Word of the day

June 24, 2014

Deipnosophist an adept conversationalist at table; one skilled in table talk; a master of dinner-table conversation.


Rural round-up

June 24, 2014

Optimistic over farming sector’s future – Sally Rae:

Federated Farmers national president Bruce Wills stands down next month after three years in the role. He talks to agribusiness reporter Sally Rae about his tenure and his optimism for the agricultural industry’s future.

His desk might have been cleared in Wellington but New Zealand’s farming community can be assured they have not seen the last of Bruce Wills.

After three years at the governance helm of Federated Farmers and a prior three-year tenure as meat and fibre chairman, his involvement, following the organisation’s annual meeting on July 4, will only be as a ”very loyal” member. . .

Why a carbon tax is udderly useless to us – William Rolleston:

The overwhelming scientific consensus is that human activity, including agriculture, plays a significant role in climate change.

Yet the Green Party’s proposal to tax biological emissions is bad policy for climate change and the economy.

Along with every other New Zealander, farmers already pay for their carbon-dioxide emissions in the current Emissions Trading Scheme. The issue, the Greens argue, boils down to biological emissions in the form of methane and nitrous oxide.

Methane is a powerful but short-lived greenhouse gas generated by bacteria in the stomach of farm animals. It lasts around seven years before being converted back to carbon dioxide which is taken up by plants. The methane cycle is complete when animals eat those plants in turn. Methane is measured as kilograms of carbon dioxide based on a 100-year time frame.

This time frame has been chosen by international agreement but any period could have been chosen. . .

Harriet takes on shepherds challenge – Sally Rae:

Harriet Gardner admits she might not be the ”fastest in the world” at it – but she can shear a sheep.

That skill will be crucial when Miss Gardner (20) takes part in the preliminary round of competition at the World Young Shepherds Challenge at Lincoln from July 3-5.

The competition will be held alongside the ANZ Young Farmer Contest grand final events. It will consist of shearing, condition scoring, a quad bike obstacle course, identifying sheep breeds, feet trimming, drenching, counting sheep and demonstrating knowledge ofthe sheep industry. . .

$75m for NZ-Singapore ‘Foods for Health’ projects:

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce today announced that the Government will invest NZ$1.75 million to fund New Zealand-Singapore collaborative research projects on the development of food products with validated health benefits. 

New Zealand’s investment will be matched by Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), bringing the total investment amount to approximately NZ$3.5 million over two years.

“One of the goals of the Business Growth Agenda is to grow exports from 30 per cent to 40 per cent of GDP by 2025. Continuing to develop our innovation in the food science and technology industry will be a key contributor to achieving this,” Mr Joyce says. . . .

A champion for farming :

Fiona Hancox’s father was Colin Richardson, a man who started life as a townie, before eventually owning 12 West Otago farms as well as being extensively involved in farming politics.

Although the son of a tailor, he decided at an early age he wanted to be a farmer.

His first agricultural job was on a property at Crookston, before moving to Gimmerburn to work for the Paterson family and to be a fencing contractor.

Jim Paterson helped him into his first farm – Avalon – at Heriot, when he was 24. . .

Former chair appointed to deer board:

Clive Jermy OMNZ, a well-known red deer stud breeder, has been appointed to the board of Deer Industry New Zealand (DINZ) for a three-year term. He is one of four producer board members, replacing Tim Aitken, Hawkes Bay.

Mr Jermy is a former board chair, standing down in 2007. Before that he was chair of the New Zealand Deer Farmers’ Association.

NZDFA selection and appointments panel chair David Stevens said the panel had interviewed three skilled and talented candidates and the decision process was extremely challenging. The unsuccessful candidates were Tim Aitken, who stood for re-election and Otago-based businessman and deer farmer Grant Cochrane. . .

 


The Land – your dream job

June 24, 2014

NZX-Agri has launched a nationwide campaign to shine the light on career opportunities in the primary sector:

The Land – Your Dream Job campaign was unveiled at the KPMG Agribusiness Leaders Breakfast at National Fieldays.

The campaign is being supported by Rabobank and KPMG research, which reveals a significant gap in the planning of many farming businesses, which could affect the productivity of one of New Zealand’s key primary industries.

“The campaign is a major initiative, which will bring into sharp focus the enormous range of opportunities the primary sector has to offer,” Young Country editor and campaign director Jackie Harrigan said.

“Meeting the challenge of attracting dynamic, entrepreneurial, and talented young people for our sector starts with exciting them with the diversity of career choices on offer, whether they are new to it or already part of it. 

“The sector caters for a wide range of people, from those who like hands-on work to those wanting to do a PhD.”

A campaign website – landyourdreamjob.co.nz – has been set up to provide resources and case studies to attract the brightest to the primary sector, Harrigan said. 

“The timing is absolutely right for this campaign. The Government has a commitment to doubling NZ’s primary sector export value by 2025 and it has recently been estimated this will create 50,000 new jobs, half of which will need a tertiary qualification. 

“We need to ensure young people want those jobs.” . . .

NZX Agri would be announcing a raft of initiatives during the campaign, through its publications, national and social media, and the campaign website, Harrigan said. 

A  Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram presence had been important to get to the target market of young people searching for career options, she said. . .

Industry partners Vocational Pathways, NZ Kiwifruit Growers, Silver Fern Farms, Allflex, and Ospri have joined NZX Agri to get career stories in front of secondary students by sponsoring three copies of Young Country magazine into 500 secondary schools nationwide, starting next month.

“Reaching school libraries, careers advisers, and teachers will mean these resources should be in front of students, showcasing young people already in the industry, and helping them make informed career choices,” editor Jackie Harrigan said.

New Zealand is more urbanised and fewer people live in the country of have links to farms which means many of the opportunities in primary industries aren’t on the radar of young people when they’re thinking about careers.

This is a wonderful initiative to help change that and provide the workforce that will be needed on farms and in the businesses which support and supply them as primary industries grow.

The website is full of interesting information and features young people in a variety of jobs including Alex Harper a marketing assistant and app creator, shepherd Megan Cathro, agricultural analyst Rob Gibson and Sarah Crofoot who’s a policy advisor.


Can Labour see wood for trees?

June 24, 2014

The Green Party can’t see the wood for the trees.

It’s letting itself be blinded by its ideology to oppose the sensible, and environmentally sensitive, recovery of thousands of hectares of native trees felled by Cyclone Ita.

National’s West Coast-Tasman candidate lobbied Conservation Minister Nick Smith to allow the recovery and said:

. . .  that with the downturn in international coal and gold prices, the extra forestry and sawmilling work this decision “would be a welcome filler for jobs and economic activities on the West Coast”.

Sitting MP, Labour’s Damien O’Connor is not quite so enthusiastic:

West Coast-Tasman MP Labour’s Damien O’Connor said he wanted to read the bill before deciding how he would vote, although he thought National would “just” have the numbers to get it through.
He said on the face of it, it seemed logical, and trying to reduce waste from the storm and create opportunities was sensible: “Any opportunities for our region at the moment are welcome.”
However, they had to be mindful not to flood the market, and squeeze out existing operators. . .

Perhaps his caution is prompted by not being sure whether his party will back him if he supports the recovery.

It was Labour which stopped logging on the Coast and it’s in a difficult position.

It’s caught between knowing it should support something which will provide jobs even if it means supporting a government initiative, and not wanting to buy another disagreement with the party it’s most likely to need as a coalition partner if it’s too have any chance of forming a government this year.

That would mean it too take the short-sighted focus on the trees which nature felled of the wider view of the woods which could provide much-needed work for Coasters?


No place for the faithful?

June 24, 2014

Labour’s rules state it should have 65 list candidates but it has ranked only 64.

Five sitting MPs have opted not to be on the list and so have at least three candidates who are trying very hard to win an electorate.

There is something in that for them – they will be able to say to voters the electorate vote is the only way they can stay in, or enter, parliament.

But there is also danger in that for Labour.

It’s the party vote that counts and these people will have divided loyalties between campaigning for their own jobs and for the wider good of the party.

That they jumped suggests they knew they wouldn’t get good list places anyway – though if they’re confident of winning electorates that might dent their egos but do no other harm.

Whether they jumped before or after list ranking deliberations doesn’t matter, it’s another sign of internal ructions in the party.

Given that, what puzzles me is why several candidates who are standing in seats they can’t possibly win weren’t included in the party list at all?

Kiwiblog shows 14 candidates unranked.

It’s a thankless task campaigning in an unwinnable seat even if you console yourself that there could be party votes for the picking.

Why then wouldn’t the party dignify them with list placings instead of showing that it appears to have no place for these faithful foot-soldiers and their small teams of volunteers?


Shot sheep shock

June 24, 2014

The shooting of around 200 sheep on a Ngapara farm has shocked the community.

Peter Stackhouse’s farm is in out-of-the-way Ngapara, about 25 kilometres inland from Oamaru, and the offenders left no clues as to their identities or motives.

Mr Stackhouse discovered a paddock on his 240ha farm looking like a battlefield on Saturday morning, littered with dead and bloodied sheep.

“I initially thought we must have had dogs in overnight. And then I looked at a few and I thought that it’s odd that their legs aren’t ripped apart or something,” he says.

He wanted a second opinion, with his vet confirming the head and leg injuries were all from bullet wounds.

But many of animals still had to be euthanised.

“[The vet] and I spent probably two to three hours walking around cutting the throats of lots of them, because they weren’t dead. They were lying on their sides kicking, or some were walking around in a dazed state,” says Mr Stackhouse.

The first paddock targeted by the offenders is more than 1 kilometre from the nearest road. Police can’t find any evidence of wheel tracks, and it’s believed the shooters had to have walked in to access the area.

The stock loss will cost the small farm around $30,000. . .

The family has been farming around Ngapara for decades and are community stalwarts.

That is a big loss for them but and it’s made worse when it’s combined with cruelty to animals and the knowledge that at least one person with a firearm is at large with evil intent in the area.

That police found no tyre tracks, footprints or cartridges deepens the mystery and the concern.


June 24 in history

June 24, 2014

972 Battle of Cedynia, the first documented victory of Polish forces.

1128  Battle of São Mamede, near Guimarães:Portuguese forces led by Alfonso I defeated his mother D. Teresa and D. Fernão Peres de Trava.

1314  First War of Scottish Independence: The Battle of Bannockburn concluded with a decisive victory of the Scottish forces led by Robert the Bruce, though England did not recognise Scottish independence until 1328 with the signing of the Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton.

1340  Hundred Years’ War: Battle of Sluys: The French fleet was almost destroyed by the English Fleet commanded in person by Edward III of England.

1374  A sudden outbreak of St. John’s Dance caused people in the streets of Aachen, Germany, to experience hallucinations and began to jump and twitch uncontrollably until they collapsed from exhaustion.

1441  King Henry VI founded Eton College.

1497  John Cabot landed in North America at Newfoundland; the first European exploration of the region since the Vikings.

1497  Cornish rebels Michael An Gof and Thomas Flamank were executed at Tyburn, London.

1509  Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon were crowned King and Queen of England.

1535  The Anabaptist state of Münster was conquered and disbanded.

1542  St. John of the Cross, Spanish Carmelite mystic and poet, was born (d. 1591).

1571  Miguel Lopez de Legazpi founded Manila, the capital of the Republic of the Philippines.

1597  The first Dutch voyage to the East Indies reached Bantam (on Java).

1604  Samuel de Champlain discovered the mouth of the Saint John River, site of Reversing Falls and the present day city of Saint John, New Brunswick.

1662  The Dutch attempted but failed to capture Macau.

1664  The colony of New Jersey was founded.

1692 Kingston, Jamaica was founded.

1717  The Premier Grand Lodge of England, the first Masonic Grand Lodge in the world (now the United Grand Lodge of England), was founded in London.

1748  John Wesley and his brother Charles Wesley opened the Kingswood School in Bristol.

1793 The first republican constitution in France was adopted.

1794 Bowdoin College was founded.

1812 Napoleonic Wars: Napoleon’s Grande Armée crossed the Neman River beginning his invasion of Russia.

1813 Henry Ward Beecher, American clergyman and reformer, was born  (d. 1887).

1813  Battle of Beaver Dams : A British and Indian combined force defeat the U.S Army.

1821  The Battle of Carabobo took place – the decisive battle in the war of independence of Venezuela from Spain.

1859  Battle of Solferino: (Battle of the Three Sovereigns). Sardinia and France defeat Austria in Solferino, northern Italy.

1866  Battle of Custoza: an Austrian army defeats the Italian army during the Austro-Prussian War.

1880  First performance of O Canada, the song that became the national anthem of Canada, at the Congrès national des Canadiens-Français.

1893 Roy O. Disney, a founder of the Walt Disney Company, was born  (d. 1971).

1894  Marie Francois Sadi Carnot was assassinated by Sante Geronimo Caserio.

1901  First exhibition of Pablo Picasso‘s work opened.

1902 King Edward VII developed  appendicitis, delaying his coronation.

1905 NZ Truth was launched.

New Zealand Truth hits the newstands

1916  Mary Pickford became the first female film star to get a million dollar contract.

1916  World War I: The Battle of the Somme began with a week long artillery bombardment on the German Line.

1918  First airmail service in Canada from Montreal to Toronto.

1922  The American Professional Football Association formally changed its name to the National Football League.

1928  With declining business, the International Railway (New York – Ontario) began using one-person crews on trolley operations in Canada.

1932  A bloodless Revolution instigated by the People’s Party ended the absolute power of King Prajadhipok of Siam (Thailand).

1938  Pieces of a meteor, estimated to have weighed 450 metric tons when it hit the Earth’s atmosphere and exploded, land near Chicora, Pennsylvania.

1939  Siam was renamed to Thailand by Plaek Pibulsonggram, the third Prime Minister.

1944 Jeff Beck, English musician (The Yardbirds).

1945  The Moscow Victory Parade took place.

1947  Mick Fleetwood, English musician (Fleetwood Mac), was born.

1947  Kenneth Arnold made the first widely reported UFO sighting near Mount Rainier, Washington.

1947 – Patrick Moraz, Swiss keyboard player (Yes) was born.

1948  Start of the Berlin Blockade. The Soviet Union makes overland travel between the West with West Berlin impossible.

1949 John Illsley, English bassist (Dire Straits) was born.

1949  The first Television Western, Hopalong Cassidy, was aired on NBC starring William Boyd.

1957  In Roth v. United States, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that obscenity was not protected by the First Amendment .

1961 Curt Smith, English musician and songwriter (Tears for Fears), was born.

1963  The United Kingdom granted Zanzibar internal self-government.

1975  An Eastern Air Lines Boeing 727 crashed at John F. Kennedy Airport, New York. 113 people died.

1981  The Humber Bridge was opened to traffic, connecting Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

1982  British Airways Flight 9, sometimes referred to as “the Jakarta incident”, flew into a cloud of volcanic ash thrown up by the eruption of Mount Galunggung, resulting in the failure of all four engines.

1985  STS-51-G Space Shuttle Discovery completed its mission.

1993  Yale computer science professor Dr. David Gelernter lost the sight in one eye, the hearing in one ear, and part of his right hand after receiving a mailbomb from the Unabomber.

1994  A United States Air Force B-52 aircraft crashed at Fairchild Air Force Base, killing all four members of its crew.

2002  The Igandu train disaster in Tanzania killed 281, the worst train accident in African history.

2004  In New York state, capital punishment was declared unconstitutional.

2007  The Angora Fire started near South Lake Tahoe, California destroying 200+ structures in its first 48 hours.

2010 – John Isner of the United States defeated Nicolas Mahut of France at Wimbledon, in the longest match in professional tennis history.

2012 – The last known individual of Chelonoidis nigra abingdonii, a subspecies of the Galápagos tortoise, died, making the species extinct.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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