longer dependent on their mothers for food (milk) and security. This enables the calves and hinds to be managed separately within the farm system.
In the wild, calves are naturally weaned within their first year, but the actual timing can vary between individuals. Natural weaning seldom suits the management needs of the farming operation. Most farmers, therefore, undertake active weaning management on their herds.
- It is important to find a weaning system that works well for your farm and management style.
- There are advantages to each type of weaning options: pre-rut weaning, natural weaning and post-rut weaning.
Read more on weaning at deernz.org.nz/deer-hub/feeding/weaning >>
Deer 2 $u¢¢eed, 15 February 2023
The Hawkes Bay Branch of the NZ Deer Farmers' Association invite you to "Deer 2 $u¢¢eed"
"Kill weaners when you want to, not before"
Join local deer famers, vets, and special guest speaker, Geoff Asher for a workshop on finding a weaning system that works well for your farm and management style.
- 9.30am Arrive at Onga-Tiko Rugby and Sports Club.
- Visit two local Hawkes Bay farms to discuss weaning management.
- 1pm Lunch at Onga-Tiko Rugby and Sports Club.
- 2pm guest speaker, Geoff Asher, then discussion on 'what good looks like and why it doesn’t always happen'.
- Please join the HB Branch for a beverage and a bbq at the end of the day, for a catch up.
There is no cost to attend but you must register.
It is open to any deer farmer, DFA member or not, so feel free to share with your neighbours!
RSVP: Evan Potter
Summer Field Day, 16 February 2023
Southland Deer Farmers' Association in association with Alliance Group Limited invite deer farmers to join them for their:
Summer Field Day
Optional Plant Tour from 9:00am, Main Programme from 2:00pm followed by drinks and dinner.
Plant Tour - Lorneville Venison from 9am
Alliance will host up to 15 people each hour covering the yards, venison chain and further processing department. Plant tours will take place at 9:00, 10:00 and 11:00am and take an hour to complete. Bookings are required – see RSVP below.
Afternoon Speakers – Makarewa Country Club from 2pm
- International Market Update
- Premium Brand/Innovation Update
- Venison vs Lamb boning demonstration
- Product tasting and general Q&A session
Deer Industry New Zealand
There are lots of exciting things happening at the moment, which we will be looking to get in front of deer farmers for inspiration and feedback including:
- DINZ refreshed strategy. Recently released five-year strategy aimed at facilitating the industry’s recovery and building confidence in a sustainable and profitable future.
- Nature’s superpower™. A new way of telling the deer farming story, Nature’s Superpower™ has been developed by DINZ to help the sector tell a consistent story about New Zealand’s venison and velvet products.
There will also be drinks and social hour with the option to stay for dinner (pay your own way).
Please RSVP to Jane Campbell (SDFA secretary) at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ph
- Number attending
- Which plant tour you will join (9:00, 10:00 or 11:00am)
- Whether you will require a meal at the MCC in the evening
- Any questions you’d like to ask AGL or DINZ staff
Click here for more information on the day >>
2023 Rising Stars
CK Import Export 2023 Rising Stars
Saturday 25 February 2023
Venue: Waipa Racecourse, Racecourse Road, Te Awamutu
Time: 4.30pm onwards. Velvet viewing 6.00pm
Dinner: $70pp bookings essential Bank Account 03 0442 0297331 00
Drinks: Cash required for a ticket system $5 beer & Wine, $2.50 non-alcohol
Accommodation: Te Awamutu has limited accommodation available for 25th February, try Cambridge, Otorohanga, Hamilton Jet Park Hotel (Airport), Hamilton or Rotorua.
Host: Waipa Branch of NZDFA. Contact Leith Chick 07 872 5551
Competition Classes and Sponsors
1. 1-Year-Old Red Hard Antler - Rockvale Deer Stud
2. 2-Year-Old Red Hard Antler - Lynne Rhodes AI Services
3. 3-Year-Old Red Hard Antler - Tower Farms
4. 4-Year-Old Red Hard Antler - Crowley Deer
5. 3-Year-Old Fallow Hard Antler - NZ Fallow Deer Society
6. ‘Sire of Three’ Hard Antler - LJ AI Services
7. 2-Year-Old Red Velvet - Foveran Deer Park
8. Red Deer Super Heavy Weight 10kg+ Velvet - Tradedeer.co.nz
9. 2-Year-Old Elk/Wapiti Velvet - Elk Wapiti Society NZ
People’s Choice Hard Antler - Crystalyx NZ
People’s Choice Velvet - Ultra Scan, Raewyn Cunliffe
Supreme Trophy Award (Hard Antler) - Peel Forest Estate
Click here to download the information flyer and rules >>
Click here to download the entry form >>
Hosted by the Waipa Branch of the NZDFA
Any queries, please contact Waipa Branch Chair Leith Chick on 07 872 5551.
Send entry forms and advise dinner bookings to Helen Clarke email@example.com or 07 8732785 or txt 027 2715015 by 17th February 2023.
2023 Deer Industry Conference
Please mark Tuesday 9 May in your calendars for a trip to the Art Deco capital of New Zealand, Napier.
More details to follow and will be uploaded to deernz.org/home/events
The Branch Chairs will also meet on the Monday afternoon, 8 May.
The highlight of the conference will be the awards dinner on the Tuesday evening and will feature presentations to the winners of the Matuschka, Deer Industry, and Environment awards as well as announcing the winners of the MSD Photo Competition.