Big Deer Tour 2017 Selections & Review

Big Deer Tour 2017 Selections & Review

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

The aim of the programme is 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.

We would like to thank all those who applied and showed interest in this opportunity, we were impressed by the number of applications we received this year and the calibre of the applicants. After a rigorous selection process, we are proud to announce the following tour party for 2017;

James Robertson

James is currently studying towards a Bachelor of AgriCommerce at Massey University, he has a particular interest in agriculture and international agribusiness and is aiming for a career in agri-food marketing and international trade.

He is the current Chairman of the Massey University Young Farmers Club Palmerston North and is also part of the Massey University Red Meat Network. When not involved politically, he coaches the Massey University under 21A rugby team and also captains a social netball team.




Brianna Lee-Kelleher

Currently a student at Massey University in her final year of a Bachelor of AgriScience degree, majoring in Agriculture, Brianna has a strong interest in pasture and soil science and is interested in looking at ways to increase economic returns through better pasture and fertility management, this whilst minimising environmental impacts. Hence, her ideal career would be working in soil sustainability and environmental management consultancy.

Brianna grew up on Ngamatea Station, a large-scale sheep and beef farm on the Napier to Taihape Road. 




Kate Stewart

Kate is currently in her final year of a Bachelor of AgriScience degree, majoring in Agriculture at Massey University, Palmerston North. She is looking to combine her love of people; their animals and farming systems in a future career as a farm consultant.

Her main aim for wanting to come on the Big Deer Tour is to increase her knowledge of the deer industry in order to be able to provide educated decisions to farmers in her chosen future career.

She is the current Vice-Chair of the Massey Young Farmers Club and is a New Zealand representative in cycling. She grew up in Palmerston North.




Logan Bain

Logan hails from Kyeburn in Central Otago. He is currently in his 3rd

year at Lincoln University studying towards a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Agriculture. Last summer he worked on Thornicroft Station, a Landcorp farm in Outram, Otago with three classes of stock; sheep, beef and deer.

This was the first time he had ever worked with deer and he made such an impression that he has been offered a fulltime role there once he completes his studies. This small experience of the industry has left him wanting to know more, so we welcome Logan onto the tour for 2017.



Henry Waller

Henry is in the final year of a Bachelor of Land and Property Management degree majoring in Rural Specialisation at Lincoln University.

He has recently been awarded a Prime Ministers Scholarship to China, where as part of select group of agricultural students, will travel to the city of Kunming, Yunnan, China for 6 weeks. There he will learn about Chinese culture, language and business practices, as well as New Zealand and Chinese export products. He has a strong interest in velvet production in the industry.

Henry hails from the South Kaipara Head north of Auckland and was brought up on his parent’s beef, deer and cropping farm there.



Glen McLennan

Further to the above students, we are also pleased to allow an industry representative from the marketing team of Silver Fern Farms to take part in the tour this year. Glen McLennan is a Key Customer Manager (Europe) with the Silver Fern Farms corporate team in Dunedin.








The above individuals will experience a full on week of activities as well as tasks and challenges with our tour partners from the 27th August 2017. We would like to thank the following industry partners for their contribution during the week and for agreeing to host the group;

  • DeerPro Limited
  • Silver Fern Farms Limited
  • Abacusbio Limited
  • AgResearch Invermay Agricultural Centre
  • Provelco
  • Ara Institute of Canterbury (Hospitality and Service Industries Section)
  • Allan Agricultural Consultancy Ltd
  • Mountain River Venison Processors
  • Macfarlane Rural Business Limited
  • The Kowhai’s Limited, Fairlie
  • Raincliff Station, South Canterbury
  • Mr Kris Orange, Downlands Deer
  • Haldon Station, Mackenzie Country



The Big Deer Tour 2017 took place from Sunday 27th August to Saturday 2nd September 2017. Click on the image below for a report of the week from tourist Brianna Lee-Kelleher ;

James Robertson from Massey University and Big Deer Tour participant provides his comments and experiences on this years tour via this short video;