Rural round-up

October 23, 2018

Mental health drive launched – Sally Rae:

The symbolism of inheriting her late boyfriend’s black huntaway, Jess, is not lost on Elle Perriam.

Mental illness is often referred to as the black dog and Jess will play a pivotal role in the newly launched Will to Live campaign.

Will to Live is a mental health awareness campaign targeting young rural men and women which has been launched following the death of Will Gregory in December last year.

Mr Gregory (20), who was working as a shepherd on Awakino Station, near Kurow, and was  an accomplished rodeo competitor, took his own life.

The campaign has been driven by Miss Perriam, Mr Gregory’s sister, Sam Gregory, and his best friend, Adam Williams. . . 

New advisor enjoys being ‘on the ground‘ – Sally Rae:

Growing up in Singapore, Ray Mohan always liked the idea of having a farm.

It was an unusual notion, given the island was about as far-flung from a farming nation as you could get.

But that dream has, in some ways, been fulfilled with her new role as a farm environmental adviser for Ravensdown which has her visiting farms throughout Otago and Southland. Ms Mohan (24) was 12 when her family moved to New Zealand, settling in Whakatane, which was a huge contrast to Singapore.

But the transition from city girl to country girl was not a difficult one to make, and she and her siblings embraced their new lifestyle. Interested in resource management, Ms Mohan headed to Massey University to study environmental science. . . 

Super Fund is sure of agri sector – Neal Wallace:

The New Zealand Super Fund has spent only a third of the $1.2 billion it has earmarked for Australasian primary sector investments but its holding might now veer from stock to crops and horticulture.

So far it has $400 million invested in New Zealand’s and Australia’s primary sectors, mostly in dairy, which shows its confidence in food production.

But its NZ direct investment portfolio manager Neil Woods said its 22 dairy and two beef farms could be the extent of its livestock holdings and future investments could be in cropping and horticulture. . . 

Noodles, milk and ale win awards – Richard Rennie:

Vegetable noodles from Marton, deer milk from Southland and a sour ale from Matakana captured the podium positions at this year’s Massey Food Awards. 

The eclectic food basket of category winners was topped by a range of vegetable noodles from Marton business the Whole Mix Company, a subsidiary of Spiers Foods, claiming the Massey University Supreme Award at this year’s competition.

Other category winners included the Clevedon Buffalo Company picking up the artisan award for its marinated mozzarella, the only produced by a New Zealand herd, while The Apple Press won the non-alcoholic section for its cold pressed apple juice and Alliance Group took the Frozen Award for its Te Mana Lamb range. Matakana based brewery 8 Wired claimed the alcoholic beverages award with its unusual sour beer Cucumber Hippy. . . 

Driving dairy careers – learning on the job: Jackie Harrigan:

A Rangitikei farming operation has set up an apprenticeship scheme to train dairy workers. Jackie Harrigan reports.

On Bella Archer’s first day at work as a dairy farm assistant, she learned how to ride a two-wheel motorbike, and rode around and around the tanker track until she had mastered it.

On her second day she learned to drive the tractor.

And on day three she learned how to bring the cows up to the dairy shed on the Santoft farm.

A town girl and school leaver, 18-year-old Bella was casting around for a career, having decided against her earlier idea of sports psychology, and decided farming was worth a try as she liked working outside. . . 

The story behind your glass of milk – Georgina Gutierrez:

I’m a dairy farmer who loves to tell the story behind a glass of milk!  Every story about the food we eat is important, but I think it has become even more important for those of us raising cattle.

For example:  Have you ever heard that humans are the only species to drink milk after infancy?

Actually, there are a lot of things only humans do. That’s not necessarily the point this question is often intended to raise.  People who say this usually aren’t trying to engage in thought-provoking small talk. Instead, they often have an agenda to shut the dairy industry down.

Earlier this year, I became so frustrated by these dumb claims that I promised myself not to engage in debates about them. . . 

https://twitter.com/ranchingaround/status/1054136629059739648

 


Participation best protection from corruption

October 23, 2018

Taxpayer funding of political parties has raised its ugly head again:

“The Greens are cynically taking advantage of this week’s political scandal to push their agenda of taxpayer funding for political parties,” says New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke, responding to Marama Davidson’s statement today.

“Introducing ‘state money for electioneering’ (which is currently illegal) will only entrench the position of incumbent political parties like the Greens, and suppress political start-ups that could challenge existing powers.”

It will also further erode grassroots participation in the political process and reduce the importance of party membership.

“We must not replace the right to independently, privately fundraise with a system where unaccountable bureaucrats decide what makes political groups eligible for funds.”

“Finally, there’s the powerful moral argument that taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to promote ideas that they disagree with or even find morally reprehensible.”

“The proposal is opportunistic, self-interested, objectionable, and would have a corrosive effect on our democracy.”

Amen to that.

If parties can’t attract enough members and supporters to fund themselves the solution isn’t taxpayer funding.

It is sadly ironic that MMP which gives parties far more power has coincided with a serious decline in party membership and participation.

Other parties, and some media, question National’s fundraising. They either don’t understand, or ignore, the fact that the bulk of the money the party gets comes from members through subscriptions and relatively small fundraising activities.

That’s a very real strength of strong membership.

However, like every other party, and most if not all voluntary organisations, National’s membership is well below its peak. That, and the inability of any other party in the country to count its members in the 10s of thousands is a very real risk to democracy.

Democracy by definition should be participatory and strong participation is the best protection from corruption.


Quote of the day

October 23, 2018

I know that if odour were visible, as colour is, I’d see the summer garden in rainbow clouds. Robert Bridges who was born on this day in 1844.


October 23 in history

October 23, 2018

42 BC  Roman Republican civil wars: Second Battle of Philippi – Mark Antony and Octavian decisively defeated Brutus’s army. Brutus committed suicide.

425 Valentinian III became Roman Emperor, at the age of 6.

502 The Synodus Palmaris, called by Gothic king Theodoric the Great, discharged Pope Symmachus of all charges, ending the schism ofAntipope Laurentius.

1086 At the Battle of az-Zallaqah, the army of Yusuf ibn Tashfin defeated the forces of Castilian King Alfonso VI.

1157 The Battle of Grathe Heath ended the civil war in Denmark. King Sweyn III was killed and Valdemar I restored the country.

1295 The first treaty forming the Auld Alliance between Scotland and France against England was signed in Paris.

1503  Isabella of Portugal, queen of Spain and empress of Germany was born (d. 1539)

1641 Outbreak of the Irish Rebellion of 1641.

1642  Battle of Edgehill: First major battle of the First English Civil War.

1694  British/American colonial forces, led by Sir William Phipps, fail to seize Quebec from the French.

1707 The first Parliament of Great Britain met.

1739 War of Jenkins’ Ear started: British Prime Minister, Robert Walpole, reluctantly declared war on Spain.

1812  Claude François de Malet, a French general, began a conspiracy to overthrow Napoleon Bonaparte, claiming that the Emperor died in Russia and that he was now the commandant of Paris.

1844  Robert Bridges, English poet, was born (d. 1930).

1850 The first National Women’s Rights Convention began in Worcester, Massachusetts.

1861  U.S. President Abraham Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpusin Washington, D.C., for all military-related cases.

1864  American Civil War: Battle of Westport – Union forced under General Samuel R. Curtis defeated Confederate troops led by General Sterling Price at Westport, near Kansas City.

1867  72 Senators were summoned by Royal Proclamation to serve as the first members of the Canadian Senate.

1870  Franco-Prussian War: the Siege of Metz concluded with a decisive Prussian victory.

1906 Alberto Santos-Dumont fliew a plane in the first heavier-than-air flight in Europe at Champs de Bagatelle, Paris.

1911  First use of aircraft in war: An Italian pilot took off from Libya to observe Turkish army lines during the Turco-Italian War.

1912  First Balkan War: The Battle of Kumanovo between the Serbian and Ottoman armies began.

1915 Among the fatalities when the transport Marquette sank  in the Aegean Sea were 32 New Zealanders, including ten nurses – making 23 October the deadliest day in the history of this country’s military nursing.

Ten NZ nurses lost in <em>Marquette</em> sinking

1915  Women’s suffrage: In New York City, 25,000-33,000 women march on Fifth Avenue to advocate their right to vote.

1917  Lenin called for the October Revolution.

1925 –  Johnny Carson, American television host, was born (d. 2005)

1929 –  Wall Street Crash of 1929: After a steady decline in stock market prices since a peak in September, the New York Stock Exchange began to show signs of panic.

1931 Diana Dors, British actress was born (d. 1984).

1935 Dutch Schultz, Abe Landau, Otto Berman, and Bernard “Lulu” Rosencrantz were fatally shot at a saloonin Newark, New Jersey in  The Chophouse Massacre.

1940 Pelé, Brazilian footballer, was born.

1941  Field Marshal Georgy Zhukov took command of Red Army operations to prevent the further advance into Russia of German forces and to prevent the Wehrmacht from capturing Moscow.

1942  World War II: Second Battle of El Alamein began.

1942  All 12 passengers and crewmen aboard an American Airlines DC-3 airliner were killed when it is struck by a U.S. Army Air Forces bomber near Palm Springs, California. Amongst the victims was award-winning composer and songwriter Ralph Rainger (“Thanks for the Memory”, “Love in Bloom”, “Blue Hawaii”).

1942   Michael Crichton, American writer, was born (d. 2008).

1942 – Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop, was born (d. 2007).

1942   The Battle for Henderson Field began during the Guadalcanal Campaign.

1944  : Battle of Leyte Gulf – The largest naval battle in history begins in the Philippines.

1946  The United Nations General Assembly convened for the first time.

1948 A plane crash on Mt Ruapehu killed 13 people.

Mt Ruapehu air crash kills 13

1956  Thousands of Hungarians protest against the government and Soviet occupation.

1958  The Springhill Mine Bump – An earthquake trapped 174 miners in the No. 2 colliery at Springhill, Nova Scotia, the deepest coal mine in North America at the time.

1958  The Smurfs, a fictional race of blue dwarves, appeared for the first time in the story Le flute à six schtroumpfs, a Johan and Peewitadventure by Peyo which was serialized in the weekly comics magazineSpirou.

1972   Operation Linebacker, a US bombing campaign against North Vietnam ended after five months.

1973  A United Nations sanctioned cease-fire officially ended the Yom Kippur War between Israel and Syria.

1983  Lebanon Civil War: The U.S. Marines barracks in Beirut was hit by a truck bomb, killing 241 U.S. Marines. A French army barracks in Lebanon was also hit, killing 58 troops.

1989  The Hungarian Republic was officially declared by president Mátyás Szűrös, replacing the communist Hungarian People’s Republic.

1989  Phillips Disaster in Pasadena, Texas killed 23 and injured 314.

1992  Emperor Akihito became the first Emperor of Japan to stand on Chinese soil.

1993  Shankill Road bombing: A Provisional IRA bomb prematurely detonates in the Shankill area of Belfast, killing the bomber and nine civilians.

1998  Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Chairman Yasser Arafat reached a “land for peace” agreement.

2001 The Provisional IRA began disarmament after peace talks.

2001  Apple released the iPod.

2002  Moscow Theatre Siege began: Chechen terrorists seized the House of Culture theater in Moscow and took approximately 700 theatre-goers hostage.

2004 A powerful earthquake and its aftershocks hit Niigata prefecture, northern Japan, killing 35 people, injuring 2,200, and leaving 85,000 homeless or evacuated.

2007 A powerful cold front in the Bay of Campeche caused the UsumacintaJackup rig to collide with Kab 101, leading to the death and drowning of 22 people during rescue operations after evacuation of the rig.

2011 – The All Blacks won the Webb Ellis Cup for the second time in seven attempts, defending grimly to hold onto an 8–7 lead over France in front of 61,000 spectators at Eden Park.

All Blacks win their second World Cup

2011 – A 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Van Province, Turkey, killing 582 people and injuring thousands.

2012 – After 38 years, the world’s first teletext service (BBC‘s Ceefax) ceases broadcast when Northern Ireland completed the digital switchover.

2015 – The lowest sea-level pressure in the Western Hemisphere, and the highest reliably-measured non-tornadic sustained winds, were recorded in Hurricane Patricia, which struck Mexico hours later, killing at least 13 and causing over $280 million in damages.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


365 days of gratitude

October 22, 2018

When I was a child Labour Weekend was usually the time for the first swim of the season.

My family would pack a picnic, go to Gemmells* (or Gemmell’s at some sources) Crossing and my brothers and I would swim in the river.

More recently Labour Weekend hasn’t alway given us the weather for swimming – sometimes it’s given us a continuation of winter or only the promise of summer.

This year we’ve had more than a promise with temperatures in the early to mid 20s.

I didn’t have a swim but it’s been perfect weather for walking and relaxing and I’m grateful for it.

 


Word of the day

October 22, 2018

Driùchcainn – incision under one of the toes; chaffing between the toes caused by walking barefoot in warm sand; the feeling of walking barefoot across a beach with sun-warmed sand rubbing at your toes;.


Rural round-up

October 22, 2018

The business giving tourists a taste of the country – Sally Rae:

It is probably just as well that Laura Douglas has ditched her stiletto heels, given her days can include chasing errant pigs.

And while leading a runaway porker next to a state highway might draw a few odd glances from passing motorists, it is all in a day’s work for the self-confessed farm girl.

In a gutsy move, Miss Douglas (31) traded in a successful corporate career to establish an agri-tourism venture near Kingston in late 2016. In a major development for her fledgling business, Real Country recently confirmed a contract with international bus tour company Contiki to provide travellers with an authentic Southland farm experience.

Shares wobble as rules change – Hugh Stringleman:

Sharemarket high fliers A2 Milk and Synlait have lost considerable market value over the past month as investors try to make out the impact of forthcoming Chinese e-commerce regulations.

The prospects for both dairy companies run in tandem because Synlait produces most of A2 Milk’s infant formula and A2 now has a 17.4% stake in Synlait.

Both reported the doubling of sales and profits for the 2018 financial year when their share prices nudged $13 but A2 has since fallen to $10 and Synlait to $9. . . 

 

Butlers put berry farm up for sale – Chris Tobin:

Donald Butler (78) has spent most of his life growing berry fruit – strawberries especially – but now he and wife Jacky (76) have decided it’s time to step back.

The couple have placed their cafe and 11.95ha property at Hook, on State Highway 1 north of Waimate on the market, and will move to another property they own to run sheep.

Mr Butler has lived in the Hook area his entire life and has always been on a farm. ”My parents farmed on the Lower Hook Road and had 14 cows and apple orchards on a 40-acre [16ha] block. . .

Glysophate foes driven by hatred for Monsanto – Peter Griffin:

The NZ Environmental Protection Authority made the right call last week to leave glyphosate​ off a list of chemicals it will reassess to determine their risk to people and the environment.

In doing so, it resisted political pressure to put use of glyphosate-based weedkiller like Roundup in the spotlight. Associate Environment Minister and Green MP Eugenie Sage had wanted the EPA to consider classifying glyphosate as a hazardous chemical.

There’s a movement, particularly in Europe, to have glyphosate banned. . .

Property steeped in history on market for first time in over a century – Pat Deavoll and Rob Smith:

A historic farm near Culverden in North Canterbury is up for sale for the first time in 110 years.

PGG Wrightson real estate agent Bruce Hoban said that Mandamus Downs, owned by the Hammond family, had a “fine heritage” and was “held in high regard by North Canterbury farmers.”

“This is one of the Amuri Basin’s most admired grazing properties. It has an excellent scale, a good balance of hills, downs and flats, and has never been offered for sale before.” . . 

If we’re going to eat cattle let them eat grass – Jared Stone:

Stories about impending environmental apocalypse circulate almost daily, especially in drought-ravaged California. Many of these stories tend to blame agriculture — and specifically, beef — for gobbling up our resources. Though numbers vary widely and are hotly contested, some researchers estimate that it takes 1,800 gallons of water to produce each pound of beef.

The real problem, however, isn’t cattle. It’s industrial feedlots, where more than 70% of U.S. cattle eventually live.

In an industrial feedlot, potentially thousands of animals are packed together in an enclosure of bare, unproductive dirt. Nothing grows there. Operators have to bring in water for the cattle to drink, and for the enormous manure ponds that contain the cattle’s waste. But the majority of the water used in raising industrial cattle goes into growing their feed. These operations are tremendously resource-intensive. . .


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