Word of the day

January 18, 2014

Samizdat -the clandestine copying and distribution of literature banned by the state, especially formerly in the communist countries of eastern Europe; periodical, literature or other work produced by this system; an underground press.

Hat tip: Andrei.


Rural round-up

January 18, 2014

Meat Options Paper Seeks Farmer Opinions – Allan Barber:

Federated Farmers’ Meat Options discussion paper, written by Sarah Crofoot, does an extremely good job of laying out the alternative market orientations companies can adopt. It presents three different focus options from which farmers are asked to select their set of preferences.

It should be noted up front that the discussion paper is aimed at Federated Farmers’ farmer members and its key purpose is to engage those farmers in thinking about what they want their industry to look like in 5,10 or 20 years from now. The final output will not be binding on anybody, but it will provide a more comprehensive summary of farmer opinion than the feedback from the series of Meat industry Excellence meetings.

The paper starts with a late 1980s definition of the industry’s unique characteristics quoting Anita Busby, Editor of Meat Producer at the time:

“Meat industry people don’t need to take advice or listen to new ideas. They already have the answers. They strangle new thoughts at conception. If that fails, they discredit the source. If you haven’t been in the meat industry for years, you don’t know what you are talking about. If you have, you’re washed up…”

Sarah Crofoot with the confidence of youth has nevertheless taken the bold step of producing a set of ideas which merit serious consideration. It is now 30 years since subsidies were removed, even longer since the deregulation of the meat industry, and despite many positive developments, the industry still has fundamental structural problems. . .

More than 4000 sheep perish on live export:

More than 4000 Australian sheep have died from heat exhaustion after 21 days on board a live export ship bound for Qatar from Fremantle.

Exporter Livestock Shipping Service said 4179 sheep perished in August aboard their Bader III vessel – the same ship that was loaded with animals last weekend in Perth despite searing 44-degree heat.

LSS are a Jordanian-owned company based in Perth and are already under investigation by Australian Federal Authorities for two breaches of live export regulations in Jordan and Gaza. . .

No downtime for shearing gangs – Jill Galloway:

When it has been too wet for shearing in one area, sheep have been dry enough in another so shearing has cracked on.

Shearers and contractors say they are not behind, in spite of the recent moist weather. “The boys have not had a day off,” said Feilding-based contractor Erin Bailey.

“They had a few days off over New Year, but they have been working since,” she said.

She and her husband Scott run two shearing gangs from their Feilding base, but shear a lot around Marton and Apiti, she said. . .

Taranaki Trust leads dairy research – Sue O’Dowd:

The Taranaki Agricultural Research Trust provides two platforms for cutting-edge research beneficial to the dairy industry.

The trust leases a 126ha (111ha effective) research farm across the road from Fonterra’s Whareroa site near Hawera and owns the 350 cows milked there. DairyNZ manages the Westpac Taranaki Agricultural Research Station (WTARS) under contract to the trust.

The station, established at Normanby in 1974, has done research into areas as diverse as grass grub, nitrogen and phosphate use, once-a- day-milking and feed conversion efficiency.

It had made a significant contribution to New Zealand farming over the last 40 years, said trust chairman Brendan Attrill. . .

Neil’s pinot empire expands – James Beech:

Actor Sam Neill says his winery’s fourth vineyard acquisition demonstrates ”faith and confidence” in Central Otago and its pinot noir for the global market.

Two Paddocks announced this week it had become the only Central Otago winery with a foothold in all three Central Otago wine-producing sub-regions, owning vineyards in Gibbston, the Alexandra basin and now the Cromwell basin.

Neill said a sum of money which was ”considerable, but both vendors and purchasers think it fair” had bought the established 6ha Desert Heart Vineyard, plus woolshed and house, at the end of Felton Rd, Bannockburn, last week. . .

Don’t let Fonterra’s lawyers run off with the fresh cream – Willy Leferink:

They say bad things come in threes.  We’ve had the news Fonterra is going to “vigorously defend any proceedings” taken by Danone against it for US$400 million.  In recent days, Fonterra Brands has voluntarily recalled 330ml and 500ml bottles of fresh cream sold under the Anchor and Pams brands in the upper North Island. 

As a farmer you wonder, what’s next?

First of all Fonterra is doing things by the book in voluntarily recalling affected bottles of fresh cream stamped “best before 21 January”.  Visit foodsmart.govt.nz and you’ll quickly learn that food product recalls happen irrespective of who’s in government.  In 2008, there were 19 recalls versus the 14 last year and they have involved everything from hash browns to fish fillets to soy milk powder.

While the timing of this is far from ideal given last year’s events, this voluntary recall came from Fonterra’s own testing.  It shows consumers that a company owned by thousands of Kiwi farmers puts food safety first.  When consumers take a Fonterra product off the shelf, they deserve to know someone back at Fonterra is testing it. . .


Which classical character are you?

January 18, 2014

The OxfordWords Blog has an interactive quiz which determines which classical character you are.

I’m Penelope.

You are Penelope. Loyal and patient you tend to avoid conflict. Everyone admires your restraint and elegance but sometimes you can be a bit of a doormat – but you never give up on someone you believe in.

Hat tip: Not PC.


Hayes retiring

January 18, 2014

Wairarapa MP John Hayes has announced he will retire at this year’s election.

Mr Hayes, 65, was first elected MP for Wairarapa in 2005. That followed a career as an agricultural economist and then as a diplomat, including a stint as New Zealand’s ambassador to Iran and Pakistan.

Before becoming an MP, he was best known for his part in the Bougainville peace process. He was made an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in recognition of that work.

He served as private secretary under former Labour trade minister Mike Moore and is currently parliamentary private secretary and chairman of the foreign affairs, defence and trade select committee.

Alastair Scott announced some months ago that he would be contesting the selection for the seat.

Others who might have been constrained by loyalty to a sitting MP might seek selection now they know he is retiring.

This is the 10th National MP to announce retirement at or before the election which is very healthy for the party and caucus and a stark contrast to the stale line-up in Labour which has had only one MP announce his intention to retire.


OIO approves two Nth Otago dairy farm sales

January 18, 2014

The Overseas Investment Office has given approval for the sale of two North Otago dairy farms.

Large-scale farming business Craigmore Farming has received Overseas Investment Office approval to buy two large dairy farms in North Otago.

Both in the Waiareka Valley, inland from Oamaru, the properties are the 403ha Waiareka Farm, previously owned by North Otago Farm Ltd, and the 428ha Windsor Farm, previously owned by Windsor Dairies Ltd. OIO approval was required because of some overseas ownership. The purchase prices were confidential.

When approached for comment, Craigmore Farming chief executive Mark Cox said the company was ”very excited” about the acquisitions. . .

Neighbours I’ve spoken to about this are excited too.

The farms need investment and Craigmore is prepared to undertake it, providing work for local businesses in the processes and more jobs on-farm when it’s done.

It had an extensive development programme in place, including building another dairy shed, upgrading the existing irrigation infrastructure and native planting to assist with nutrient management.

The development programme would result in additional jobs and ”crucial” investment during both the development phase and over the longer term, as a result of increased production, Mr Cox said.

The company had agreed with the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail to provide access across the properties for an extension to the public cycleway.

Locals have been very concerned about the danger of cyclists on narrow, unsealed roads in this area.

Taking the cycleway through the farms will provide a much more pleasant ride for  cyclists and remove a hazard from the roads.

. . . Among its interests, Craigmore Farming is a co-owner of Blue River Dairy in Southland, which produces sheep milk and processes it into cheeses and milk powder, and also owns a dairy farm at Ngapara in North Otago.

The company was proud of its track record in developing and managing farmland and its ability to bring together a mix of practical, strategic and analytical farming expertise, Mr Cox said.

”North Otago is a great farming region and we’re very happy to be there for the long term,” he said.

One of the key principles underpinning Craigmore Farming’s operations was its belief that the best farmer was the owner-operator/family farmer.

It saw a need to reward high-performing managers and offered equity partnerships for ”top-quality” managers, he said. . .

There hasn’t been any fuss about these sales that some sales requiring OIO attract.

That could be because Cox and the company’s co-founder and chief investment officer, Forbes Elworthy, are New Zealanders.

 

But their nationality isn’t nearly as important as what they will be doing with their investment.

The new owners will be bringing in foreign investment and with it will add value to the farms, create jobs and provide opportunities for advancement for their staff.

They’ve had to establish to the OIO’s satisfaction that the investment will bring wider benefit to New Zealand and we are already seeing that in our district.


Saturday soapbox

January 18, 2014

Saturday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, to muse or amuse.

Showing my age................ :)


January 18 in history

January 18, 2014

532 – Nika riots in Constantinople failed.

1126 – Emperor Huizong abdicated the Chinese throne in favour of his son Emperor Qinzong.

1486 – King Henry VII of England married Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV.

1520 – King Christian II of Denmark and Norway defeated the Swedes at Lake Åsunden.

1535  Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro founded Lima, the capital of Peru.

1591 King Naresuan of Siam killed Crown Prince Minchit Sra of Burma in single combat,  this date is now observed marked as Royal Thai Armed Forces day.

1670  Henry Morgan captured Panama.

1778 James Cook was the first known European to discover the Hawaiian Islands, which he named the “Sandwich Islands“.

1779 Peter Mark Roget, British lexicographer, was born  (d. 1869).

1788 The first elements of the First Fleet carrying 736 convicts from England to Australa arrived at Botany Bay.

1813 Joseph Glidden, American farmer who patented barbed wire, was born (d. 1906).

1849  Sir Edmund Barton, 1st Prime Minister of Australia, was born (d. 1920).

1854 Thomas Watson, American telephone pioneer, was born (d. 1934).

1871 – Wilhelm I of Germany was proclaimed the first German Emperor in the ‘Hall of Mirrors’ of the Palace of Versailles.

1882 A. A. Milne, English author, was born (d. 1956).

1884 Dr. William Price attempted to cremate the body of his infant son, Jesus Christ Price, setting a legal precedent for cremation in the United Kingdom.

1886 –  Modern field hockey was born with the formation of The Hockey Association in England.

1889 Thomas Sopwith, British aviation pioneer, was born  (d. 1989).
1892  Oliver Hardy, American comedian and actor, was born (d. 1957).
1896 The X-ray machine was exhibited for the first time.

1903  President Theodore Roosevelt sent a radio message to King Edward VII: the first transatlantic radio transmission originating in the United States.

1904 Cary Grant, English actor, was born (d. 1986).

1911 Eugene B. Ely landed on the deck of the USS Pennsylvania stationed in San Francisco harbor, the first time an aircraft landed on a ship.

1913  Danny Kaye, American actor, was born (d. 1987).

1916  A 611 gram chondrite type meteorite struck a house near the village of Baxter in Stone County, Missouri.

1919  The Paris Peace Conference opened in Versailles.

1919  Ignacy Jan Paderewski became Prime Minister of the newly independent Poland.

1919 Bentley Motors Limited was founded.

1933 Ray Dolby, American inventor (Dolby noise reduction system), was born .

1943  Warsaw Ghetto Uprising: The first uprising of Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto.

1944 Paul Keating, 24th Prime Minister of Australia, was born.

1944 The Metropolitan Opera House in New York City hosted a jazz concert for the first time. The performers were Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Artie Shaw, Roy Eldridge and Jack Teagarden.

1944 – Soviet forces liberated Leningrad, effectively ending a three year Nazi siege, known as the Siege of Leningrad.

1945 Liberation of the Budapest ghetto by the Red Army.

1954  Tom Bailey, English musician (Thompson Twins), was born.

1955  Battle of Yijiangshan.

1958 – Willie O’Ree, the first African Canadian National Hockey League player, made his NHL debut.

1969  United Airlines Flight 266 crashed into Santa Monica Bay resulting in the loss of all 32 passengers and six crew members.

1974 A Disengagement of Forces agreement was signed between the Israei and Egyptian governments, ending conflict on the Egyptian front of the Yom Kippur War.

1977  Scientists identified a previously unknown bacterium as the cause of the mysterious Legionnaires’ disease.

1977 – Australia’s worst rail disaster at Granville, Sydney killed 83.

1978  The European Court of Human Rights found the United Kingdom government guilty of mistreating prisoners in Northern Ireland, but not guilty of torture.

1980 Upper Hutt’s Jon Stevens made it back-to-back No.1 singles when ‘Montego Bay’ bumped ‘Jezebel’ from the top of the New Zealand charts.

'Montego Bay' hits number one
1994 The Cando event, a possible bolide impact in Cando, Spain. Witnesses claimed to have seen a fireball in the sky lasting for almost one minute.
1997  Boerge Ousland of Norway becomes the first person to cross Antarctica alone and unaided.

1998 Lewinsky scandal: Matt Drudge broke the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky affair story on his website The Drudge Report.

2000 The Tagish Lake meteorite hit the Earth.

2002 Sierra Leone Civil War declared over.

2003 A bushfire killed 4 people and destroyed more than 500 homes in Canberra.

2005 The Airbus A380,, the world’s largest commercial jet, was unveiled at a ceremony in Toulouse.

2007 The strongest storm in the United Kingdom in 17 years killed 14 people, Germany’s worst storm since 1999 with 13 deaths. Hurricane Kyrill, caused at least 44 deaths across 20 countries in Western Europe. Other losses included the Container Ship MSC Napoli destroyed by the storm off the coast of Devon.

2009 – Gaza War: Hamas announced they will accept Israeli Defense Forces’s offer of a ceasefire.

2012 – A series of coordinated actions (including a blackout of Wikipedia) take place in protest against SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act).).

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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