A training course for people interested in managing and handling deer will be held in Southland on 9 April.
The 12-month level-3 course is being run by the Primary Industry Training Organisation.
Deer Industry New Zealand's producer manager Tony Pearse says there will be some classroom work but 80 per cent of the course will be on-farm.
He says it's a recognition that a new generation of farmers is entering the industry.
"A lot of the young intending shepherds and others coming into the industry probably haven't had the experiences and, in reflection, many of the current deer farmers it was probably trial and error and that could be quite exciting at time.
"So I do think there's some apprehension about handling deer, because it's not a huge labour input apart from the times around weaning and TB testing and preparing animals to go off to slaughter," he says.
"But what we've learnt in such a short time of the industry is that deer can be very predictable and there is a routine to handling them and it can actually be a very safe and enjoyable experience."
Mr Pearse says those who complete the course will come away with a Certificate in Agriculture.