Rural round-up

Educating the politicians – Hugh Stringleman:

Farmers were criticised as “affluent and effluent-rich” during the general election. They responded by voting blue (National) in every rural electorate except the West Coast. But the green wave in the 50th parliament will now grab farmers’ attention.

For the first time since 1996, under the MMP election system, a minor party gained more than 10% of the party vote in the recent election, and that was the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand.

The Greens gained nearly 11% of the party votes cast and will have 13 MPs in the new parliament.

They include young urban activists, environmental campaigners, party officials, academics, and an organic farmer. . .

Farming 2011 a year to celebrate despite the sorrow – Tim Cronshaw:

It’s not often the planets line up to form a near-perfect farming year.

History shows it’s a long time between drinks before the party hats come out. The 1890s were memorable as a period of recovering wool prices and the advent of refrigeration when sheep meat could be safely shuttled off to the motherland.

So was the wool boom of 1951 when prices tripled overnight from United States troops needing warm uniforms during the Korean War.

Otherwise, there have been more mundane than good years in Canterbury farming and, at times, it’s bordered on the ugly as debt levels pile up. Not this season though. . .

Taranaki farm’s spirited growth strategy – Sue O’Dowd:

Establishing stands of native bush on his farm has been a spiritual journey as much as a practical one for an Egmont Village farmer who now sees himself as a custodian of the land.

Last month, Prime Minister John Key presented a Taranaki Regional Council certificate to Wayne Peters and Alan and Barbara Harvey, of Opunake, for completing the riparian planting programme on their farms.

What started as idle curiosity led to Mr Peters developing a passion for Maoridom and embarking on a spiritual journey, during which he studied te reo, established links with Maori organisations promoting health and wellbeing and learned about New Zealand’s native flora and fauna. . .

Cartels protect producers not consumers – Offsetting Behaviour:

Mark Schatzker explainshow Canada’s agricultural cartels help keep quality produce from Canadian foodies (HT: @acoyne):

But here’s what hasn’t been said about supply management: It is the enemy of deliciousness.
If you have ever wondered why you can buy heritage chickens such as the famed poulet de Bresse in France but not in Canada, or pastured butter the colour of an autumn sunset in Ireland but not in Canada, or why it’s so hard to find pastured eggs here, the reason is supply management. . . 

From city to country – Eileen Goodwin:

Ask Sandy Price for tips to give prospective lifestyle farmers and she does not muck around.   

 “If you’re not prepared to get your hands dirty, don’t get into animals.   

 “Where there’s livestock, there’s dead stock.”   

 Sheep were high maintenance, so dealing with unpleasant problems, such as flystrike and maggots, or a complication of  lambing when a ewe pushed its innards out, were part of the      job. . .

Olives heart of family’s new lifestyle – Lynda Van Kempen:

For the good oil on Bannockburn, look no further than Trevor and Sue McNamara.   

The married couple “walked out of our life” in South Otago 18  years ago and shifted to Central Otago with their two young children, for a change of lifestyle.   

They have never looked back or regretted taking the gamble, and say they are truly living the good life on their 0.8ha property . . .

Remarkables Park Stud rivals best antlers in country:

Remarkables Park Stud in Queenstown, renowned for consistently producing huge two year old stud sire stags, says its successful breeding programme now has it rivaling the best antlers in the country.

In 2012 its breeding programme has produced many multi-pointed yearling Spikers, including a massive 27-point Spiker sired by Craigie, crossed over a daughter of Hamberg, a German trophy stag.

Craigie, with a 601 SCI (Safari Club International) international trophy score, is famous for having produced one of the biggest sets of antlers ever seen in the world. . .

Countrywide’s November issue is available here.

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