Guy and Jane together with their four children own a 100ha deer finishing farm supplying venison for First Light Foods as part of a larger farming operation incorporating 300ha. Jane doesn’t have a lot of time to spend on the farm as she works as a GP at the local medical centre so freely admits she “leaves it to the boys." They have been farming deer since the late 1980s but are relative newcomers to the First Light business.
“Deer farming has been a huge challenge over the years and has been the key motivator behind our interest in farming. The great thing about deer is that we never stop learning about the animals. It’s really interesting to try to get the best out of an animal that has been domesticated for such a short period in NZ. We have an absolute conviction that venison’s low fat, high protein and tenderness qualities put it right at the top of the list of red meats.
Moving to supplying First Light Foods was a natural progression for us at a time when we were looking for further challenges. Owning the product right to the market place is really exciting and we feel very lucky to be involved in a group with highly motivated, forward thinking farmers and business people committed to quality and continuity of supply in a sustainable way.
We all have to admit to being total venison converts with 98% of our red meat diet being venison with the occasional bit of lamb. The great thing about cooking venison is its versatility, whether we make a spicy venison curry or a simple fillet on the barbecue with a little salt and pepper, it's always so easy and tasty!!!