Venison Supply Systems Programme
The Venison Supply Systems Programme (VSSP) is a multi-year funded project to improve farm-gate productivity and profitability of New Zealand’s venison industry. It represents a co-investment partnership between AgResearch, Deer Industry New Zealand (DINZ) and Landcorp Farming Limited that oversees diverse research investments into industry-good research and technology transfer.
The VSSP is governed by the board of DEEResearch - a 50:50 joint venture between AgResearch and DINZ - that represents the primary investors as well as other research providers and industry stakeholders (e.g. venison processors). The program is guided by the deer industry’s Productivity Strategy, which will be updated in 2012.
While the programme’s focus is on venison production systems, it encompasses a range of projects from basic deer biology to product quality. Key projects are genetics, genomics, parasitology, reproductive productivity, nutrition, early antler inhibition, high-country deer systems and technology transfer. It covers the gambit from basic biological sciences, through applied sciences to knowledge adoption /practice change.
A key output of the VSSP is DEERSelect, the primary vehicle for adoption of genetic technologies, including trait breeding values (BVs).
The VSSP, which started in 2007 following the successful award of a six-year FRST contract, is reviewed by the DEEResearch governance on an annual basis and research milestones are negotiated with the DEEResearch Board in June/July each year. The original FRST/MSI contract (C10X0709) was transferred across to CPF in July 2011 and the industry co-investments have been recently reinstated alongside the CPF investment from AgResearch. DINZ additionally support the VSSP by employing a Science and Policy manager to co-ordinate reporting and contracting, as part of their duties.
Key AgResearch staff in the VSSP:
Dr Geoff Asher: programme leader; reproductive productivity
Dr David Stevens: nutrition, technology transfer
Dr Julie Everett-Hincks: genetics
Dr John Rendel: systems modelling, genetics
Dr Andrew Wall: high-country deer systems
Dr Colin Mackintosh: parasitology
Dr Paul Fisher: genomics
Dr Sue Peoples: knowledge adoption
Jamie Ward: genetics
Ian Scott: reproductive productivity
Karren O’Neill: GPS-GIS systems
Bryan Thompson: nutrition