Fathers’ Day

September 7, 2014

To be a good father and mother requires that the parents defer many of their own needs and desires in favor of the needs of their children. As a consequence of this sacrifice, conscientious parents develop a nobility of character and learn to put into practice the selfless truths taught by the Savior Himself. – James E. Faust

I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection. – Sigmund FreudWhen a father gives to his son, both laugh; when a son gives to his father, both cry. –  William Shakespeare

It is easier for a father to have children than for children to have a real father. -Pope John XXIII

 It is much easier to become a father than to be one. ~Kent Nerburn

It was my father who taught me to value myself. He told me that I was uncommonly beautiful and that I was the most precious thing in his life.  – Dawn French

A real man loves his wife, and places his family as the most important thing in life. Nothing has brought me more peace and content in life than simply being a good husband and father. – Frank Abagnale

 Son, brother, father, lover, friend. There is room in the heart for all the affections, as there is room in heaven for all the stars. – Victor Hugo

And from Brian Andreas:


Working for every man and his dog . . .

August 17, 2014

The left like to demonise the National Party as being interested only in the top end of town.

They couldn’t be more wrong.

The party is a very broad church with people of all ages, occupations and incomes.

To achieve its vision of a safe, prosperous and successful New Zealand that creates opportunities for all New Zealanders to reach their personal goals and dreams it has to have policies that work for all of us.

That must take account of the fact that some, for a variety of reasons, will need more help than others.

This is why the government has focussed on the quality of its spending – to make sure scarce public money is spent where it is needed most and where it will do most good.

One example of this is the wrap-around care being given to teenage parents on benefits.

They get one-to-one support from someone who gives them the help they need to help themselves and their children.

Helping these young women care for themselves and their children, get educational qualifications and ultimately jobs has social and financial benefits.

These families are less likely to be long-term beneficiaries with the risks that go with it including poorer education and health outcomes and a greater likelihood of being involved in crime.

Putting them on a more positive pathway is better for them and for the rest of us.

This isn’t cheap. But spending more money at the start will lead to bigger savings in the long term.

National is working for New Zealand and all New Zealanders – every man, woman and their dogs – and at least one dog is working for National:

National is working for all New Zealanders, even four-legged ones! #TeamKey


Most help where needed most

August 12, 2014

When National did an extensive review of welfare in 2008 it found most resources were directed at the people who needed them least while those who needed the most help were left to languish on benefits.

One of the costly, but effective, policies has been one-to-one help for teen beneficiaries.

It’s working and it will be extended if National is re-elected:

A re-elected National Government would extend payment cards, money management, and intensive support and guidance to all teen parents and many 18 and 19 year old beneficiaries.
 
“While the numbers have been reducing, too many teenagers are still at risk of falling into the welfare trap,” says National’s Social Development spokesperson Paula Bennett.

“We want to do everything we can to ensure young people have the opportunity to get ahead.”
 
National introduced the Youth Service approach in 2012 for 16 and 17 year olds, and for teen parents up to 18. The service involves mentoring and advice, money management, and budgeting and parenting obligations.
 
These young people have a capable adult from a community-based organisation to work with them, help them pay their bills directly, and have money loaded onto a payment card for groceries and essentials. They get help to find an education or training course, or to get a job and go off the benefit.
 
“This approach is working well, and that’s why we are going to extend it to 19 year old sole parents, and to many other 18 and 19 year old beneficiaries who need more support or who are at risk of long-term welfare dependence.
 
“Many 18 and 19 year olds coming into Work and Income need more than job search assistance – they need help to get their lives on track, manage their money and pay the bills.
 
“National supports people in need, but expects them to do everything they can to get back on their feet when they are able”, says Mrs Bennett.
 
Under the new policy, Work and Income will assess all under 20s who are seeking a benefit. Self-motivated young people who are not likely to spend long on a benefit will continue their job search with the help of Work and Income, just as they do now.
National wants to do everything we can to ensure young people have the opportunity to get ahead. http://ntnl.org.nz/1ssLCjM #Working4NZ
 
Others with more complex needs will be referred to a youth service provider, where they will receive intensive support and guidance, together with budgeting support and the use of a payment card.
 
There will be no change for young people receiving the Supported Living Payment.
 
“Since coming into Government nearly six years ago, we have made significant reforms to the welfare system and we are seeing positive results,” says Mrs Bennett.
 
“I’m proud of what we have done and we are now seeing 1,600 people go off welfare and into work every week.
 
“But there is more we can do, and that’s why we’re going to extend the successful Youth Service model to take in more young people who really need a hand to get on their feet.”
 
The total lifetime cost of all people currently on welfare is $76.5 billion and more than 70 per cent of that is attributed to those who went on benefit as teenagers.
 
The National Government has already increased training and education opportunities with fees-free Youth Guarantee places for 10,000 16-19 year olds as well as 20,000 Apprenticeship Reboot places and 5,250 Trades Academy places a year.

The number of young people under 20 who are not in education, employment or training, is now the lowest it’s been since 2004.

“National is investing in young people to ensure their time in the welfare system is as brief as possible, so we help them avoid welfare dependency”, says Mrs Bennett.

Keeping young people off a benefit is the best approach.

Ensuring those who are on a benefit get the help they need to get their lives on track, manage their money and get into training then work is the next best policy for the people involved and the rest of us who pay the cost of long-term benefit dependency.

While the numbers of teen parents have been reducing, too many teenagers are still at risk of falling into the welfare trap. http://ntnl.org.nz/1ssLCjM #Working4NZ


Rural round-up

July 22, 2014

Lepto danger with flood waters:

RURAL WOMEN New Zealand  reminds Far North farming families to be mindful about health issues in dealing with flood waters, including the elevated risk of leptospirosis.

Families should be careful about drinking water, pull on their gumboots, wash hands and faces thoroughly, and cover cuts and grazes before they come into contact with flood water to reduce the chance of getting infections, in particular leptospirosis, Rural Women says.

The leptospirosis bacteria is shed in the urine from infected animals including stock, rodents, dogs, possums, and hedgehogs and is more easily spread about where there is excess surface water as the Far North is currently experiencing. . .

Free lunch for Northland farmers:

WHO SAYS there’s no such thing as a free lunch – or dinner, asks the Northland Rural Support Trust.

It is holding free lunch or dinners for flood-hit Northland starting tomorrow (Wednesday, July 23).

“We can’t stop it raining, but here’s a chance to have a dinner you don’t have to cook and an opportunity to talk to other storm affected folk plus pick the brains of some support people,” the Support Trust says to farmers.

Free food and drink is supplied at each event thanks to the trust and local merchants. . .

Stark difference between NZ and Australian dairying but why? – Pasture to Profit:

The visual & financial differences between the New Zealand & Australian dairy industries at the current time are stark and startling!

Why is the NZ dairy industry booming and Australian dairy farmers under so much pressure & having to dig deep to remain profitable. Both dairy industries supply into the same international market and Australia has a much bigger domestic population and local market. A strong local market is often argued as being a strength and likely to lift dairy farmers farm gate price. The economy in both countries is relatively strong & to a large extent was not greatly affected by the world financial crisis. Yet one dairy industry is hanging in by their fingernails while the other is buoyed (perhaps unrealistically!) by higher milk prices. . . .

AbacusBio finalist in sheep awards – Sally Rae:

Dunedin-based AbacusBio and its managing director Neville Jopson both feature among the finalists in this year’s Beef and Lamb New Zealand Sheep Industry Awards.

After being held in the South for the past two years, the awards have been shifted to Napier and will be held on August 6.

Dr Jopson is a finalist in one of two new categories – the sheep industry science award, which recognises a project, business or person undertaking science that is having a positive impact on farming. . .

Decision on effluent area reserved:

An Environment Southland hearing committee has reserved its decision on whether Southland meat processor South Pacific Meats (SPM) can spread effluent on to a larger area of farmland in northern Southland.

SPM, jointly owned by Affco New Zealand and Talleys Fisheries Ltd, opened a plant at Awarua, south of Invercargill, in 2005.

Last year, it gained consent from Environment Southland to spread sludge from the bottom of its wastewater treatment pond on to 55.5ha of a 1033ha sheep farm near Garston. . . .

Farms: the abuse of children –  A Farm Girl’s Fight:

Recently, I was reading some blogs and websites of organizations and individuals that oppose farmers. These websites have “facts” that are outrageous. Luckily, these facts have “sources” attached….that link back to their own website. Anyway, it’s humorous to me, and gives me ideas for my blogs. And let me tell you what. I am fired up.

There was a sentence on one of the websites (which no I will not link to their website) that stated:

“Farmers are awful people that often take advantage of underage children, often their own, forcing them into a life of work and learning of inhumane ways.”
Let me tell you something. With the exception of the “inhumane ways” addition, that statement is damn true and I am darn proud of it. . . .

 


Rural round-up

July 18, 2014

New rules tough for everyone – Andrea Fox:

The jury is in on pollution crime against New Zealand’s waterways and lakes and no one – farmer, business, suburbanite, or city apartment dweller – will escape the verdict’s impact.

The National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2014, released by the Government this month, is the latest decree on a matter considered to be of national significance.

Yes, farmers have been fencing off rivers and streams and managing effluent systems better for several years in the name of freshwater protection policy under the Resource Management Act. And they have made big improvements.

What is new is a change to that policy statement. It is going to be tough on farmers – but equally tough on urban NZ. . .

Top genetic selection produces biggest antlers – Heather Chalmers:

Producing deer with some of the biggest antlers in New Zealand takes careful genetic selection and a dollop of luck, says South Canterbury deer farmer Chris Petersen.

Just as others follow the breeding lines of thoroughbred racehorses, Petersen does the same for deer.

“I know all the top stags and hinds in New Zealand. I study them.”

Farming Highden Deer Park with his wife Debra at Sutherlands near Pleasant Point, his stags are highly regarded for their antlers, both for trophies and velvet. The 130 hectare rolling downlands farm carries 364 spikers and mixed-age stags, 122 mixed-age hinds and 55 18-month hinds, as well as this season’s progeny. Most stags are grown out to seven years old for the trophy market, with 27 out of 30 sold last year. . .

Stink over cattle compost - Shelly Robinson:

A North Canterbury business that composted cattle heads and ears for a gelatine factory was forced to stop taking the waste after complaints about the smell from neighbours.

T W Transport’s composting facility at Burnt Hill, Oxford, has been fined seven times by Environment Canterbury (ECan) for odour issues in breach of its resource consent.

Company director Ted Wills said it stopped taking the waste from Gelita NZ Ltd because of the complaints. “If there was a smell out our way, even among the farms spraying effluent on paddocks or silage, we still got the blame,” he said. . .

Fast, slow beef finishing assessed in Far North:

HAVING ALL animals on a farm growing at the same pace could result in big risks for drystock farmers, delegates at the final Finished in 20 Months beef seminar in Northland heard last month.

The three-year Beef + Lamb New Zealand project ran multiple studies to find techniques which would let farmers get beef cattle to finishing weights before their second winter, a key aim being to avoid having heavy animals on pugging prone clay soils when it gets wet.

But some in the trial have argued even 20 months is too long and target kill weights need to be hit at 15-16 months so they can be sold before Christmas and the subsequent slides in schedule prices. . .

Many markets for miscanthus:

FUEL, BEDDING, shelter, forage: super-tall perennial grass miscanthus could have markets as all of them, says Miscanthus New Zealand, a Te Awamutu-based company promoting the crop.

The grass is already fairly widely used in Europe and the United States as a bioenergy crop but was only introduced to New Zealand in 2010 with about 40ha now established in various crops and trials nationwide.

“It’s a triploid hybrid so it’s completely infertile,” says Miscanthus NZ managing director Peter Brown. . .

GFAR Partnering with EAT to create research network uniting agriculture and nutrition:

The Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) has entered into a strategic partnership with the EAT Stockholm Food Forum. GFAR provides a forum for experts and organizations around the world to share agricultural research and create positive change. EAT is an international network made up of experts on sustainable food, nutrition, and health. By teaming together, GFAR and EAT hope to lead an integrated approach to increasing the sustainability and nutritional value of food.

Dr. Gunhild Anker Stordalen, director of EAT, recently spoke about her organization and the reasons behind this new alliance. . .

Six key recommendations for ramily farming in North America:

In April, representatives from 35 organizations around the world gathered in Québec City to participate in the Dialogue on Family Farming in North America. Motivated by the United Nation’s designation of 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming (IYFF), the dialogue included workshops, panel discussions, and question periods organized by UPA Développement International (UPA DI) and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). This week, a report was published summarizing the key presentations and findings from the event.

Canadian presenters spoke on a range of topics including the importance of women in small farming, and the challenges of farming profitably without formal training. . .


Share your story

July 15, 2014

Rural Women New Zealand is inviting people to get creative by writing short stories and taking photos and videos to showcase New Zealand farming life today.

“We are running the competition in conjunction with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to tell the stories behind the primary products we grow on our farms,” says Rural Women national president, Wendy McGowan.

MPI will use some of the photos, videos and stories to promote the New Zealand primary industry brand and our rural values.

“We encourage people to get their creative juices flowing to share the challenges and triumphs of farming and today’s sustainable business practices,” says Wendy McGowan.

“We hope to see entries that reflect our care of the land and our animals, and the skills and ingenuity of the people that make New Zealand’s primary industries so successful.

Rural Women NZ also hopes the competition will highlight the opportunities for great careers that are available in the sector.

The competition is being run as part of Rural Women NZ’s celebrations to mark the 2014 International Year of Family Farming.

“Stories are powerful, and we have some great farming stories to tell,” says Wendy McGowan.
There are five entry categories: Women and men at work on the farm; farm machinery and farm innovation; animals; children; rural communities. Entries close 1 November 2014 and the competition is open to everyone.

More details and an entry from can be found here.

 


Motherhood as career option

July 13, 2014

An interesting comment on Lindsay Mitchell’s column on the greatest risk: from Rosy Fenwicke:

. . . One piece missed from the analysis is the cultural movement which embraced the idealisation of ‘motherhood’ as a career option regardless of the financial means to support this ‘career’ choice. Prior to the ‘liberation’ of women in the 1970s or rather the ‘liberation of entitlement’, motherhood was always associated with how it was to be financially supported in the long term- hence marriage and the partnership with men.

The whole women’s movement, with its middle and upper income roots, did no service to women with little education/income or their children. Likewise the liberation of women, liberated men from their connection with parenting and their responsibilities towards their offspring.

I do think the liberation of women is a good thing but it is only now that the younger generation is getting it right and pairing it with the need to assume the responsibilities which go with it- earning your own living!

My generation may well have been the last to have been brought up with the expectation that we would marry and have children, in that order; that we would probably give up our careers, or at least put them on hold while our children were young; and that our husbands would provide for our families.

That was before the DPB which enabled women to escape abusive relationships, but also enabled them to replace their children’s fathers with the state.

I wouldn’t want to return to the days that women and their children were beholden to their husbands for everything and trapped in dreadful situations because they were financially dependent on bad men.

But I applaud government initiatives which are working with women on the DPB to help them help themselves and escape the poverty trap in which welfare can snare them.


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