Word of the day

April 1, 2013

Euphonious – pleasing to the ear; sweet sounding; agreeable sound, especially in the phonetic quality of words.

Rural round-up

April 1, 2013

We need a dream – Dave Stanton:

My neighbour was saying farmers were once ranked alongside doctors, lawyers and accountants.

My dad used to shear the sheep and go off to town and buy a new car.

Fat chance of that these days. You can draft all your lambs and barely clear the seasonal financing.

We are still getting the same prices for beef that we were 20 years ago, when we started farming, and inflation has tripled the cost of things since then.

To borrow from Martin Luthur King, we need a dream.

A dream of a better future. . .

True cost sought for consolidation – Nigel Stirling:

The farmer-led group behind a renewed push for consolidation in the meat industry say its major players need to come clean on the true costs involved.

The Meat Industry Excellence Group is pushing for 80% of New Zealand’s red meat to be sold through a single company in an effort to boost recent poor returns.

Alliance Group chairman Owen Poole has put the cost of such a plan at $600 million. . .

Drought challenges still lie ahead:

 Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy says he is pleased with the way New Zealanders have rallied to help drought-affected communities, but challenging times still remain ahead.

“Scattered rain is forecast over the next week which will be welcomed, but on its own it won’t be enough to break the drought conditions. We still need plenty more rain to help grass growth before the colder weather settles in.

“However it’s encouraging to see a range of support available from not just the Government but also businesses and communities.

“Federated Farmers have run a series of ‘farming in drought’ field days and have been organising shipments of feed from the South Island to the North which have been gratefully received. . .

Top soil scientists gather:

More than 150 soil scientists from around 30 countries will meet in Queenstown in April to discuss the ins and outs of testing soil.

They will also look at the environmental impacts of increased fertiliser use on soil carbon and the increasingly important role of soil testing in environmental stewardship both now and in the future.

The symposium, held every second year at different locations around the world, is being hosted in New Zealand for the first time in its 26-year history. . .

Fonterra to slash Australian brands to restore profitability:

(Business Desk) – Fonterra Cooperative Group plans to slash its consumer brands in Australia to restore profitability as competition intensifies for both milk supply and retail sales.

The company’s ANZ division, which produces consumer products and ingredients in Australia and New Zealand and runs the RD1 rural supplies chain, posted a 32 percent decline in normalised earnings before interest and tax in the first half to $98 million. Of that, EBIT from Australian consumer brands fell 31 percent while New Zealand consumer brand earnings were “slightly up.”

“There’s a new reality in Australia,” chief executive Theo Spierings told reporters on a conference call. . .

Northland farmers urged to register for DairyNZ Farmers’ Forum, 5 April:

DairyNZ’s national series of Farmers’ Forum events kicks off in Whangarei on Friday, 5 April.

The event is free to levy-paying farmers and their staff who are urged to register this week for the informative and practical seminars to be held at the ASB Leisure Centre from 9.30-2pm.

Each year the Farmers’ Forum provides a great opportunity for dairy farmers to see how their levy is invested and to learn about dairy industry research and development work.

Every second year the event is held in the regions where forum topics are customised based on locally relevant issues. . .

Once a day milking a hot topic at North Island DairyNZ Farmers’ Forums:

The benefits and costs of milking cows once a day when you’re short on feed will be the focus of one hot science topic scientists will be sharing with dairy farmers at its North Island DairyNZ Farmers’ Forum events during April and May.

DairyNZ kicks off its regional Farmer’s Forum events in Whangarei on 5 April. Two other North Island events are in Hawera on 18 April and Woodville on 28 May.

Extreme weather conditions, such as those we’re experiencing now but also flooding in late winter and early spring can create short and long term feed shortages. DairyNZ scientist Jane Kay said for many years farmers have used once-a-day milking as a means of alleviating nutritional stress on the cow. . .

Farmers, don’t be afraid to discuss: “Who gets the family farm?”

DairyNZ’s Farmers’ Forum event is coming to Hawera on 18 April. One of the most anticipated speakers at the event is Joan Baker, a succession planning expert.

Joan herself comes from a farming family and knows first-hand the intricacies that come with succession. She says it can be quite easy to organise all the money and the legalities surrounding successions, “It’s actually very difficult for people to face up to the need to plan for succession and to think about what they really want and to have the conversations with all of the people they need to have them with to make it happen.”

She acknowledges that the most difficult decisions are the emotional ones: “What’s very hard for people is to do the thinking and the talking that’s required to get them to the point of having a succession plan.” . .

Regrets of the dying

April 1, 2013

A friend has been told his cancer is terminal.

I am in awe of the courage and dignity with which he is facing his illness and death and his determination to live well until he dies.

I thought of him when I came across this on Facebook.

What would you cherish?

It is based on a post by palliative care nurse Bronnie Ware who wrote:

People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality. I learnt never to underestimate someone’s capacity for growth. Some changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, every one of them.

When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. . .

The five above were the most common.


April 1, 2013

Is this the deal of the day?
sta travel

More details here.

No greater upskilling than work

April 1, 2013

Quote of the day:

But for the unemployed, especially the young and unemployed, there is no greater upskilling than being in the paid workforce, being productive, and learning to do a good job.Rodney Hide.

This was part of his second column promoting the idea of auctioning the jobless on TradeMe.

The first column is here.

Accessory to a crime?

April 1, 2013

Yesterday I popped into two New Worlds.

One was in Queenstown which the law permits to open.

The other wasn’t in Queenstown but isn’t far away and the law says it shouldn’t have been open.

Does that make me, and all the other people who took advantage of shops anywhere except Queenstown and Taupo, accessories to the crime of opening a shop on Easter Sunday?

“Failed policies” struck from Labour lexicon

April 1, 2013

The Labour Party has directed its MPs and members to stop referring to the failed policies of the 80s and 90s.

The lack of negative publicity the party attracted from its decision to ditch its 2011 election policy to remove GST from fresh fruit and vegetables has emboldened Labour strategists who are charting a new direction.

“I might have a propensity for overlooking bank accounts, but I can not lead a party which refuses to take pride in its past achievements,” Labour leader David Shearer said.

“I wasn’t in parliament at that time nor during the 1999-2008 when “failed policies’ became part of the Labour lexicon.

“It was stupid then and it’s even more stupid now when it’s obvious that the hard decisions taken were the right ones even though the first ones came from the left.

“Those decisions pulled the country up by its bootstraps so it could stand tall on its own two feet, and the four feet of the cows and sheep to which we owe so much of our export income.

“If it hadn’t been for that we’d be wallowing in the depths of depression with the PIGS.”

Mr Shearer admitted to journalists he faced some resistance from a hard-core within caucus but he was standing firm.

“We’ve had a free and frank discussion and we’re united, on this, or as united as a Labour caucus ever could be,” he said.

The left-outers are a wee bit peeved but the careerists are prepared to put potential jobs before flawed principles and the right, well they’re right behind me.

Failed policies will no longer be part of the Labour lexicon. Instead, we’re getting ready to deliver shiny new lines.”

Mr Shearer said the caucus wasn’t quite ready to go public with those lines yet.

“We’re still chewing a few dead rats and as it’s rude to talk with your mouth full we’ll have to wait until we’ve swallowed them before we’re able to make any further statements,” he said.





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