Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Team win for fallow society at deer industry awards

The team effort gone in to promoting the fallow deer breed has been acknowledged at the Deer Industry Awards, held in Wellington on May 24. 

At the annual deer conference, the 2013 Deer Industry Award for service to the industry was presented to the New Zealand (NZ) Fallow Society, with Vice-president Ian Bristow accepting the trophy on behalf of the group.

The Fallow Society has been proactive in promoting and coordinating fallow venison supply and lifting on-farm productivity. Society members have also formed a fallow deer marketing group that sells branded fallow venison.

For more than 25 years the society has been committed to advancing the cause of members, primarily through starting a pool system for coordinated niche venison supply.

The society has been very forward looking, supporting members in the importation of top European genetics and new strain lines to improve venison carcase yields, trophy bucks and antlers. The early moves into improving genetics also saw the Society develop and run its own group Breeding Scheme programme and fallow deer recording programme.

The group worked closely with AgResearch’s Dr Geoff Asher, a world-renowned fallow deer specialist, on the research farm at Ruakura.  It has led to better understanding of fallow deer biology, handling, and carcase characteristics. New artificial reproductive techniques were developed that saw international demand for NZ genetics grow, particularly in the emerging North American deer farming industry.

The society has added considerably to the international reputation of the NZ deer farming industry as a whole and continues to deliver small volumes (3000 to 4000 animals per year) of quality farmed venison that find an exclusive niche in key markets.

The Deer Industry Award trophy was presented by Lynda Gray, NZX Agri, on behalf of the Award founders, Porter Holdings. NZX Agri Country-Wide, NZ Deer Farmer Association and Porter Holdings sponsor the award. 

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