Deer industry tech expo first for Mid Canterbury

Mid Canterbury will host its first deer industry technology expo at the Hotel Ashburton next month.

Deer farmers seeking smart farming solutions will be able to see, and test, the equipment and systems on site first hand.

The full-day event is being run in conjunction with the Canterbury and West Coast branch of the NZ Deer Farmers' Association.

Deer Industry New Zealand event co-ordinator Lorna Humm said a range of products would be on site for deer farmers around the district, and beyond, to explore.

''This expo is about acknowledging the importance of face-to-face interaction when it comes to learning about new technology, or making better use of existing technology.

''The beauty of these more regional events is the ability to talk with service providers in a relaxed, low-pressure situation where farmers can ask questions and see and touch the products on offer.''

The expo would have something for everyone, from feeding and drones to presentations on the new deer industry code of practice, monitoring tools, and health reviews.

''There are huge opportunities for further technology uptake, especially in the deer sector, and we are extremely excited about the potential of this expo and being able to host it in our community,'' she said.

Past events in Gore, including one last week, had always been successful with about 100 farmers attending. It was hoped more farmers might make the trip to the more central Ashburton location.

Mrs Humm said within the wider Canterbury region there were 378 deer farms, running 25% of the New Zealand's deer herd. Otago had 209 farms, comprising 13% of the national herd.

However, there were also deer farmers in Marlborough and on the West Coast who would find the location attractive.

''Deer farmers have a reputation for being innovative. The Passion to Profit Programme (P2P) and the Deer Farmers Association are putting on these events due to a demand for products to help farm smarter. ''There are production gains and efficiencies the whole industry can benefit from. Making the providers of these accessible is a great way of assisting with this,'' she said.

The expo will be held at the Hotel Ashburton on July 27.

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