Word of the day

July 23, 2013

Primogeniture – the state of being the first born or eldest child of the same parents; the right of the eldest child, historically the eldest son, to inherit the entire estate of one or both parents; the right of succession belonging to the first born child, especially the feudal rule by which the whole real estate of an intestate passed to the eldest son.

Rural round-up

July 23, 2013

Synlait Milk jumps 19% in NZX debut after raising $75m:

Business Desk – Synlait Milk jumped 19 percent in its NZX debut after raising $75 million in an initial public offering that was restricted to clients of brokers and institutional investors.

The shares first traded at $2.62 compared with the IPO price of $2.20. They were last at $2.75, valuing the company at $402 million.

Synlait Milk will use the $75 million raised to repay debt and help fund construction of a new lactoferrin extraction and purification facility, an on-site blending and consumer packaging plant, a new dry store, a quality testing laboratory, a butter plant, and a new spray dryer, according to the prospectus. Existing shareholders took advantage of the sale to sell down their own holdings, raising $38.7 million. . .

Strong Chinese Interest in Westland’s New Infant Range:

Westland Milk Products’ launch of its new Westpro NutritionTM range in China on Thursday last week (19 July) was well received with strong interest from customers and Chinese media.

The official launch of Westland’s range of infant nutrition base powders was part of a week-long visit to Shanghai by the company to demonstrate Westland’s commitment to the China market, raise awareness of the Westland Milk Products brand and to promote Westpro Nutrition. . .

International student exchanges opportunity of a lifetime – Pasture to Profit:

International Agricultural Student Exchanges offer an opportunity of a life time experience, few will ever forget. Exchange to another country, another University with a mix of exchangees from many different nations provides endless excitement, friendships & cultural appreciation at an age when you can “suck it all in” big time. I’d like to encourage many more agricultural students to apply for exchanges.

Potential employers look very favourably on any graduate who has taken these opportunities & made the most of them. . .

Entries Open for Next Ballance Farm Environment Awards:

Entries for the 2014 Ballance Farm Environment Awards open on August 1, 2013, and organisers are again expecting strong interest in the popular competition.

Facilitated by the New Zealand Farm Environment Trust (NZFE), the awards promote sustainable land management by showcasing the work of people farming in a way that is environmentally, economically and socially sustainable.

Held in nine regions, the awards are open to all farming and horticultural types. . .

Chair appointed to racing board:

Racing Minister Nathan Guy today announced the appointment of Glenda Hughes as Independent Chairperson of the New Zealand Racing Board’s (NZRB’s) governing body.

Ms Hughes was appointed as Independent Chairperson following consultation with the racing industry.

The racing industry makes an important contribution to the New Zealand economy, generating around $1.6 billion annually and around 17000 jobs. . .

Rotorua to host Maori Forestry Forum:

Registrations are now open for ‘Mai i te ngahere oranga – Māori Forestry Forum’ to be held at Waiariki Institute of Technology in Rotorua on Friday 16 August.

With $2 billion in forestry assets that include land, trees and energy options, Māori are set to become key stakeholders in the future of forestry.

This inaugural Māori Forestry Forum will provide a platform for Māori land and forest owners to discuss their experiences, issues and aspirations for Māori forestry in Aotearoa. . .

Question of the day

July 23, 2013

Bill Ralston Bill Ralston@BillyRalston

Why is @RusselNorman answer to everything to tax us more? Hey, Wellington’s had a quake, quick let’s pay more tax. Odd.

NZ presents new prince with wool

July 23, 2013

New Zealand’s gift to the baby prince is made from fine wool:

Prime Minister John Key today congratulated Their Royal Highnesses, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, on the birth of their first child, a boy.

“This is wonderful news for Prince William and Catherine,” says Mr Key.

“The birth of a child is a time of great joy and excitement, and I know they will make excellent parents.”

Mr Key also extended his congratulations to The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, and The Queen and Prince Phillip, on the arrival of the newest member of the Royal Family.

. . . New Zealand’s official gift to the Royal couple is a hand-spun, hand-knitted fine lace shawl, similar to the one that New Zealand gave when Prince William was born. The intricate shawl has been designed by Margaret Stove, who was also responsible for Prince William’s shawl. Cynthia Read spun the wool and knitted the shawl. . .

Photo of Cynthia Read and shawl, Photo credit Sacha Kahaki.



. . . As well as the shawl, and with the blessing of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, an invitation was sent to knitters around the country to knit baby singlets to give to new parents at local maternity and neonatal units on the couple’s behalf. . .

That’s a lovely way to honour the birth and help babies who will be in greater need of gifts than the new prince.


July 23, 2013

Belgian researchers report the enticing aroma of chocolate inspired bookstore shoppers to stick around longer, and boosted sales of certain genres.

Books and chocolate – two of life’s special pleasures.

Hat tip: Beattie’s Book Blog.

No tunnel doesn’t mean no monorail

July 23, 2013

Nick Smith made the right decision in turning down the application for the Milford Dart tunnel through parts of Fiordland and Aspiring National Parks.

He now faces the equally tough decision over the monorail proposal.

I am in two minds about this project.

It would create opportunities for tourism and stop the overcrowding associated with the number of buses which do the Queenstown-Milford trip in a day.

And one of the men behind the project, Bob Robertson, has a reputation for doing development in a sensitive way with landscape enhancement a priority.

However, there’s a big difference between urban housing projects and this one in a largely undeveloped area.

Those wanting to ‘save Fiordland’ think the tunnel decision will strengthen their case against the monorail.

That isn’t necessarily so.

This is a very different proposal which crosses a conservation area not a National Park and the Minister will have to judge it on its merits.



Educate locals or allow more foreigners

July 23, 2013

Rural Contractors New Zealand president Steve Levet says schools are partly to blame for the shortage of skilled workers in agricultural contracting.

Mr Levet says the education system has always viewed agriculture as being a second rate option for the under-achievers at school.

He says the agricultural sector needs to target the brighter students and promote agriculture and agricultural contracting as a career opportunity.

Mr Levet says students can get qualifications in agricultural contracting which is not only a highly-specialised field requiring great expertise, but opens the door to international travel as well. . . .

Is it fair to blame schools?

It’s possible that they don’t know about the opportunities and if they don’t know then it’s up to the industry, and agriculture in general, to educate them.

A farm advisor who was concerned about the lack of knowledge of career opportunities in agriculture and associated industries provided a learning opportunity for several secondary school principals.

He flew them over the area, pointing out the many businesses below them then introduced them to some of the local agribusiness entrepreneurs.

The agenda included a session from an accountant who gave such good examples of the earning potential in agribusiness that one principal quipped he was in the wrong job.

The issue of the lack of skilled workers was discussed on The Nation. Federated farmers president Bruce Wills said if there’s not enough locals, immigration rules need to allow more foreign workers.

Mr Wills said only 86.5 per cent of the farming work force are New Zealand citizens so a 13.5 per cent gap is needed to be filled by migrants. He would like the Government to make it easier to attract more foreign labourers.

“We can’t run our industry now without significant numbers of immigrant workers so the industry is too important to be hijacked by lack of labour, if we cant get kiwis in these roles we got make it easy to attract and retain good quality immigrant labour,” said Mr Wills.

If kiwis don’t want the work there are plenty of foreigners who do – providing they can get visas.

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