Big Deer Tour 2018 Selections & Review

Big Deer Tour 2018 Selections & Review

Last year for the first time Deer Industry New Zealand set out to give a selected group of farm management university students a top to bottom of the deer industry spending time with farmers, experts in deer farming, research, advisory services and product marketing.

The aim of the programme was to provide these future rural professionals with an opportunity to get to know what the deer industry has to offer as well as raise the profile of work in the deer industry as a future career option. It also aims to raise the profile of potential employers among students.

A big thank you to all those who applied and showed interest in this opportunity, we were impressed by the number of applications we received this year which was double the number of applicants from 2017. After a rigorous selection process, we are proud to announce the tour party for 2018.

The select group will experience a full on week of activities as well as tasks and challenges with our tour partners from the 9th April 2018. We would like to thank the following industry partners for their contribution during the week and for agreeing to host the group;

  • Alliance Limited (Smithfield Plant, Timaru)
  • Silver Fern Farms Limited
  • New Zealand Light Leathers Limited, Timaru
  • AgResearch Invermay Agricultural Centre
  • Provelco, Christchurch
  • Ara Institute of Canterbury (Hospitality and Service Industries Section)
  • Allan Agricultural Consultancy Ltd
  • Macfarlane Rural Business Limited
  • Mr Tom Macfarlane, The Kowhai’s Limited, Fairlie
  • Mr David Morgan, Raincliff Station, South Canterbury
  • Mr Kris Orange, Downlands Deer, Geraldine
  • Mr Paddy Boyd, Haldon Station, Mackenzie Country

The 2018 Big Deer Tourists are:

Chloe Belfield

Chloe is a third year student studying a Bachelor of Agriscience  majoring in Agriculture at Massey University, Palmerston North.   

She is originally from Putaruru in the South Waikato and takes a  keen interest in all aspects of the agricultural industry in New  Zealand.

She enjoys hunting and tramping and intends on working as an
Agronomist once she completes her degree. From the tour she  is hoping to get a better understanding of how deer can be  integrated into profitable livestock mixed operations while also  exploring soils and pastures.





Kate Peddie

Kate Peddie is in her final year of study towards a Bachelor of  AgriScience at Massey University. The niche nature of the deer  industry was a big drawcard for her and a major reason she  applied for the tour.

In her limited experience working with deer she enjoyed learning about the different handling requirements from the paddock to the shed and also viewing velvet removal.

From the Big Deer Tour she is looking to gain more knowledge  in deer management in integrated systems and also to learn  about environment and the interaction of deer.




Louis Poole

Louis hails from Taranaki and is in his final year studying to a  Bachelor of Agricultural Science at Massey University,  Palmerston North. 

His interests include adding value to New Zealand’s  agricultural exports and increasing the genetic potential of    farmed animals in order to produce more products using less  animals whilst also reducing environmental footprint.

He applied for this years tour after speaking with James  Robertson and Kate Stewart (2017 tourists) and because the  industry appealed to him with the way it promotes its products  overseas and strives to improve productivity and genetic gain. 



Sam Pike

Sam recently completed his Bachelor of AgriScience  degree and was the recipient of the Top Massey  University Agricultural Academic Prize in 2017.

He is current Treasurer of the Massey Young Farmers  Club and has a long-term career aspiration to get  into farm consultancy and/or extension.

Sam is looking to enhance his understanding of the  deer industry whilst meeting farmers and rural  professionals involved in the sector while on tour.



Jake Jarman

Jake is a Lincoln University Excellence Scholar, a Dairy NZ  Scholar and was a recipient of Silver Fern Farms Plate to Pasture Scholarship in 2017. He is in his final year studying a Bachelor of Commerce and is highly involved with the Lincoln Young Farmers Club.

He has a goal to be a part of the future success of the whole Ag  industry by ensuring NZ farmers are the best in the world. He  believes deer farming will be a big part of NZ’s farming future.

Outside of university he is an avid sports fan and plays for the uni rugby club, he has previously represented his home province Taranaki in age grade rugby.


Jean-Louise Roberts

Jean-Louise Roberts is a second year student at Lincoln  University studying to a Bachelor of Agricultural Science. She  intends to enter into farm management. 

She grew up on a station in the central North Island with a small  scale deer operation and is always looking to further her knowledge in all areas of agriculture.

Jean-Louise feels that this programme offers her a prime  opportunity to obtain a well rounded view of the deer industry  in New Zealand to better help her in her future career.





Robyn-Marie Parkinson

Robyn-Maree Parkinson is interested in a career as a rural  technician and is in her second year at Lincoln University.

She is a firm believer that having knowledge and experience  of deer farming systems will help her in her future career.

On the week of the tour she is looking forward to picking the  brains of some masters of the trade including deer farmers,  researchers and scientists, consultants and companies that  market the end products.

She also takes an interest in animal welfare and is keen to learn  more about deer health in the week long tour. 


Scott Higgins

Scott comes from Waiau in North Canterbury, he is working towards  a Bachelor of Commerce (Agriculture) at Lincoln University.

His interest in deer farming has increased after summer placements  the past two years at Forest Creek, Rangitata Gorge and at Raincliff  Station, Pleasant Point.

From the tour Scott is looking to build relationships and create  networks within the industry which will help him in future years. He  is interested in venison processing in particular.








The 2018 Big Deer Tour took place from Sunday 8th to Saturday 14th April 2018. Click on the image below for a report of the week from participant Louis Poole;

Sam Pike, recipient of Massey University’s top Agricultural Academic Prize in 2017 and 2018 Big Deer Tour participant provides his comments and experiences on this years tour;