A few months back, we visited Raincliff Station with the intention of showing more about the farm and its people following David and Ellie’s US Sales Trip. David Morgan says it’s family bonds that are critical to the nimble way his Raincliff Station business runs. His wife, along with daughter Ellie, run the Cafe and Gift Shop. His son Brychan heads a contracting firm and Ellie’s partner Brad manages the day to day operations on the farm. This family-oriented structure, says David, means he has the ability to experiment and lead the way in areas like environmentally sustainable land management. David says this is an area his family are very passionate about and by planting native plants and trees to aid water drainage and filtration they’ve been able to commit to environmentally sustainable methods into the future. As for the deer, this operation means more focus can be placed on providing a safe and nurturing environment for the animals which in turn, produces better venison. David maintains that good stockmanship is about minimising stress for the animals. Being gentle with the animals, providing purpose built shelters, minimising herd pressure, and freedom in their diet means a managed and safe environment for producing fine quality venison. Meanwhile, in the United States, the recent sales trip by David, Ellie and fellow producer Glen Whyte garnered a lot of interest from customers in the foodservice industry. Although met by the chef’s often with hesitancy at first, when they understood why they were there and sampled the product, interest levels rose dramatically and chefs often committed to putting venison on their menus. But it wasn’t a one-way street. The trip not only enabled the chefs to understand the producers but also put David, Ellie and Glen in contact with their market and, as a result, they gained a much clearer understanding of the interest surrounding Cervena venison. In short, Cervena clearly is a product with a lot of potential. For our farmers to be at the forefront of realising that potential is not only good for them and their families, it means a better product for consumers around the world.