What’s been happening around the country? | Issue 199

May 17, 2024


With the NZDFA AGM and industry conference now behind us we have two changes in NZDFA officers:  Dave Lawrence replaces Graham Peck in the Selections and Appointments Panel (SAP), while Evan Potter replaces Jamie Ward on the Executive Committee.

Our thanks to Graham and Jamie for their positive, proactive and constructive participation in NZDFA activities and performing their roles.  The industry is very lucky to have people of this calibre willing to take on these roles and responsibilities.

Also announced at the AGM, Justin Stevens steps down as Chair of the Executive Committee with one year of his term to go, in order to ensure a smooth transition with Mark McCoard taking on the Chair role.  Similarly, Karen Middelberg steps down as Chair of SAP and William Oliver tags in.

First up for the SAP will be interviewing the DINZ Board candidates in June.

Goodbye El Nino

Well not quite but getting close to it. In the last few weeks there has been welcome rain around much of the country although soil moisture remains low in many parts and of course temperatures are slowing down growth and recovery.  Still, NIWA is predicting the El Nino conditions to disappear by the end of May so hopefully you will enter spring with some decent soil moisture. Please have a look at the latest update from MPI in this issue as well as the usual Metservice outlook linked in the notices.  

Of course, the next immediate challenge is having enough feed to get through winter with much of this already having been used. 

Speaking of winter…

Last week most of the country had a timely reminder that winter is just about here.  Certainly those of you who were on the conference field trip hosted by the Hawkes Bay DFA branch and the Gaddum family will have felt that biting southerly. 

Somewhere over the rainbow (at Rangimoe). Photo taken by Louise Balkham.


So a big shout out to South Canterbury North Otago DFA branch for organising a Winter Grazing Planning workshop at the end of April, which was then followed by an update from DINZ staff at the Cave Tavern. The workshop had over 20 participants and was expertly facilitated by Danette McKeown.

SCNO deer farmers getting sorted for winter.


The workshop cost was covered by DINZ.  Other branches who are thinking of organising their own events please get in touch with us at DINZ to see what assistance we can provide (funding for guest speakers, facilitators, venue hire etc).

Another conference done for the year

By all accounts the conference was an enjoyable one with a good range of topics and discussions.  Evan Potter as chair of the hosting DFA branch (Hawkes Bay) has some observations of the three days later in this issue.

However some thanks are due to key people that made this event run smoothly:

  • Melissa Bähler (Positive Events Plus)
  • Rebecca Norling (DINZ)
  • Evan Potter (on behalf of the Hawkes Bay DFA branch)

And a special mention for Louise Balkham and Sara Elmes (DINZ) who made sure that the Branch Chairs and NZDFA AGM went ahead without incident.

Also congratulations to our industry award winners, Helen Clarke (Matuschka Award) and Prof Peter Wilson (Deer Industry Award) – both worthy winners.  There is a good write up of this in Farmers Weekly:

A quick and early reminder that next year’s conference will be in Queenstown (14 and 15 May) and will be the 50th anniversary of the NZDFA. The AGM will be take place the day prior to conference (13 May). Mark this off in your diaries – we’ll start planning for this next month!

Keep safe and warm.

The next NZDFA AGM (50th) will be held outdoors…

- Lindsay Fung, Producer Manager

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