Focus Farms

Focus Farms

Industry 'DIFF' Focus Farm Events
The "DIFF" project stands for the Deer Industry Focus Farms project.

Funded by DEEResearch Ltd, the DIFF project supports deer farming communities to pool their skills, knowledge and experience around a local farm called a focus farm (or sometimes farms). 
The farm will generally already be well-performing which the local community alongside the focus farmer work to make better - and in doing so learn and improve their own operations.

Each focus farm has a number of field days each year which are a pretty informal, relaxed learning and discussion opportunity - and are also an opportunity to meet others who are passionate about deer farming. Each Focus Farm runs for a period of three years (some project lengths can vary however depending on individual farmer circumstances).

There is a Focus Farm commitee for each Focus Farm. The committee helps coordinate the timing, topics and project management. The committee is generally made up of local deer farmers from the NZ Deer Farmers Association as well as DINZ Executive.

To see the Events page for the next Focus Farm day in your region, click here.

To read the Focus Farms Newsletters, click here.

Past Focus Farms

South Canterbury North Otago (SCNO) Project
The SCNO Focus Farm Project facilitated by Nicky Hyslop was a joint venture between a few top performing properties in South Canterbury, those being Clayton Station, Downlands Deer and Mike & Nicky Salvesen's. A good mix of integrated stock species offers attendees the a chance to see top performers who are trying new things,actively measuring in their systems and getting great results for their efforts.
Workshop sessions are also becoming well attended in SCNO with Lucerne focused workshops and Parasite seminars drawing great numbers.

For more information contact Nicky Hyslop at

Canterbury Focus Farm
Facilitated by Wayne Allan of Allan Agricultural Consulting Ltd, the Canterbury Focus Farm is located in North Canterbury at Sam and Mark Zino's property at 290 Lake Sumner road, Hawarden. The operation encompasses a full mix of deer, sheep, cattle, dairy grazing, a small amount of cropping, and with some irrigation throw into the mix on two adjoining properties: Kanuka Downs (313ha, breeding unit), and Flaxmere (535ha, finishing unit). The scale of this operation and the attitude of Sam and Mark to drive the business forward, focusing on profitability and sustainability provides an excellent platform for those following this programme closely.   

For more information on the Canterbury Focus Farm contact Wayne Allan on

Northern Regions
The Northern Focus Farm has just completed its second year on the Te Awamutu property of Brian & Jacqui Wellington. It's a mixed farming operation with deer, sheep, cattle, dairy grazing (and more). The operation gives attendees a a well-scaled property to view, and also a property that has great 'best practice' systems in both management and environmental aspects. This innovative, committed couple are recent winners of the Deer Industry Elworthy Environmental Award as well as the Landcare Trust and Fish & Game NZ Award.

The Focus Farm was facilitated by Mike Woods and he can be contacted on