Friday morning, Jan. 14th, found the SDARL Alumni group arriving at Te Maire Farm operated by George and Laura Williams. The sunshine and clear skies made the views spectacular. We travelled over the farm using 4-wheel drive vehicles to view the 1,500-head red deer herd located in various gorges on the farm. The red deer are native to Europe and are found in the wild in New Zealand, but in many cases they are commercially raised for venison sold mainly in Germany. Additionally, velvet harvested from the stags is sold to Asian countries for medicinal purposes. On some of the larger stags they are able to harvest nearly 20 pounds of velvet from the antlers, as they are formed and sell it for around $45/lb. In the same pasture with the deer we also viewed some of the 1,100 Friesen (Holstein) bulls that are purchased as calves from dairies and grown to be sold as hamburger. The hospitality of all the farms visited has been wonderful, and this stop was no exception!
Report From Terry & Sandi Jaspers