Young people encouraged to join Elk and Wapiti Society

Tikana Thor, of Tikana Wapiti Stud, Browns, grew 21.64kg of velvet at 5 years of age. He is owned by Dave Lawrence and Donna Day. Photo / Tony Pullar
Tikana Thor, of Tikana Wapiti Stud, Browns, grew 21.64kg of velvet at 5 years of age. He is owned by Dave Lawrence and Donna Day. Photo / Tony Pullar

Encouraging more young people to join the Elk and Wapiti Society and results of a drench study to combat parasites in deer will be discussed at its next quarterly committee meeting at The Gate Hotel, Cromwell, on March 1.

Society president Glen Whyte, of Methven, said Cromwell had been chosen as it was central for many committee members.

He said they hoped to discuss two issues that concerned the society: the progress and results relating to research into developing a combination drench for deer parasites; and how to attract more members, including younger people.

''We are trying to promote the society and encourage more young people [in the industry] to get involved,'' Whyte said.

He said the society was not alone in its need for more young people to join its ranks, as the issue affected other agricultural industry groups as well.

''The average age of deer farmers is not getting any younger,'' he said.

''We want to get the next generation involved, but they are too busy with other things.

''We have our base core of members and we do try to run field days, and Advance Parties for elk/wapiti farmers to attract more members.''

Whyte was also keen to update those attending about the research into the residue testing of a new version of a combination drench, which had been developed following a project run in part by wapiti farmer Dave Lawrence, of Tikana Stud, Browns, since 2010.

''We have to register it with Animal Compounds and Veterinary Medicines, [part of the Ministry of Primary Industries] and that takes time.''

He said the new combination drench had been shown to work more effectively than drenches designed for sheep and cattle.

- The Elk and Wapiti Society of New Zealand is holding its annual national velvet and antler competition in Cromwell today.

Society president Glen Whyte hoped to attract more than 60 entries to the event, which is held at The Gate Hotel.

He said the velvet would be kept in chilled Mainfreight premises during the previous day, where it would be judged by Deer Industry New Zealand Asia markets manager Rhys Griffiths.

- Otago Daily Times

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