Word of the day

January 25, 2012

Haggis – a traditional Scottish dish made of  the heart, liver and lungs of a sheep or calf mixed with oatmeal,seasonings and boiled in the stomach of the animal.


4/6

January 25, 2012

4/6 in the Burns night quiz.


Rural round-up

January 25, 2012

New Zealand’s first independent product development spray dryer:

 New Zealand’s first and only independent product development spray dryer is one step closer to being open for business.  The 10.5 metre high stainless steel dryer, weighing 7.5 tonne was lifted into the new pilot plant today on the Waikato Innovation Park campus in Hamilton.

The $11 million product development spray dryer facility, primarily funded by Innovation Waikato Ltd, is the Waikato component of the Government-sponsored New Zealand Food Innovation Network.  Capacity of the multi-purpose spray dryer is one-half tonne/hour.

Construction of the facility will be completed in April 2012 and the first product run is scheduled for mid-May.

“We’re now looking for commitments from companies that want to research and develop new spray dried food products in the pilot plant.  Our message out to the market is that we’re open for business and we want to help companies create new products and reach new export markets. . .

Strong finish for rural property sales in December:

Data released today by the Real Estate Institute of NZ (“REINZ”) shows there were 140 more farm sales (+65.7%) for the three months ended December 2011 than for the three months ended December 2010.  Overall, there were 353 farm sales in the three months to end of December 2011, compared with 213 farm sales in the three months to December 2010.  The number of sales increased by 38 (+12.1%) in the three months to December 2011 compared to the three months ended November 2011.  1,193 farms were sold in the year to December 2011, the highest number of farm sales on an annual basis since June 2009.

The median price per hectare for all farms sold in the three months to December 2011 was $20,445, the same as for the three months ended November 2011 and down $3,230 per hectare on the $23,675 recorded for the three months to December 2010. . .

Red meat potential is there but so are challenges – Suzie Horne:

“You can win … you can grow … you can be one of the food industry’s great success stories,” was the positive message from Joanne Denney-Finch to producers at Quality Meat Scotland’s conference this week.
IGD’s research showed that farmers were viewed as hardworking, down to earth, professional and vital to the future, said chief executive Ms Denny-Finch . . .

Livestock prospects for 2012 – Allan Barber:

Livestock processing volumes have been very low so far this season and the prices being paid to farmers are at historically high levels for both beef and lambs. This has got very little to do with the overseas markets, nothing at all with the exchange rate and everything to do with the grass growth everywhere except Otago and Southland.

Many farmers are holding onto their stock with little prospect of being able to afford to buy replacements because of the state of the store market. Although the published schedules are closer to $4.30, current North Island prime beef prices are as high as $4.70, which reflects saleyard prices for 2 ½ year old steers as high as $2.75, equivalent to $5.50 a kilo. This is a grass market running rampant . . .

Anger at loss of lamb weighing at saleyards

GISBORNE farmers are appalled that livestock companies have revoked access to weighing lambs at Matawhero, Stortford Lodge and Feilding saleyards.

PGG  Wrightson and Elders have told iFarm that the lamb weights reported in Livestock Eye were playing a part in increased competition from paddock-based agents, by providing independent benchmark lamb pricing.

Since 2006, iFarm had a contract to weigh a sample of each pen of lambs sold at the yards . . .

Hat tip: interest.co.nz

Farmers’ group aims for greater urban ties – William McCorkindale:

New Zealand Young Farmer leaders have revealed the organisation’s intention of creating closer ties to city contacts.

Young Farmer organisation chief executive Richard Fitzgerald, speaking at the beginning of the 2012 Young Farmer of the Year contest in Dunedin yesterday, stressed the need for agriculture to market itself into urban areas.

Staging the grand final in Dunedin in May would be one of the few times the event had been hosted in a large centre, he said.

“We are taking a more proactive approach to marketing the contest and agriculture in general to an urban audience by holding the grand final in a large centre.”

The Young Farmer competition highlighted the need for today’s farmers to have a diverse range of qualifications, technical skills, and abilities, he said . . .

Potatoes New Zealand appoints  new interim board:

Potatoes New Zealand has appointed a new interim board ahead of changes to the organisation’s structure to help the industry achieve its goal of tripling the value of the potato supply chain by 2020.

Potatoes New Zealand’s structure is changing to reflect its new role representing not just growers, but the whole potato supply chain – from grower to seller – who all face the same industry challenges such as psyllid, tightening margins and maintaining consumer demand. Previously, Potatoes New Zealand was a grower-only organisation.

Ron Gall, Potatoes New Zealand Business Manager, believes the new Potatoes New Zealand structure will present greater opportunities for growth and collaboration among its expanded membership base.

From the paddock to the packet field day:
The 2011 Lincoln University Foundation South Island Farmer of the Year will hold a field day on their South Canterbury property in early March.

Raymond and Adrianne Bowan will open Fallgate Farms and their Heartland Potato Chip factory to the rural community to show how innovation helped them turn well grown potatoes into great tasting chips.

Lincoln University Foundation chairman Neil Taylor expects many people from throughout the South Island and potato growers from around the country to attend the field day.


Good for business and politics

January 25, 2012

The need to evaluate and kill bad ideas does not apply only to businesses:

An unwillingness to rigorously evaluate and kill weak ideas is but one indication that many New Zealand companies don’t fully understand the role of design in taking products and services to market.

The managing director of designindustry Ltd, Dorenda Britten, says  that in general Kiwi companies are good at the technical side of creating new products or services and we can ALWAYS be relied upon to make improvements on existing – cheaper, better etc…….

However we don’t tend to be good at standing back and evaluating the opportunity, costs and benefits such as, whose needs are we aiming to satisfy, when and how?

Such rigorous evaluation would be good in politics too.


Quote of the day

January 25, 2012

“Oh wad some power the giftie gie us To see oursel’s as others see us! It wad frae monie a blunder free us, And foolish notion” – Robert Burns.

Chosen in honour of his birthday which will be honoured by Scots and others partial to a wee dram with or without haggis at Burns night celebrations.


No “only” about $40 better off

January 25, 2012

The woman who complains that she was “only” $40 better off in work shows the scale of entitleitis in New Zealand.

There is no “only” about $40 a week. That’s $160 a month and $2080 a year.

But the whole pay packet is worth more to her and to society than the money.

It’s money she earns and families whose income comes from work do better than those dependent on benefits.

But it’s not just she and her family who are better off.

When she’s earning money she is no longer taking money from the public purse.

Instead of complaining she’s “only” $40 better off she should be grateful she no longer needs what ought to be temporary assistance; that she’s got the ability to help herself and her family; and that she has a job with the non-monetary benefits that come with that, not least of which is independence.


January 25 in history

January 25, 2012

41 Claudius was accepted as Roman Emperor by the Senate.

1327 Edward III became King of England.

1494 Alfonso II became King of Naples.

1533 Henry VIII secretly married his second wife Anne Boleyn.

1554  Founding of São Paulo city, Brazil.

1627  Robert Boyle, Irish chemist, was born (d. 1691).

1755 Moscow University established on Tatiana Day.

1759 Robert Burns, Scottish poet, was born   (d. 1796).

1791 The British Parliament passed the Constitutional Act of 1791 and split the old province of Quebec into Upper and Lower Canada.

1792 The London Corresponding Society was founded.

1796 William MacGillivray, Scottish naturalist and ornithologist, was born  (d. 1852).

1841 Jackie Fisher, British First Sea Lord, was born  (d. 1920).

1858 The Wedding March by Felix Mendelssohn became a popular wedding recessional after it is played on this day at the marriage of Queen Victoria’s daughter, Victoria, and Friedrich of Prussia.

1873 Tahupotiki Wiremu Ratana was born.

1874  W. Somerset Maugham, English writer, was born (d. 1965).

1879  The Bulgarian National Bank was founded.

1881Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell formed the Oriental Telephone Company.

1882 Virginia Woolf, English writer, was born  (d. 1941).

1890  Nellie Bly completed her round-the-world journey in 72 days.

1909 Richard Strauss‘ opera Elektra received its debut performance at the Dresden State Opera.

1915  Alexander Graham Bell inaugurated U.S. transcontinental telephone service, speaking from New York to Thomas Watson in San Francisco.

1918 The Ukrainian people declared independence from Bolshevik Russia.

1919 The League of Nations was founded.

1924 The first Winter Olympics opened in Chamonix.

1942 : Thailand declared war on the United States and United Kingdom.

1945 World War II: Battle of the Bulge ended.

1949  The first Emmy Awards were presented.

1954 Richard Finch, American bass player (KC and the Sunshine Band), was born.

1955 Terry Chimes, English musician (The Clash), was born.

1960 The National Association of Broadcasters reacted to the Payola scandal by threatening fines for any disc jockeys who accepted money for playing particular records.

1961 John F. Kennedy delivered the first live presidential television news conference.

1971 – Idi Amin led a coup deposing Milton Obote and became Uganda’s president.

1974 Dick Taylor won the 10,000 metre race on the first day of competitions at the Christchurch Commonwealth Games.

First day of competition at the Christchurch Commonwealth Games

1981 Jiang Qing, the widow of Mao Zedong, was sentenced to death.

1986 The National Resistance Movement toppled the government of Tito Okello in Uganda.

1990 The Burns’ Day storm hits northwestern Europe.

1994 The Clementine space probe launched.

1995 The Norwegian Rocket Incident: Russia almost launched a nuclear attack after it mistook Black Brant XII, a Norwegian research rocket, for a US Trident missile.

1996 Billy Bailey became the last person to be hanged in the United States of America.

1999 A 6.0 Richter scale earthquake hit western Colombia killing at least 1,000.

2004 Opportunity rover (MER-B) landed on surface of Mars.

2005 A stampede at the Mandher Devi temple in Mandhradevi in India kills at least 258.

2006 Three independent observing campaigns announced the discovery of OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb through gravitational microlensing, the first cool rocky/icy extrasolar planet around a main-sequence star.

2010 – Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409 crashed into the Mediterranean Sea shortly after take-off from Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport, killing all 90 people on-board.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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