Aug 13, 2021
Last week I headed to Queenstown for the Next Generation Conference which is run by the NZDFA and put together with DINZ and the Executive Committee. Yet again the generosity of farmers to welcome us, all up 46 "Next Geners" delegates (and 20 from DINZ, Executive Committee, AgResearch etc.) onto their properties and showcase what they are doing cannot be under-estimated. The weather played its part and, although the temperatures were fresh, the sun did make an appearance as well.
I won’t go into the details of the visits as that will be covered in detail in other articles coming in Deer Industry News, but I would like to extend a huge thank you all those involved in hosting us. Simon & Lou Wright and their team at Fairlight Station, Ryan Thomson and Pāmu at Eyre Creek Station, and Bryan (not to be confused with Ryan) Thompson who gave us a run down on the AgResearch project Eyre Creek is part of, in stream heath and monitoring the water ways.
Day 2 included Matt Little, the manager of Remarkables Station, and David Nind who owns the farming operation, as well as property owner Dick Jardine and Rob Wardle from QEII, who explained the gift of the property to the Trust. That session also featured Mandy Bell, who outlined the Station’s successful journey from chronic Johne’s disease in the early 2000’s to its recovery and current low risk status. Our last stop was hosted by John Blair, farm manager at Deer Heights Park.
I would like to acknowledge all of these people and the teams that they have around them for taking time out of their busy working lives to host us and the keen next generation of deer farmers. The enthusiasm the delegates left with was fantastic and the value of the opportunity for them to have insight from some of NZ’s leading farming operations is undeniable. So, once again, thank you.
We are also very aware that, while fostering enthusiasm for the next generation, things are pretty tough in the industry at the moment with the TB outbreak in Hawkes Bay and poor venison schedules. Covid can’t be blamed for TB but does have a lot to answer for in the current schedule. While we are very appreciative of the hard work being done by processors and marketers to rectify our plight, the NZDFA Executive, as your producer representatives, are in constant communication to help understanding of the situation, on both sides of the fence.
The first few buttons have come off our older stags at home and so the seasons roll around, albeit while I am writing this (in Hawkes Bay) it is trying its very hardest to snow outside.
Wrap up warm and may spring be good for all.
- Karen Middelberg, Hawkes Bay, NZDFA Executive Committee