The NZDFA has developed a programme to foster the growth of those Next Generation deer farmers in the industry who are keen to learn more about deer farming, connect with other like-minded deer farmers and get on farm to see what is possible with the input of knowledge, technology and a little know-how!
The programme runs every year, usually in August. Information about the next event will be posted on the events page >>
See below for a summary and images from recent Next Generation programmes.
Next Generation returned to Queenstown on 4 and 5 August. It was the location of the very first Next Generation programme in 2013. The 2021 programme put an emphasis on farm visits and a more practical first-hand encounter with different farming systems. Four properties were visited over the two days.
Fairlight Station: This 2,000-hectare hill and high country property at Garston, south of Queenstown is a high-performing deer breeding and finishing operation. The deer are complemented by cattle and Headwaters sheep.
Eyre Creek Station, Pāmu: The 1570 station at Athol is mainly hill and is taking part in the AgResearch hill and high country monitoring project investigating the impact of deer on water quality and stream health. The station runs 2,000 deer with most finishing done on other Pāmu properties. Deer account for 70 percent of the stock units, with the balance Perendale sheep and Angus cattle.
Remarkables Station: Nine hundred hectares of this spectacular property at the base of the Remarkables range is being gifted to the QEII Trust by Dick and Jillian Jardine. It will keep operating as a commercial deer, sheep and beef farm, leased by East Dome Station. The gifting to the Trust will protect the landscape and its biodiversity in perpetuity.
Deer Park Heights: This steep property overlooks Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu, with 850 red hinds run on 800 hectares of deer fenced land. The farm also runs a tourist operation with diverse species such as Himalayan Tahr for visitors to see. The rugged and picturesque location is popular with film makers.
The programme was held in Hawke’s Bay on 6 and 7 August 2020.
Day 1 included visits to two spectacular properties that coped with the severe 2020 Hawke’s Bay drought as well as Covid lockdowns. Each is strongly committed to the deer industry and high quality velvet production as well as breeding and finishing deer plus significant sheep and cattle operations.
They are the agricultural training station Smedley Station and nearby TemcoAg, a large diverse property and past winner of the deer industry’s premier environmental award.
Day 2 featured support groups that have been behind drought relief, planning for succession via banking advice, practical advice on scanning, market updates and interaction from the DINZ executive team and DFA leadership.
The programme was held in South Canterbury on 21 and 22 August 2019 with farm visits hosted at Haldon Station and The Kowhais.
The Haldon Station farm tour and workshops focused on:
- deer in a balanced mixed livestock environment
- irrigation investment
- genetics, the Deer Progeny Test and Deer Select
- environmental management and Farm Environment Plans
- understanding and investing in farm business opportunities
- pathways to farm ownership/equity partnerships
- returns from a deer breeding and finishing business, and costs of development and returns for a velvet operation
The Kowhais farm tour/workshops focused on:
- winter feeding programmes, fodder beet management, direct drill establishment, pasture management role of red clovers and other high-performance crops for deer growth
- weaner growth and feeding for optimal production
- animal health plans for young stock
- genetics, breeding objectives and using breeding values
There was also a succession planning workshop.