Word of the day


Oriflamme – a banner, symbol, or ideal inspiring devotion or courage; a principle that serves as a rallying point in a struggle;  the red or orange-red flag of the Abbey  of Saint Denis in France, used as a standard by the early kings of France.



6/10 in NBR’s Biz Quiz.

Saturday’s smiles


An agricultural salesman was visiting a farm with a view to selling a new type of combine harvester.

The farmer wasn’t interested. “My pig takes care of all the harvesting – I don’t need any fancy machinery.”

“It could save you money in the long-term” the salesman said.

“No, your header would never match my pig’s productivity – you should see him go – swishing away with that scythe.”

The salesman was intrigued about the pig and asked to see it. The farmer led him through the yard to a shed. Standing there was the most magnificent pig the salesman had ever seen, there was just one thing odd – it had a wooden leg.

“That is a very impressive pig, but why’s he got a wooden leg?” asked the salesman.

“This pig is more than ‘impressive’ – I’m sure he’s unique! Do you know he can also drive the tractor?”

“Really? But why’s he got a wooden leg?”

“He drives our children to school and back!! – even helps them with their homework!!”

“I’m impressed” the salesman said, “but why the wooden leg?”

“THIS PIG is also a leading authority on organic farming; thanks to him we’ve managed to branch out, and now our income is higher than that of any other farm in this district.

“Yeah, yeah!! You’ve got an amazing pig – I can see that by just looking at him – but why does it have a wooden leg?”

“Did I mention the publishing deals? This pig’s just written a best seller – we’re going to be even richer now!!”

“Amazing, truly amazing – but why the WOODEN LEG?”

The farmer looked admiringly at his pig and then turned to the salesman: “Well, with a pig like this – you just don’t eat him all at once.”



7/10 in Stuff’s Biz Quiz.

Rural round-up


Shanghai Pengxin finally able to get on with its dairy investment – Allan Barber:

After one of the most drawn out sagas of recent times, the Court of Appeal’s ruling at last looks as if Shanghai Pengxin can complete its takeover of the Crafar farms.

The Fay/Maori Purchase Group has announced it will not make any further appeal, but, in Sir Michael Fay’s case, it will go back to business as usual and, in the case of the two Maori trusts, continue to negotiate the acquisition of two farms. However the iwi are still considering an appeal against the latest decision, while negotiations continue.

This sale process has caused much debate and involved very costly court cases which in the end have merely served to review and confirm the original decision and it’s hard to see on what basis a further appeal could expect to succeed. . .

Wintering barns ‘good idea’ not obligatory – Shawn McAvinue:

Wintering barns are a good idea but shouldn’t be made mandatory, says a Western Southland dairy farmer. 

    Dairy farmer Philip van der Bijl said the new winter shed on his Broad Acres farm, near Mossburn, was worth the investment. 

    If Environment Southland forced farmers to build sheds that would take money out of the farming community and only make Australian banks wealthier, he said. . .

Red cattle light up Shannon farm – Jon Morgan:

The late afternoon rain clouds have fled to the Tararua Range and a watery sun casts a soft light across the rolling pastures. In this light, a mob of cattle take on an exotic hue, their velvety, chocolate-red coats radiating a warm, lustrous glow. 

    It would be wrong to say farmer Kelvin Lane is unmoved, but he’s showing off his cows and his eyes are on their straight backs, muscled bodies and calf-bearing hips. 

    It is the dark red colour that first attracted him to the cattle, which are of the uncommon red poll breed. “They’re different, aren’t they?” he says. . .

A Hereford fan for life – Sue O’Dowd:

North Taranaki beef breeder Rodney Jupp is on a mission to introduce “Hereford Prime” beef to the region’s palates. 

    Right now he’s negotiating a deal with a Taranaki butchery, and hopes the meat will be on sale in the province within the next month. 

    “I’m working really hard to get Hereford Prime launched in Taranaki,” he said. . .

Pipfruit Growers Expect Slightly Improved Profitability

Pipfruit growers are expecting a small improvement in profitability this year, due to a lift in prices.

The Ministry for Primary Industries has released an analysis of pipfruit production and profitability as part of its annual Farm Monitoring Report series. The report is based on models of a Hawke’s Bay and a Nelson orchard and an overview of the financial performance of typical orchards, based on information gathered from a sample of growers and industry stakeholders.

A cool spring delayed flowering and harvest by around two weeks this season. Hawke’s Bay also had below-average temperatures and lack of sunny weather over summer. . .

Anti-GM campaigners warn of dangers – Gerald Piddock:

Two Australian farmers are warning New Zealanders to make sure their country remains free of genetically engineered and modified organisms. 

    Allowing GM products to be produced would put at risk New Zealand’s clean green brand, they say. 

    Western Australian farmer Bob Mackley and Victorian farmer and anti-GM advocate Julie Newman are touring New Zealand to deliver their message. With them is Green Party primary industries spokesman Steffan Browning. They were in Ashburton last week. . .

Entries open for 2013 Ballance Farm Awards:

Entries are now open for the 2013 Canterbury Ballance Environment Farm Awards.

The Awards, which have been running in the region for 10 years, celebrate responsible land stewardship and sustainable farm management practices.

Jocelyn Muller, the Canterbury Regional Coordinator for the Ballance Awards, said the awards continue to go from strength – to – strength in Canterbury.

“The Awards recognise and celebrate that best practice on-farm management is good for business and good for the environment.   . .

Family matters


The  Prime Minister’s decision to honour a commitment to his son rather than attend the memorial service for Lance Corporals Pralli Durrer and Rory Malone, the two soldiers killed in Afghanistan, was a no-win one.

John Key was criticised for coming back from a trade delegation to attend the funerals of Air Force men who died in a helicopter crash. He is being criticised for not going to the service for these soldiers and he would have been criticised had he let down his son.

But there is no dishonouring of the men, the sacrifice they made or their families. He went to see the families, privately, which would almost certainly mean more than having him as one of many at a public memorial service.  Acting Prime Minister, Bill English, will be attending the service as will the Governor General.

I can’t speak for the families of the dead soldiers but I can speak as a member of the Bereaved Parents’ Club. Family and friends who could, came to our sons’ funerals. A lot could not but phoned or visited before or after, wrote, sent flowers or showed us they cared in some other way. Whatever they did was appreciated and none was regarded as displaying more or less care.

The children of all politicians have to put up with repeated absences of their parents and many, many times when the their jobs impact on family life.

No-one is in politics for ever and most of what even the best politicians achieve will soon be forgotten. But parenthood is forever and when they can politicians must be free to be parents first.

One of the significant contributing factors to social problems is the absence – physical and/or emotional – of fathers.

Rather than criticising him, we should be grateful that our Prime Minister is a man who not only knows but also shows that fathering is important and family matters.



August 11 in history


3114 BC   The Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, used by several pre-Columbian Mesoamerican civilizations, notably the Mayans, began.

2492 BC  Traditional date of the defeat of Bel by Hayk, progenitor and founder of the Armenian nation.

480 BC  Greco-Persian Wars: Battle of Artemisium – the Persians achieved a naval victory over the Greeks in an engagement fought near Artemisium.

355  Claudius Silvanus, accused of treason, proclaimed himself Roman Emperor against Constantius II.

1755  Charles Lawrence gave expulsion orders to remove the Acadians from Nova Scotia beginning the Great Upheaval.

1786  Captain Francis Light established the British colony of Penang.

1804  Francis II assumed the title of first Emperor of Austria.

1858  First ascent of the Eiger.

1892 Hugh MacDiarmid, Scottish poet, was born  (d. 1978).

1897 Enid Blyton, English author, was born (d. 1968).

1918 World War I:  Battle of Amiens ended.

1919 Constitution of Weimar Republic adopted.

1920  The LatviaBolshevist Russia peace treaty, which relinquished Russia’s authority and pretenses to Latvia, is signed.

1921  Alex Haley, American writer, was born  (d. 1992).

1929   Babe Ruth became the first baseball player to hit 500 home runs in his career with a home run at League Park in Cleveland, Ohio.

1929  The Bud Billiken Parade and Picnic began its annual tradition, which is now the oldest and largest African American parade in the United States.

1933 Jerry Falwell, American preacher, was born (d. 2007).

1934   First civilian prisoners arrived at Federal prison on Alcatraz Island.

1942 Mike Hugg, British musician (Manfred Mann), was born.

1942  Actress Hedy Lamarr and composer George Antheil received a patent for a frequency hopping, spread spectrum communication system that later became the basis for modern technologies in wireless telephones and Wi-Fi.

1952  Bob Mothersbaugh AKA Bob 1, American musician (Devo), was born.

1952 Hussein proclaimed king of Jordan.

1960 Chad declared independence.

1962 The country’s first roll-on roll-off (RO-RO) ferry, New Zealand Railways’ Aramoana entered service between Wellington and Picton.

Picton ferry Aramoana enters service

1965  The Watts riots began in Watts area of Los Angeles.

1972 The last United States ground combat unit left South Vietnam.

1975  Governor Mário Lemos Pires of Portuguese Timor abandoned the capital Dili, following a coup by the Timorese Democratic Union (UDT) and the outbreak of civil war between UDT and Fretilin.

1982  A bomb exploded on Pan Am Flight 830, en route from Tokyo to Honolulu, killing one teenager and injuring 15 passengers.

1988  Al-Qaeda was formed.

1999 The Salt Lake City Tornado tore through the downtown district of the city, killing one.

2003 NATO took over command of the peacekeeping force in Afghanistan, marking its first major operation outside Europe in its 54-year-history.

2003 – Jemaah Islamiyah leader Riduan Isamuddin, better known as Hambali, was arrested in Bangkok.

2003 – A heat wave in Paris resulted in temperatures rising to 112°F (44° C), leaving about 144 people dead.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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