Has Australia leapfrogged New Zealand in China? Keith Woodford:
The big agribusiness news this week is that Australia and China have reached a free trade agreement. This has come as somewhat of a surprise to our Government here in New Zealand who thought negotiations still had some way to go. They have been even more surprised at the apparent quality of the agreement. And our Australian cousins have been quick, entirely for their own internal purposes, to claim their agreement is better than what New Zealand achieved some six years ago.
We can afford to be generous in our congratulations. In the greater scheme of things it demonstrates that globalisation of food trade is increasing. When the dust settles on the Australian agreement, New Zealand will take up with the Chinese on any issues that the Aussies have bettered us on. New Zealand will undertake those discussions with the same politeness that has characterised New Zealand’s previous negotiations with China, and which have held us in such good stead in the past. . .
Pair getting the best of both worlds – Sally Rae:
Working from home means the best of both worlds for Keri Johnston and Haidee McCabe.
Ms Johnston and Mrs McCabe are the principals of Irricon Resource Solutions, an environmental consultancy based in Canterbury and North Otago.
The pair were named the supreme winners in this year’s Enterprising Rural Women Awards, which were announced during Rural Women New Zealand’s national conference in Rotorua. . .
Dairying big change from pervious jobs – Sally Rae:
For Otago couple Glenn and Lynne Johnston, switching from their respective previous jobs of courier driver and hairdresser was a big change but they have no regrets.
The couple, who milk 550 cows just south of Waihola, have been in the dairy industry for 12 years.
Mrs Johnston, who is the new convener for the Dairy Women’s Network, grew up in Milton, while her husband is from Dunedin, and the couple decided to have ”a whole lifestyle change”.
They started at Five Rivers and worked around Northern Southland for a couple of years before becoming managers in an equity partnership at Awarua. . .
Between them former Lincoln University academics Dr Warwick Scott and Dr Rowan Emberson have taught and conducted research at the institution for 72 years, but it was not that which was being recognised at a ceremony today.
The pair were each awarded the Lincoln University Medal, an honour which acknowledges those who, in the opinion of the Lincoln University Council, have provided long-term meritorious voluntary service and support which has enhanced the fabric or reputation of the University.
Dr Scott worked as a plant scientist at Lincoln for 39 years, retiring in 2009 as a senior lecturer. However, for the last 14 years he has been part of the ANZ Young Farmer Contest, initially setting the questions for the contestants, with his growing contribution recognised when he was named its first patron in 2012.
He said the competition showcased agriculture to urban audiences, for whom it was essential to understand the depth of talent in the agricultural sector and its importance to the economy. . .
10 things about harvest most non-ag people don’t know – Wanda Patsche:
Now that we have finished our harvest for 2014, I thought I would write a few, fun random thoughts about harvest. Some things about harvest most non-ag people don’t know.
1. Lunches are eaten in the field. Thank goodness for autoSteer in tractors and combines. Autosteer is a mechanism that automatically steers the combine/tractor. I can literally eat, with both hands, while the combine/tractor continues to operate. And I ate many meals this way! Multi-tasking at it’s finest. And if you have lunch delivered to you, it’s eaten right where you are at. It comes to you. Farmers really do love harvest meals – just a nice little pick-me-up and one less meal to prepare. Trust me, it’s the little things.
2. The smells, sights and sounds of harvest. Nothing compares to smelling corn as it is harvested, watching the corn augured into the grain cart or truck, and hearing the sounds of corn dropping into the corn bin. Yes, it’s the simple things you cherish. But it’s the simple things that really are the big things of life. . .
In a move that will see Prime Range Meats firmly hooked into its own secure supply chain into China, Lianhua Trading Group is increasing its shareholding from 24.9% to 75%.
The move has been approved by the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) – approval required because part of Prime Range Meats’ (PRM) assets include 99.1 hectares of land used for holding stock for the plant, some of which is sensitive wetlands and bush.
PRM managing director Tony Forde, fellow shareholder/director Ian (Inky) Tulloch and associated parties have sold down after diluting their shareholdings earlier this year, following a competitive sales process, through the issuing of new shares. This introduced new capital into PRM then and this new transaction will also see capital expenditure on PRM’s plant of several million more in coming months. . .