Word of the day

May 20, 2013

Feminacy – effeminate; soft; womanly; feminine nature.

Rural roundup

May 20, 2013

Communication key in success of group – Sally Rae:

The importance of communication has been stressed by those involved with Mitchell and Webster Group – the supreme winner of this year’s Otago Ballance farm environment awards.

The intensive cropping operation and wholesale business producing bird and small animal feed is based on the Mitchell family’s historic Rosedale farm at Weston and covers 1375ha of arable land in North Otago.

A large crowd attended a field day hosted last week by Peter Mitchell and Jock and Nick Webster and their families. . .

Exceptional Family-Run Business Scoops Supreme Award In Otago Ballance Farm Environment Awards:

An extraordinary cropping and wholesale business run by two families has won the Supreme Award in the 2013 Otago Ballance Farm Environment Awards.

Jock Webster, Nick Webster and Peter Mitchell of the Mitchell Webster Group received the special award at a Ballance Farm Environment Awards (BFEA) ceremony in Wanaka on April 12, 2013.

Producing bird and animal feed, their intensive cropping business spans 1380ha of arable land in North Otago and is based from the Mitchell family’s historic ‘Rosedale’ farm at Weston.

The Mitchell and Webster families joined forces in 1972, creating, said BFEA judges, “an extraordinary and inspirational family business that has withstood the test of time”. . .

Scale, diversity of Asian markets noticed – Sally Rae:

An industry-backed trip to Asia has given Blair and Jane Smith a deeper understanding of the challenges facing marketers of New Zealand meat and dairy products.

Mr and Mrs Smith, from Five Forks and the national winners of the 2012 Ballance farm environment awards, recently returned from South Korea, China, Taiwan and Singapore.

They visited various markets for New Zealand sheep, beef and dairy products, with the aim of learning more about offshore markets, exchanging views on topics of interest to New Zealand farmers and of highlighting New Zealand’s stance on agricultural sustainability. . .

Ace shearer special guest – Sally Rae:

Top shearer David Fagan will be the special guest at the Royal Agricultural Society of New Zealand’s national Golden Fleece competition in Mosgiel this week.

The Otago-Taieri A&P Society is hosting the event, which is open to both fine- and strong-wool growers throughout New Zealand.

The competition has been held for more than 40 years and has moved around the country, although it had predominantly been hosted in the South Island as that was where most of the entries came from, RAS executive member Kelly Allison said. . .

Slow and steady wins farm race – Annette Lambly:

A simple but effective stocking policy has earned Paparoa farmers Janine and Ken Hames recognition in this year’s Ballance Farm Environment Awards.

The couple, who own Ewenny Farms, a 351ha (256ha effective) beef-only farm on Paparoa-Oakleigh Rd, achieve meat production of 277kg CW/ha (three-year average).

This is well above average for this class of land (Waiotira clay loam) in Northland and is accomplished with all-grass feeding, with no hay or silage.

Janine, a veterinarian, has a comprehensive animal health plan for the cattle, and does regular drench checks and faecal egg counts. . .

Tradeable slaughter rights useful but may not be the answer – Allan Barber:

The Tradable Slaughter Rights concept, raised by me several weeks ago and promoted last week by Mike Petersen, was first proposed by Pappas, Carter, Evans and Koop in 1985. But its purpose was specifically to solve the problem of an industry that consisted of a lot of weak competitors with little innovation or variation in killing charges. The report identified excess costs between farmgate and shipside of $100 million or 8%.

Although the meat companies are not exactly making huge profits or enjoying strong balance sheets, it would be entirely false to accuse them of lack of innovation and high operating cost structures. What is still relevant is the issue of excess capacity, but the end result today is not too much cost, but too much procurement competition. . .

Unequally wealthy better than equally poor

May 20, 2013

Inequality has become  another of the left’s causes de jour.

The easiest way to close the gap between rich and poor is to make the rich poorer.

That wouldn’t help anyone because it’s not who has how much that matters, but whether everyone has enough.

Determining how much is enough, whose responsibility it is to ensure everyone has it, how they get it and who pays for it raise questions for which there are no simple answers.

But it would help if we ruled out those which have been proved not to work, among which are attempts to get economic equality which result in everyone getting poorer.

A society which is unequally wealthy might not be perfect but it’s still a long way better than one in which everyone is equally poor and miserable.
@[188355460514:274:Capitalism] is Freedom.

Hat tip for picture to Capitalism.


May 20, 2013

6/9 in NBR’s Biz Quiz.

Whose breasts are they?

May 20, 2013

Angelina Jolie went public last week on her decision to have a radical mastectomy because she had a high risk of breast cancer.

She carries the BRCA1, gene which her doctors said gave her an 87% chance of getting breast cancer and a 50% chance of getting ovarian cancer.

Her mother died of breast cancer which gives her a very real understanding of what that risk could mean.

But John Roughan thinks that the genetic risk poses a dilemma:

Isn’t it a little disturbing that genetic science has caused Angelina Jolie to remove a perfectly fine pair of breasts? A “faulty gene” gave her good reason to watch them carefully, but preventive surgery?

Now that science has mapped the human genome, is this the future? . . .

As knowledge increases so do our choices, not all of which are simple.

I wonder if the geneticists who gave Angelina Jolie an 87 per cent risk of developing breast cancer also told her that “developing breast cancer” does not necessarily mean you will die of it. . . 

. . . breast screening has produced many more cases for treatment than ever proved fatal. Research suggests one case in three would have died without treatment. Some put the ratio nearer to 1 in 15.

One in three is a pretty high ratio and it’s not just that people die. A cancer diagnosis is traumatic for the patients, their families and friends. Even if it’s not fatal the treatment isn’t pleasant and it’s expensive.

Possibly hereditary cancers have a higher fatal rate but I would have thought it useful to weigh those odds against the genetic risk before deciding on drastic surgery. . .

Does he really thank any woman and her doctors wouldn’t weigh the odds before making such a decision?

. . . Angelina Jolie saw her mother die at age 56 after 10 years of treatment for breast cancer. Now, she writes, “I can tell my children they don’t need to fear they will lose me.”

That is one less fear for them but her article did not mention whether they also carry the gene mutation. How sad if a girl or boy should come to maturity regarding an organ of their developing sexuality as a death sentence unless they get rid of it. Sad and unnecessary.

Sad yes, unnecessary no.

Medical science has provided a tool which enables doctors and their patients to make informed decisions on risk and equally informed decisions about what they do about it.

Jolie went public about the decision in the hope other women could benefit from her experience.

Her fame has ensured the story has been widespread. It has given people knowledge. What they do with it is up to them, although not all of them will have access to private services which, I presume., Jolie did.

They’re their breasts, their bodies.

Medical science has given them more knowledge and enabled better informed choices.

That doesn’t come without risks but what does?

That is the future.


May 20, 2013

“I never know what to put on forms which ask for my occupation so I’ve started putting various,” she said. “It’s true and it makes me feel enigmatic.”

“But I’m going to have to come up with something a little more concrete for customs and immigration, they don’t appreciate mystery.”

What are they for?

May 20, 2013

If only the Green Party put as much energy into developing policy that would help New Zealand as they do into publicity opportunities for themselves.

It is another example of their opposition to initiatives which could create jobs.

It’s easy to work out what they’re against. They’ve yet to provide convincing alternatives which show they’re for something that will make a positive difference to the country and it’s people.

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