Rural round-up

New agriculture centre of excellence meets key barrier to growth in sector – BNZ CEO:

BNZ chief executive, Anthony Healy says the Centre of Excellence for Agricultural Science and Business programme, launched today at St Paul’s Collegiate School in Hamilton addresses a significant and ongoing issue with the talent pipeline in one of New Zealand’s most important growth industries.

The programme, which is a joint venture between St Paul’s Collegiate and the private sector, including BNZ, will develop and roll out a national secondary school level agribusiness programme as well as serving as a venue for profiling agribusiness as an exciting career choice.

Healy says that while 60 per cent of all the money New Zealand earns through exports comes from agriculture there is currently no structured programme at secondary school level to encourage students to take up careers in agricultural science and business, resulting in a lack of students undertaking training in one of New Zealand’s most significant industries. . .


Methane consuming microbes combat climate change:

A Lincoln University scientist is thinking small to help solve a big problem—climate change.

Dr Sally Price, a senior researcher at the Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences, is looking to raise funds so she can develop a set of guidelines for farmers to encourage the growth of naturally occurring methane-consuming soil microbes, called methanotrophs.

Methane is expelled by cows and other ruminant livestock through flatulence, and is a potent greenhouse gas which contributes to climate change.

She has been undertaking periodic research over the last 15 years into the role the microbes play, and has found the root systems of trees and shrubs help to break up the soil and allow the methane to travel down to the microbes. . .

Lincoln finds new partner in China:

 Exploring innovative technologies for improving processing, manufacturing and quality assurance in dairy across the whole value chain is the overarching goal of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed this week between Lincoln University and Yili Industrial Group.

The MoU is the first step in a business relationship considered to be of notable value to both parties, its significance reflected in the document having been witnessed by China’s President Xi Jinping at the Agri-Tech Industry Showcase in Auckland today.

Yili is one of China’s largest processers and manufacturers of dairy products. The company has previously entered into a similar relationship with Wageninigen University in the Netherlands, which has since advanced to include the establishment of a research and development centre on the Dutch University’s campus. . .

NZ Racing Board Appoints John Allen as New CEO:

The NZ Racing Board has appointed experienced Chief Executive Officer John Allen as its new CEO.

Allen is currently CEO at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and prior to that held the top job at New Zealand Post. He is also an experienced company director.

NZ Racing Board Chair Glenda Hughes says this is an outstanding appointment for the organisation and indeed the wider racing and sports industries. . .


Westland Milk Products Annual Meeting – Director elections and appointments

Westland Milk Products shareholders re-elected two long standing directors (including chair Matt O’Regan), voted in a new director for a casual vacancy and ratified the appointments of two independent directors at their company’s annual meeting today.

Existing directors O’Regan and Frank Dooley were re-elected for a four year term. Hugh Little was elected for one year to fill the casual vacancy left by the resignation of director Mike Havill. . .

Ballance farmers elect von Dadelszen for Ward B:

Ballance Agri-Nutrients farmer shareholders have elected Sarah von Dadelszen as their new Ward B director.

Mrs von Dadelszen brings a wealth of agricultural knowledge to the role with a mix of practical farming experience and specialist education and training.

David Peacocke, Ballance Chairman said he was pleased to have von Dadelszen join the board of directors.

“We had a record number of candidates for the Ward B election and the solid voter turnout shows that the co-op is in good heart, with farmers taking an active role in who represents them on the board.” . .


12 Responses to Rural round-up

  1. TraceyS says:

    “Methane consuming microbes combat climate change”

    When we cleared our farm we left a lot of manuka and native bush in the gullies and wherever else we could. This approach encountered some criticism at the time. Now we are planning a major fencing and planting programme – which over the last few years has become a much more mainstream thing to do. So criticism from others has turned now into curiosity.

    But apart from looking pretty, there are obviously more far-reaching benefits as this researcher highlights. A farmer doesn’t have to know the science – sometimes just a good gut feel is enough when it comes to making good decisions.


  2. Willdwan says:

    Must be doing a smashing job, New Zealand’s average temperature is down to 1960 levels.


  3. RBG says:

    New Zealand recorded it’s warmest June since records began in 1909. 9 of the world’s top 10 warmest years have occured since 2000. CO2 levels rose by the highest amount in 30 years in 2013. US National Oceanic and Atmospheric said September 2014 was globally the warmest ever on record. 2014 to date is already tied with 1998 and is likely to be the hottest ever since modern records began.


  4. Willdwan says:

    I was going by unadjusted GHCN station data, not the surreal official versions. Hail forecast for tomorrow. Sigh.


  5. RBG says:

    Sigh back at you, tomorrow’s local weather forecast does not disprove global warming.


  6. Mr E says:

    But September proves it? Or 2014?


  7. Marc Williams says:

    In assessing NZ’s total CO2 emissions, is this uptake of methane by pine tree soils taken into account? For us, considering the total hectares planted, it could be quite significant when the goals to be met for future carbon emission obligations are set.


  8. RBG says:

    Global scientific observation and measurements. Only conspiracy theorists chose to disregard the findings of almost every international scientific organisation.


  9. Mr E says:

    “Only conspiracy theorists chose to disregard the findings of almost every international scientific organisation.”

    Scientific statement of the century.


  10. TraceyS says:

    But September proves it? Or 2014?

    In fairness to RBG, (s)he wasn’t saying it proves anything.

    Who needs proof when you have belief?


  11. Mr E says:

    In fairness, the question remains unanswered.


  12. TraceyS says:

    In truth, many questions remain unanswered around the subject of global warming.


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