Aug 17, 2022
Winter this year has been particularly wet and cold with snow in many parts being a lot earlier and heavier than in previous seasons. Fortunately for now winter grazing seems to be going well down south, where Otago and Southland flyovers are not showing any major environmental or animal welfare issues.
MPI Animal Welfare have had very little activity this season and recently requested a visit to a deer farm so that they could see deer winter grazing and understand more about the practice for deer. Bruce Allan, Southland DFA Chair, obliged and hosted MPI.
Bruce is one of the few deer farmers that have daily breaks for his hinds and weaners – more work for him, but it does mean that more of the feed is utilised and if conditions get rougher he moves to longer intervals between breaks. Here is Bruce and Hind #152 showing MPI what good in Southland looks like!
Moving up north, DINZ has been organising Rural Professional Workshops for regional councils in conjunction with local deer farmers.
On 1 August Hawkes Bay Regional Council staff gathered near Ōtāne to get an overview of the deer industry and our environmental activities, followed by a quick farm visit to Evan and Linda Potter’s farm. The Potters are of course our 2019 Elworthy Award winners as well as 2020 Ballance Farm Environment Award winners for the East Coast and the national Gordon Stevenson Trophy. Evan is also the Hawkes Bay DFA Chair.
Back down south, the South Canterbury North Otago (SCNO) DFA branch helped DINZ put on a comprehensive Tech Expo in Fairlie on 3 August.
Attended by some 80 visitors (not including exhibitors and DINZ staff), there were a range of deer farming presentations, workshops and exhibitor stands. A major culinary highlight was the pork belly pie offering for lunch from the Fairlie Bakehouse!
A major highlight event in the last month is the Next Generation Programme which was held last week in Ohakune and Taihape. Please see the coverage of that in the next item.