Feb 3, 2023
Welcome to 2023!
Hopefully your summer is going well although those of you in the north and east of the North Island could do with a bit less rain!
I kicked off the start of the year with three stag sales (two red, one elk wapiti) and was impressed with the farmer turn out, the slick and professional organisation, host hospitality and most importantly, the quality of the animals for sale.
Buyer confidence seemed to be high despite a lot of this season’s velvet being unsold at the time of the stag sales and while prices may have been a bit down from last year, most if not all of the animals were sold. Like the velvet competitions, these are important social events especially with buyers from all over the country doing the rounds of the sales and it is a great way to catch up.
February is shaping up to be full of activities – check them out on the DINZ events web page: deernz.org/home/events/
First up is the 2021 Firstlight Environment Award Winners field day for Goudies Station on 1 February, quickly followed by an informal catch up for Canterbury West Coast and South Canterbury North Otago branch members to discuss the recently released 2022-2027 DINZ Strategy on 2 February. The Elk Wapiti Society’s velvet competition is on in Cromwell on 3 and 4 February capping off the first week.
There’s a wee break before a brand-new initiative from the Hawkes Bay branch on 15 February: “Deer 2 $u¢¢eed” is a field day at a couple of deer farms with the by-line "kill weaners when you want to, not before". It promises to be a fun and informative day with a few drinks and a BBQ to finish off.
Not to be outdone, on 16 February the Southland branch hosts a field day with a trip to Alliance’s Lorneville plant followed updates of the international market and premium branding/innovation, as well as the DINZ strategy.
We round out the month with the CK Import Export Rising Stars 2023 National Hard Antler & Velvet Competition on 25 February in Te Awamutu showcasing more of the industry’s progress and quality. The last Rising Stars was held in 2019 in Otago, so a big thank you to Waipa branch for stepping up to make this happen.
- Lindsay Fung, Producer Manager, DINZ