Mid Canterbury's first deer industry technology expo in Ashburton recently enabled farmers to get one-on-one advice about smart farming solutions from industry representatives in a relaxed, open environment.
The day-long expo was held indoors at the Hotel Ashburton.
Alongside fixed exhibitor display stands, there was a set presentation programme run in two adjoining rooms where exhibitors presented their products in 25-minute segments to small groups.
It gave deer farmers a chance to hear about the product, but then talk one-on-one with the exhibitor afterwards.
Deer Industry New Zealand event co-ordinator Lorna Humm was pleased with the quality of the exhibitors' stands and with the 80 deer farmers who had registered from throughout the middle of the South Island.
She said deer farmers had come from South Canterbury, the West Coast and North Canterbury as well as from around Mid Canterbury. Thirty exhibitors showcased their wares but Mrs Humm said it was more than marketing.
''There were real conversations going on, not just sale pitches,'' she said.
The expo gave deer farmers the chance to see, and test, some of the equipment and systems available in the market to help them farm smarter.
The event was run in conjunction with the Canterbury and West Coast branch of the NZ Deer Farmers' Association, and put on with the help of the Passion to Profit Programme (P2P) and the Deer Farmers Association.
Companies selling seed, feeders, drones, app technology, genetics, deer health products and farm equipment, and those dealing with compliance issues and monitoring tools, were among the exhibitors.
''There is a good vibe in the room, which is a reflection on how positive the industry is at the moment,'' Mrs Humm said.
In the wider Canterbury region there were 378 deer farms, 25% of the New Zealand's deer herd.
Otago has 209 farms, 13% of the national herd.
Central Rural Life