Executive Committee Update | Issue 193

Oct 17, 2023

Well, it’s that time of the year again and velveting season is upon us, the days are getting longer and warmer and set stocking is just around the corner. Our own button drop was a week later than last year, so we’ll have a busy Labour weekend in the shed. And the R1 deer have had a great season, despite (or, because of) the wet year – all the spikers are off next week, at 108kg, and a decent number of their sisters are going with them.

The last few weeks has bought some welcome rain to the East Coast and spring finally feels underway. The talk of El Nino has made many east coast farmers nervous that after two years of deluge we are in for a long dry summer - we are a hard lot to keep happy.

Last week the annual Branch Chairs meeting was held in Wellington and, according to the very knowledgeable Tony Pearse, this was the twenty third event. It was the usual great exchange of what is going on in the industry, and the vibe was positive. Again, there was discussion around how to help negotiate the onslaught of legislation and what the venison and velvet markets are doing, amongst other things.

DINZ presented the new-look office team and where to from here: it was good to put faces and names together. The challenge now is ensuring the historical knowledge of the industry is passed on and built on while developing the new way forward. I see the DFA as an integral part of this and a collaborative approach is necessary to shape the industry for the future to one that sees the next generation growing.

The NZDFA Executive committee also gave an update on the distribution of funds generated from the online auction. All the funds raised have been allocated to the affected branches for them to distribute to those in their area impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle. We would again like to thank the farmers involved and DINZ staff that made this happen as well as those who so generously donated. Rest assured, all the money raised was distributed to deer farmers and, as we know they are a pragmatic lot, I would be confident that the funds were very well spent.

Also, yesterday I attended a meeting in Waipukurau with a group of farmers, organised by Richard Hilson, with Sharon McIntyre, Deer Select manager. Sharon is a wealth of industry and genetic knowledge, and she ran through the value of using BV’s in selecting stock, how to use them, and then we talked about how this information could be applied in our own herds. Those attending all had a personal recording system identifying progeny parentage already in place, the discussion was around how putting this into Deer Select could add value to a commercial operation. She also talked about a new online tool (n-Prove) that will be available soon and which will simplify using the data that is generated. It was satisfying from a DFA perspective to see a couple of previous Next Generation attendees at this meeting as well.

That’s all from me, happy velveting.

- Karen Middelberg, NZDFA Executive Committee member

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