Invermay 50 Years of Deer Farming Science Excellence | Issue 182

Oct 11, 2022

L to R – Appropriately aged sign, AgResearch CEO signing visitors in, Dr Ken Drew recalling establishing the science.

This event involved a field day at Invermay and a Gala Dinner at Otago University. Both events were well attended by approximately 140 people from across the industry. The field day was a split between a farm tour, with displays and short talks, and a series of talks and videos by key former AgResearch scientists and collaborators. Introductions were by Dr Ken Drew and Jamie Ward, with the ‘view from the top’ well provided by Dr Sue Bidrose and Mandy Bell.

L to R - Notable industry characters at the Invermay deer shed, 1976 Leyland bus that took the farm tour with across-breed connectedness R1 stags in the background.

There was a very special venison lunch menu created by DINZ Executive Chef Graham Brown, who also created the dinner menu with the Otago University Union team. Johnathon Wallis and Mike Pattison both spoke at the dinner, talking about both the old days and a bright future for deer farming and the need for science.

L to R - Gala Dinner with Mike Pattison (L), Silver Fern Farms venison striploin, Jonathon Wallis espousing the importance of future innovation with a modern netgun.

There were some fantastic reminiscences, lots of friends, collaborators, and colleagues catching up who had not seen each other for decades. Everybody seemed to have a really good time and we have received a lot of really positive feedback about the event and the food!

Thanks to Duncan NZ and Silver Fern Farms for sponsoring the lunch and dinner venison respectively, the product was done a huge credit. Thanks to for the Support the NZDFA gave to the idea and encouragement to go ahead and do it, and to AgResearch and DINZ for financial support.

Standing room only for the main introduction by Dr Ken Drew.


Personally, it was a fantastic reminder of how important NZDFA has been in the relationship with AgResearch and Invermay, from Dr Ken Drew being involved in the original establishment, through Tony Pearse’s involvement on all sides of the fences to huge input of NZDFA member to the science and various projects over the years.

Very special in visit by industry pioneer, and strong Invermay supporter Sir Tim Wallis, here talking with Dr Ken Drew. Sir Tim was dropped in by son Toby in HOT. Tim’s visit was a huge, unexpected highlight for everybody.

It was a really good opportunity to get some extra positive coverage of the deer industry and science. There has been some good media especially in the ODT/Southern Rural Life so check some of that out for a lot more detail.

Cheers this guy (about half of that 50 Years ago)


Continue reading DFA Stagline Issue 182, next: Deer farmers need to have their say on the new Deer Code >>

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