Executive Committee Update | Issue 189

Jun 2, 2023

The NZDFA Executive Committee has recently returned from an engaging and informative conference in Ashburton. Thank you to all who were involved in the organisation and running of a very successful event.

The more concise format seemed to go down well with good farmer attendance at conference and the field day the next day. It was also a great opportunity to have a good catch up, with farmers travelling from the top of the North Island and the bottom of the South Island, so thanks to all who made the effort to attend.

The industry is in a process of change with a reshuffle of things in Wellington to align with the end of the P2P and refocus on the new challenges at hand. It was good to hear from our processors and marketers on what the future for our Products looks like in the post-covid world, and how they are developing new markets for a more resilient future. The Q&A session with the Board was also very productive, a lot of which will be updated in the latest Industry News.

The NZDFA Executive have also spent time looking hard at how we operate and asking if the NZDFA is fit for purpose and providing members what they want and need. We presented a document called our “FOCUS” to the Branch Chairs for discussion and received a strong endorsement of what we proposed. This document has now been given to the DINZ executive and Board of Directors as well as for the Branch Chairs to get feedback. We hope to refine it based on that feedback and then work towards making sure the NZDFA is resourced to deliver. The NZDFA Executive committee has a number of constitutional obligations to carry out each year, as well as building a strong network for Deer Farmers to engage with and ensure they have a voice.

We aim to “Focus” on what is important and have heard the need for a good network for communication. It is a fine balance between information overload and frustration of not knowing what’s going on. With so many platforms available this compounds the issue, but we do aim to ensure the NZDFA is a strong collective voice advocating for all deer farmers.

We also intend to have better support for Branch activities while ensuring that these activities are farmer led. We would like to build the Deer Farming network and community without the workload falling on a few.

Thirdly, leadership development and industry succession has been identified as an area more could be provided. While the Next Generation programme continues to be hugely successful it would be great to offer further personal development opportunities so that the industry continues to have a good resource of future leaders to represent its interests.

Next week the SAP will be in Wellington, interviewing board candidates. Kris Orange is standing down after two terms on the DINZ Board, and the NZDFA Executive would like to thank him for his contribution over those years. This means a new Producer representative will be at the DINZ board table soon.

Scanning of hinds will be underway and it will be an interesting year in Hawkes Bay after so much disruption around the mating season. Many resourceful solutions were needed due to lack of fencing and facilities to wean and draft, so we hope that the results are still okay. Hawkes Bay is in recovery mode now with a lot of work still ahead of many.

I hope scanning goes well for everyone and that those stags have done their job.

- Karen Middelberg, NZDFA Executive Committee

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