The eagle has landed

January 20, 2014


Word of the day

January 20, 2014

Komorebi (Japanese) – the scene produced by interplay of sunlight and trees; sunlight that filters through the leaves of trees.


Rural round-up

January 20, 2014

EU economist predicts fall in meat consumption – Carmen Paun:

Meat consumption will never reach previous levels, Tassos Haniotis, director of economic analysis at the European Commission’s directorate general for agriculture said on Tuesday. . .

Taking a shot at NZ farming’s next seven years – Pita Alexander:

Can we really forecast accurately what might happen with agriculture over the next, say, seven years and what the key issues may be for New Zealanders?

The answer is no, but in honour of Nostradamus and other great crystal bowl devotees let’s take a shot at what lies ahead.

Over the next two columns I will lay out 26 points for farmers and others to mull over. Who knows, 70 per cent of them might come to pass in some shape or other.

1 – There will be more volatility in the next seven years than there has been in the past seven on all fronts. You must include this, and cope with this, in your business plans.

2 – The importance of Fonterra for New Zealand will increase – it is important now but expect a further increase. . .

 

Farm cropping for the love of it – Jacquie Webby:

Nigel Wilson has been a cropping farmer pretty much “since he can remember” and for this South Canterbury farmer, it’s a full-on occupation with a serious array of equipment to help keep the wheels of his farming operation turning.

“I knew I didn’t want to be a dairy farmer and my parents had run a cropping operation, so here I am,” he says.

One of Nigel Wilson’s most productive (and picturesque) crops is white clover and he has about 100 hectares which is in full flower.

“White clover is grown for export to the United Kingdom,” says Nigel. . .

International Year of Family Farming in 2014:

A United Nations organisation is running the International Year of Family Farming in 2014 with the aim of raising the profile of family farmers and smallholders in developing and developed nations.

The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation is running the International Year of Family Farming in 2014 with the aim of raising the profile of family farmers and smallholders in developing and developed nations.

One of the New Zealand ambassadors for the year is Lake Grassmere sheep and beef farmer Doug Avery who says family farms are incredibly important as they provide people with what they need to exist – food.

He says worldwide families are responsible for most of the world’s food production which gives meaning to the slogan ‘every family needs a farmer’. . .

Dairy farmers from across the nation oppose supply management – The Bullvine:

Dairy producer groups from around the country have teamed up to urge Farm Bill conferees to oppose Supply Management. Dairy Farmers do not want a dairy Supply Management proposal known as the Dairy Market Stabilization Program (DMSP). A letter has been signed by following dairy farmer associations; The Wisconsin Dairy Business Association (DBA), California Dairies Inc. (CDI), National All Jersey, the Dairy Business Milk Marketing Cooperative (DBMMC), the Dairy Policy Action Coalition (DPAC), the Northeast Dairy Producers Association (NEDPA), and the Kentucky Dairy Development Council.
The letter urges conferees to follow the lead of the House of Representatives, which rejected this controversial new dairy program to impose milk quotas on dairy farmers by a more than two to one margin — 291-135– and replaced it with language that allows farmers to participate in a margin insurance program without being required to participate in the DMSP. “It simply is not factual when Representative Peterson states that all dairy farmers want the government to control the milk they produce on their farms through the (DMSP). Many dairy farmers from all over the country are aligned and opposed to Supply Management,” said Laurie Fischer, Executive Director of the Dairy Business Association. . .

A young dairy farmer with a passion for cows and education – Art 4 Agriculture:

I love educating the youth in the dairy industry and the youth about the dairy industry.

Let me introduce myself, I’m a dairy farmer with a passion for education.

Yes, that’s right, I milk cows on my family farm, 10 minutes from the beach on the mid-north coast of NSW, and I’m about to commence my career as a teacher.

My name is Emma Polson, I’m 24 years-old and I love being a farmer. . .


Time for @FarmersOfNZ?

January 20, 2014

A Twitter initiative to give the public information about the day to day reality of farming in Canada  has sparked similar initiatives in the UK and Australia:

. . . The @FarmersOfTheUK series will see a different farmer every week sharing their life through tweets, pictures and videos.

“I created it because UK farming plc doesn’t do enough to shout about how great it is, so the idea was to let consumers and the public know the diverse nature of farming enterprises and the realities of food production,” said rural business adviser Simon Haley.

Mr Haley hopes the idea, based on a similar one in Canada, will generate a “feel-good factor” around farming. . .

There’s also one for Australian farmers.

Is it time for New Zealand farmers to launch @FarmersOfNZ to show the challenges and variety of day to day farming here?


Will women lose in culture clash?

January 20, 2014

Speaker David Carter wants to modernise parliamentary protocols.

The move was prompted by a cultural clash over women’s place and Maori custom and initial reaction suggests women are going to lose.

It follows an incident during a powhiri last year where two senior female MPs were made to move from the front row of seats, reserved for speakers.

Chairman of the oldest local Maori authority, the Wellington Tenths Trust, Morrie Love, says there is no shift in society that warrants change at this stage.

He says by accepting the form of the powhiri, the area for that time is deemed a marae, and protocol needs to be genuine and authentic to marae tikanga.

One could ask where Mr Love has been if he doesn’t think there’s a shift in society at warrants change.

However, goNZo Freakpower has an explanation for the continuation of women being seated at the back:

. . . I’m not convinced by the justifications of protecting women from taniwhas and bad atua for hui seating arrangements. My theory is that it’s a face-saving gesture to the old male kaumatua. Men go deaf more readily than women, and the old geezers sit in the front seats to better grasp what’s going on. The sharper eared wahine can hear just fine from further back. . .

That might not help women be treated as equals but it is a better explanation for the practice than any others I’ve come across.


A better boarding pass

January 20, 2014

Boarding passes – unless you haven’t got luggage to check in you have to have one, but they’re not very convenient.

They’re too big to fit neatly in a pocket or most handbags without bending and the information you need – departure time, gate number and seat are never easy to find.

But a better boarding pass might be in sight.

Peter Smart has been rethinking the design and come up with something much better than what we have now:

Among his improvements are:

Format

Wherever you keep your boarding pass, you’ll have taken it out and put it away multiple times before the gate. Traditional passes tend to get stuck and bend because they’re too long for your passport.

What if your boarding pass naturally folded to the size of your passport? No more bends or breaks. Just simple reuse of the existing perforation.

What you need. At a glance.

Rather than having to take out your entire boarding pass when trying to remember your flight number, what if key information was just a glance away? This is helpful when trying to distinguish between multiple boarding passes too.

Same size. New orientation.

Your boarding pass uses the same, standard dimensions of an old boarding pass. No new printers or cards – just a portrait orientation to reduce line length of information and make it easier to find and read.

A helpful hierarchy.

What if information was laid out logically in chronological order? A simple grid makes information easy to read and quick to act on. . .

 

If you follow the link you’ll see more improvements and pictures which show how simple but sensible the improvements are.


NZer of Year finalists

January 20, 2014

The finalists for New Zealander of the Year are:

. . . Kaitaia GP Dr Lance O’Sullivan, the founder of the CatWalk Spinal Cord Injury Trust Catriona Williams from Masterton.

And Maori educator Dame Dr Iritana Tawhiwhirangi from Wellington.

Chief Judge, Cameron Bennett says these people follow a fine tradition of great New Zealanders whoâ ve forever changed our country for the better. . .

They were chosen from a list of 10 semi-finalists.


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