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Advance Parties

An Advance Party is a well-supported group of motivated deer farmers who work together to identify opportunities to improve profits on their deer farms. The Advance Party members demonstrate the improvements they make to their wider community to encourage wider adoption of farming practices that can improve the profitability of deer farming.

The overall purpose of an Advance Party is to be a catalyst for change by demonstrating new or different deer farming methods or technologies to inspire change for increased profit. They also;

  • provide a support network for sharing ideas and concerns, while boosting morale, helping members both manage challenges and realise opportunities
  • give farmers direct access to subject matter experts, DINZ staff, marketing managers and other farmers who they normally wouldn’t be able to meet on an individual basis
  • provide a framework for collecting information, recording changes and outcomes
  • stimulate members to look at their own operation and challenge their own thinking, being held to account by other members, and likewise holding them to account in a supportive way
  • provide the people, skills and properties to showcase good practices to other deer farmers and the wider community.

Each Advance Party has the following attributes:

  • It identifies the possible; and
  • Demonstrates the achievable; by
  • Explaining and assisting how to 'get there'; so as to
  • Instil confidence; which
  • Provides the majority of farmers the means to adopt the change on their own properties to create a national lift in profitability.

The name Advance Party is used to differentiate the group from a ‘Discussion Group’. An Advance Party is not a traditional discussion group. An Advance Party is not primarily about ‘discussion’ - members are committing to shared personal and farm business development, their data, methods, plans, results, problems and successes.

The benefits from Advance Parties are not limited to the farmers in the group. They are a means of testing and refining profit gain opportunities and demonstrating those methods (and their limitations) to the wider deer farming community.

All Advance Parties meetings and reports on the actions that farmers have taken in their projects, including their results are displayed on the AP.org website www.ap.org.nz

Why join an Advance Party?

DINZ will provide people to organise the group to make sure each participant gets value out of their attendance, and will fund some outside expertise if it is required.  The responsibility for change however lies with the participants.

Deer farmers know that there are things that can be done to improve deer performance.  And deer farmers are the best people to work together to come up with the practical solutions to the issues individual farmers have.

To belong to an Advance Party you must:

  1. Commit to measuring and sharing your production information
  2. Commit to working with your group and making changes to the way you do business
  3. Commit to sharing the results with your deer farming community.

If this sounds like something that would suit you and your business, get in touch with DINZ at 04 473 4500 or email info@deernz.org get involved.

Advance Parties are funded by Deer Industry New Zealand and the Ministry for Primary Industries via the Passion2Profit Primary Growth Partnership.

From 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2017 Advance Parties were funded by Deer Industry New Zealand and the Ministry for Primary Industries Sustainable Farming Fund.

As well as project reports, members of Advance Parties are regularly telling others about what they have been up to, which is often covered in the rural press. In 2015, around 20 farmers shared what they were up to in newspapers and deer industry publications.  

For the collection of the 2015 articles, click here >>

For the collection of the 2016 articles, click here>>

1. Does regular yarding suppress weaner growth rates
2. Keeping count – Recalibration of EID readers necessary
3. Removing stags early to increase profit
4. Deer improvement limited - Improving fawn survival
5. Multi-mineral injection has no effect on weaner growth rates

If you’ve asked yourself “What can I do to change my deer farm to make more money?” you’ve done what you need to join an Advance Party. You know there are things you can do to make a difference to your business, but it’s often difficult to know where to start. If you’ve identified things like a lower weight gain than your neighbour or you think your fawning rate can be higher, the answer probably lies somewhere, but finding it is difficult.

The New Zealand agricultural industry has a long history of trying to make people better farmers, with ‘tech-transfer’ and ‘extension’ and ‘discussion groups’. And while these groups have been good at bringing people together, they have seldom provided the tailor-made suggestions needed to make changes on individual farms.

Deer farmers know that there are things that can be done to improve deer performance. And deer farmers are the best people to work together to come up with the practical solutions to the issues individual farmers have. That’s why, as part of a broader productivity push call Passion 2 Profit (P2P), DINZ is funding and encouraging practice change groups which we’re calling Advance Parties.

By being in an advance party you can get “More deer, heavier, earlier”. Advance Parties are small groups of farmers working together to share their productivity challenges and come up with the answers. DINZ will provide people to organise the group to make sure each participant gets value out of their attendance, and will fund some outside expertise if it is required. But – The responsibility for changing lies with the participants.

To belong to an Advance Party you must:

  1. Commit to measuring and sharing your production information
  2. Commit to working with your group and making changes to the way you do business
  3. Commit to sharing the results with your deer farming community.

DINZ will fund groups for up to three years.  But your challenge might not take that long to resolve, or you might set your sights on longer term issues.

If this sounds like something that would suit you and your business, get in touch with DINZ at 04 473 4500 or email info@deernz.org to get involved.

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