Sunday, September 14 1:00PM—2:10PMChef/Producer Panel Business Seminar
BiographyA fourth-generation farmer, New Zealander Lyndon Matthews owns and operates Puketira Deer Farm with his wife Millie. Located in the North Canterbury region, an hour north of Christchurch, the farm hosts some 800 deer and 1,500 sheep on 270 hectares of dry rolling hill country near the foothills of the Southern Alps. Loosely translated from the native Maori, Puketira means “hill with outstanding view.”
Although Matthews grew up on the farm, helping his dad on the property as a kid, his first career was as a rural bank manager. His parents had only raised sheep, but Matthews persuaded them to purchase 30 deer in 1990 – and the rest is history. Matthews left his career as a banker and returned to the land, where he has been farming deer ever since.
With its limestone composition, dry climate, and a location that offers no practical irrigation possibilities Puketira’s land has proved challenging for Matthews, who runs an all-natural, sustainable operation that produces the highest quality animals fed on a nutritious pasture mix. His innovative pasture management techniques and efforts to maximize minimal rainfall recently won the Matthews the 2008 New Zealand Deer Industry award for farming excellence. Matthews has been raising deer to the high standards of the Cervena appellation since 1995.