A message from new chair Justin Stevens | Issue 178

Jun 3, 2022

At our recent NZDFA Branch Chairs meeting held in Wellington on Tuesday 24th May, we were able to thank three long serving and pivotal contributors to the NZDFA. Richard Broughton had served as the Northland Branch Chair for over 20 years, working alongside the local regional council in developing itsescaped deer policy. I have had the privilege of getting to know Richard and having many a frank discussion about the joys and tribulations of deer farming. Richard was one of the many farmers that had to farm through the Roger Douglas error of farming subsidy removal and the consequences, where to survive meant working harder and longer hours and making money any way you could.

Our long serving Producer Manager Tony Pearse who is the epitome of everything passionate about deer farming, was thanked for all the contributions and sacrifice’s that he and his family have made to the deer industry so far. I had to add the “so far” as Tony is only a phone call away and has a wealth of knowledge and skills that are second to none. Tony has had many roles over all his years in the deer farming game and is now able to take time to enjoy all the fruits of his hard labour.

John Somerville has been a strong advocate for all deer farmers in all aspects of our everyday farming ventures, from environmental through to improving communications from venison processors about current market demands. John has been on the NZDFA Executive for the last 10 years, serving as Chairperson for the last 4 years, through some very challenging times indeed. All of this has been done while still managing to run the red deer stud “Arawata Red Deer “alongside his partner Mel Somerville, who has attended and contributed to many industry events over that time. I am sure John and Mel will continue their good work for many years to come and continue to keep the deer industry in the front of everyone’s minds.

Myself along with Mark McCoard, Karen Middelberg and Jamie Ward will be the NZDFA Executive for the next 12 months and continue to represent the interests of NZDFA member’s and advocate on your behalf.

- Justin Stevens, NZDFA Chairperson

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