Jun 2, 2023
The industry conference wrapped up three weeks ago and reading the post-conference survey comments, most respondents found the conference to be useful (90 %), and the top five events were the keynote speaker (Sir Ian Taylor), market updates, science and stress workshops and the NZDFA Chair’s view. The Awards dinner and the field day also received special mention.
More coverage of the conference is provided later in this issue and will also be in the next issue of Deer Industry News.
Staying with the Awards dinner, this was a big year with the biennial environment awards alongside the annual Matuschka and Deer Industry awards and it was very pleasing to see the very worthy recipients receive their awards and the endorsements from their peers and community. Congratulations in no particular order to Richard and Sarah Burdon, Lyal Cullen and Marion Neill, Scott Hassall, Mike Humphrey, Simone Hoskin, Ross and Monique Moore, Robbie Bruce and Richard Hilson, who also picked up the “joke that probably went a bit too far on the night” award!
Our thanks also to the Canterbury West Coast Branch and Darryl and Lyn Butterick for a well run and informative field day looking at recovery following the flooding two years ago. Some pretty sobering photos from that time but also the huge contrast to the present day. The Fairlie Bakery pies and Mountain River venison were also a great antidote to the cutting cold wind from the South (for the record I chose the venison and cranberry pie over the pork belly).
We are now getting into winter and the southern areas are gearing up for another winter grazing season. I think we must have had about 4 seasons now of scrutiny from the public/media/regulators and there have not been any cases of deer winter grazing that have been in breach of any environmental regulations. This is a great result and shows that our farmers do manage winter grazing in a responsible manner – something that doesn’t go unnoticed in the Southland and Otago Regional Councils where the scrutiny has been the most intense.
So another round of congratulations are due, and let’s hope that this winter will pass without incidence and the stock emerge with good condition to paddocks with lots of spring pasture.
Changes at DINZ
As was mentioned at conference and in Karen’s report, there are changes occurring within DINZ to align it to the new DINZ strategy. This includes staff and soon DINZ will be looking for a new Environmental Stewardship Manager as Sara Elmes is now the new Projects Manager – Industry Capability. Environmental advocacy is an area that is highly important for all deer farmers and the role has historically worked closely with NZDFA Branches to provide representation on environmental issues and develop practical and locally relevant approaches and solutions to achieving good environmental outcomes and profitable deer farming.
Whatever with Wiggy
Finally – some late blatant endorsements. Conference attendees were able to listen to Craig Wiggins run a workshop on stress. “Wiggy” has a website with more details on his rural mental health services on offer – please have a look at: whateverwithwiggy.co.nz
Managing wetlands as farm assets
And recently a three-year project on managing wetlands as farm assets finished up. A website full of farmer resources on developing and maintaining wetlands and a list of Canterbury farm case studies is well worth checking out if you are interested in constructing a wetland or enhancing an existing one: landcare.org.nz/project/managing-wetlands-as-farm-assets
- Lindsay Fung, Producer Manager