DINZ news in brief | Issue 90

Aug 25, 2022

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Tightened biosecurity precautions for FMD
VelTrak 2.0 on the road
VelTrak tags on their way to vets now
Show us your best venison recipe! NZ Venison Week 10-17 September
P2P transition in progress
Deer farmers flock to national technical workshop
Deer farmers called to share how they unwind
Nominations open for 2022 deer industry awards
Recipe: Barbecue venison brunch for Father’s Day

Tightened biosecurity precautions for FMD

Border security is tightening to protect New Zealand during the foot and mouth disease (FMD) outbreak in Indonesia.

DINZ is part of the Livestock Biosecurity Council, made up of other Government Industry Agreement (GIA) members representing livestock farmers and processors. DINZ science and policy manager Emil Murphy reports from the latest Ministry for Primary Industries’ update to the group.

FMD outbreaks so far this year – green dots are resolved, orange current.

New Zealand border security was already among the most stringent in the world, he notes.

“For imports like palm kernel expeller (PKE), Indonesia was already treated the same as countries that have FMD.”

MPI has also recently added extra precautions, including:

  • All mail products entering New Zealand from Indonesia are now x-rayed and checked by dogs
  • Travellers are no longer permitted to bring in any meat products from Indonesia, including for personal use
  • Every passenger who has been in Indonesia, or other countries that have FMD, are directed to a different process of questioning, baggage search and disinfection. This means that even when passengers transit other airports, risks are still addressed
  • Quarantine officers are checking all cargo containers coming from Indonesia.

“We continue to receive comments and feedback from deer farmers and other stakeholders that have been travelling. This is much appreciated and has helped us to provide feedback to MPI to help improve biosecurity at the border,” says Murphy.

“DINZ continues to hold MPI accountable for border biosecurity to protect from the potential catastrophic consequences of FMD.”

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VelTrak 2.0 on the road

“Team VelTrak” took to the road a couple of weeks ago to update velvet buyers on some improvements to how they will use VelTrak.

VelTrak scanners, updated by Gregory and Johnstone, awaited velvet buyers during their session.

“At the end of last year, it was clear that there were a number of shortcomings with the VelTrak scanners affecting their usability and causing frustration among buyers and farmers alike,” says DINZ general manager QA, Rob Gregory. “As a result, the DINZ Board gave its approval for the system to be  improved, to make it easier for buyers to use.”

Gregory was travelling the country in the week of 8 August with other DINZ colleagues: quality systems administrator Pam MacLeman and manager markets Rhys Griffiths, as well as IT consultant Mark Johnstone. They made stops in Wellington, Taupo, Christchurch and Mount Pisa.

Among the changes made to the system were a simpler scanning process, improvements to error messages, the ability to raise multiple Velvet Status Declarations (VSDs) in one go and to use existing approved VSDs to raise Agent VSDs without having to re-scan the velvet.

The biggest change, however, was turning the entire process into a question driven system, using large buttons suitable for farmer-sized fingers, says Gregory, rather than the delicate keyboard data entry system used by the previous version.

“While these changes may seem minor to the casual observer, they represent a step forward in terms of usability, which will speed up the process on-farm, which has to be good news for everybody.”

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VelTrak tags on their way to vets now

Preparation for the new velvet season is ramping up with VelTrak tags now being distributed to veterinary clinics.

The new VelTrak tags are now being sent to veterinary clinics.

Most people won’t notice the difference, last year’s tags are still live in the system and are valid, but some improvements to the glue will help with adhesion.

But, there are a few things farmers can do to help the process, both for themselves and their buyers/processors, especially keeping the surface dry and giving the tags a good, long squeeze to help with adhesion before they go into the freezer. More here >>

In addition, combined velvet removal and Regulated Control Scheme (RCS) audits will begin shortly and notifications of who has been selected will be sent out in the next week or so.

It will have been a while since many farmers have used VelTrak, so they will need to check that they remember their VelTrak login details and password. If not, the password can be changed on the VelTrak login screen () if needed.

Also, if the vet practice has changed since last season, that information will need to be updated. Click on Manage, then select Business Details from the drop-down box and find the name of the new practice supplying tags in the search box. Click Save once done, so the change is locked in and the new practice can allocate tags.

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Show us your best venison recipe!

Get your best venison dish out! NZ BBQ Day has been extended this year to NZ BBQ Week, seven days of activities around the world from 10 to 17 September.

DINZ is inviting all venison lovers to make their favourite dishes during the week and post them to social media. They will be in good company.

In Germany, launching into the European game season, the youngest ever Michelin-starred female chef and Germany’s 2020 chef of the year Julia Komp, will work with chef Shannon Campbell at a BBQ event at the New Zealand Ambassador’s residence in Berlin on 13 September.

“With a mix of journalists, chefs and our import partners on the day, its aim is to reignite those relationships that have dimmed over the last few years’ restrictions as well as forging new ones,” says Campbell, who adds he’s “very happy to be back in the thick of it.”

Importers and distributors will highlight New Zealand venison on the BBQ in their own activities  and will promote it again over autumn and winter too.

In China, three events will take place in Shanghai: a Western-style barbecue, a Chinese barbecue chefs table and an event for chefs and influencers.

“Here in New Zealand, we have four influencers who will be producing recipes in advance of the week to encourage people to participate,” says DINZ venison marketing manager Nick Taylor.

The influencers, all of which can be found on Instagram, are Fiona Hugues (@fiona.hugues), Hercules Noble (@hercules_noble_food), Emily and Jack (@food2belly) and Nourish and Tempt (@nourishandtempt).

A Facebook competition will also be run to give away a BBQ. “We had over 120 entries last year where people cooked a venison dish, so we are hoping to increase that, but it’s good engagement,” he says.

Follow @nzvenison on Instagram and see for delicious venison recipes.

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P2P transition in progress

The P2P Advisory Group has been working to help develop what a post-PGP funded Passion2Profit (P2P) programme will look like and speaking with as many farmers as possible to get feedback and ideas.

Phil McKenzie is working on the P2P transition with the P2P Advisory Group to make sure the programme matches deer farmers’ needs.

The DINZ Road Trip in June, in particular, was “really valuable to round out these ideas,” says DINZ manager farm performance Phil McKenzie.

Also helpful was the recent survey of farmers attitude to practice change undertaken by CINTA research  in which 600 deer farmers took part, “both for new ideas and to chart the progress.”

A donation for each completed survey has been made to the NZ Rural Support Trust, as promised. DINZ also took the opportunity to catch up with Trustees to strengthen the linkages between deer farmers and the Trust, says McKenzie.

“The Trust really values the links they have with both DINZ and DFA at national and local level.”

Parts of the successful Passion 2 Profit (P2P) Primary Growth Partnership programme will continue with DINZ funding as part of the DINZ Farm Performance budget. These include Advance Parties, Deer Industry Environment Groups, and workshops for Rural Professionals, McKenzie outlines.

“MPI also has a range of funded programme opportunities to help deer farmers and there are applications that have been submitted and are in preparation for opportunities to further help deer farmers, with both marketing and on-farm needs,” he says.

“We are making sure we are establishing what the specific farmer needs are and seeking funding to help with those needs."

Programmes will transition smoothly from 1 October to continue to make progress helping deer farmers strengthen their productivity and sustainability.

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Deer farmers flock to national technical workshop

About 80 North Otago and Canterbury deer farmers took the opportunity to catch up on industry trends and productivity-enhancing technology at a national technical workshop in Fairlie on 3 August.

Participants working on winter grazing plan with AgResearch deer scientist Jamie Ward (front left) during one of the workshops.

Hosted by DINZ and NZDFA under the P2P programme, there was a broad palette of subject matter available, ranging from market and regulatory updates to genetics, remote monitoring, accounts and information management, nutrition, environmental management and more.

Briefings from DINZ highlighted that venison and velvet exporters were still negotiating considerable logistical hurdles, but despite this were making impressive inroads into newer markets such as the United States and China.

In a well-attended nutrition workshop, presenter Glen Judson of Agricom gave valuable tips on getting the best out of fodder beet as a winter feed, with a focus on ensuring it’s supplemented with enough protein.

In later workshop on winter grazing and welfare led by deer farmer and environmental scientist Danette McKeown, farmers tried their hand at planning winter grazing for crop paddocks in real farm situations. McKeown reminded farmers that just one millimetre of soil loss translated to 14 tonnes of soil per hectare – a powerful incentive to manage livestock, crops and pastures well.

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Deer farmers called to share how they unwind

Deer farmers are among those being called to pass on their knowledge about how to unwind on farm.

University of Waikato Masters student Cathleen Schriber-Hannah is conducting research for her thesis into New Zealand farmers’ coping strategies and unwinding activities and how these affect wellbeing and stress. Her research will document the wide variety of unwinding and relaxation activities and may inform suggestions and resources to overcome stress, she says.

The questionnaire will take about 30 minutes.

Ethics approval was accepted by the Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC [Health] 2022 #16).  

If you have questions about the research, contact Cathleen Schriber-Hannah by email or her supervisor Professor Nicola Starkey or phone 07-837 9230.

Take the survey>>

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Nominations open for 2022 deer industry awards

The 2022 NZDFA Matuschka Award and Deer Industry Award will be presented on 13 October at the NZDFA Branch Chairs meeting. Nominations are now open and will close on 29 September 2022.

More information about each of the awards and a list of the previous winners are available here:

More >> Deer Industry Award

More>> NZDFA Matuschka Award

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Recipe: Barbecue venison brunch for Father’s Day

Treat Dad with this simple, easy-fix venison stuffed mushrooms recipe from for breakfast/brunch on Father’s Day, Sunday 4 September. Venison mince makes a tasty and sophisticated change from beef.  

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Come and help celebrate 50 Years of Deer Science, 26 September 2022, Invermay

An Open Day at Invermay, followed by a gala dinner at the Otago University Union, will celebrate the remarkable history of the New Zealand deer industry’s science efforts.

Fifty years ago, Ken Drew and Les Porter thought it might be a good idea to put some science in behind the newly emerging deer farming industry. With incredible backing by early industry participants, innovation, positivity and fantastic researchers, AgResearch Invermay became synonymous with the evolution of the New Zealand deer farming industry and earned an international reputation for its science and research output.

The programme, looking back to move forward, will include:

  • Invermay farm visit– see the yearling across-breed progeny cohort, Tomorrow’s Deer breeding hind herd and Invermay’s breeding stags in velvet
  • Key deer farming science and technology displays
  • Talks from industry pioneers, current researchers and industry leaders
  • Lunch showcasing the best of the industry’s products
  • Gala dinner at the University of Otago Union

While invitations are going out to key former staff and collaborators, the event is open to all of industry, says organiser AgResearch deer scientist Jamie Ward.

“This recognises that the science at Invermay has always been done with industry collaboration and focused on industry outcomes.”

Registrations for the two events are essential, so the organisers know how many are attending: 1) the Invermay Field Day (free); and 2) the Gala Dinner ($70 per head).

More and registration>>

Any questions? Contact

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Other events 

See for more events and details →

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