Word of the day

January 14, 2015

Abnegation – self-denial; the action of refusing,  renouncing or rejecting something.


Incomprehensible that you can turn against freedom

January 14, 2015

Quote of the day:

“It is incomprehensible that you can turn against freedom… But if you don’t like freedom, for heaven’s sake pack your bags and leave,” he said.

“There may be a place in the world where you can be yourself, be honest with yourself and do not go and kill innocent journalists. And if you do not like it here because humorists you do not like make a newspaper, may I then say you can f**k off.

“This is stupid, this so incomprehensible. Vanish from the Netherlands if you cannot find your place here. All those well-meaning Muslims here will now be stared at”.Ahmed Aboutaleb, Mayor of Rotterdam.


Rural round-up

January 14, 2015

Water at the forefront in 2015 and beyond – :

Water is the lifeblood of farming and intrinsic to every aspect of food production.

It’s also of considerable significance to other users- iwi, environmental organisations and recreational users.

This resource has been the big focus for Federated Farmers policy and advocacy during 2014.

It would be almost impossible to operate a farming system in New Zealand without being aware of key topics like collaboration, nutrient management, water quality, limit setting and the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management.

These are words which are increasingly on everyone’s lips and they’re here to stay. . .

Trout rescued as Canterbury rivers dry up – Thomas Mead:

Thousands of fish are being relocated from dangerously low rivers in North Canterbury as the region goes through a sweltering hot patch.

Fish and Game have been running rescue operations out of the Ashley, Cust and Selwyn rivers, along with parts of Lake Ellesmere, for two months following a sudden drop in water levels.

North Canterbury officer Steve Terry says about 3000 brown trout and salmon have already been relocated by his small team of staff and volunteers and the job will get harder in the weeks ahead.
Canterbury’s rivers occasionally dry up during the summer, with conditions forcing fish to retreat to deeper pools along the bank. . .

Environment Canterbury approves environment plan template:

Environment Canterbury has approved another farm environment plan template under the proposed Land and Water Regional Plan.

The template was developed by environmental consultants Irricon Resource Solutions. 

Environment Canterbury chief executive Bill Bayfield said Irricon had met all the requirements of Schedule 7 of the proposed Land and Water Regional Plan.  . .

 Ag service recognised in New Year honours:

Seven people were recognized in the New Years Honours for services directly related to agriculture.

 Officers of the New Zealand Order of Merit:

Richard Lucas

Lucas has contributed to agriculture for more than 40 years.

He was a senior lecturer in the Plant Science Department of Lincoln University from 1974 to 2004. He created courses in tropical agronomy and ethno-botany to meet the academic needs of overseas students. . .

 Further illegal fishing vessel discovered:

Foreign Minister Murray McCully says a third illegal fishing vessel has been discovered operating in the Southern Ocean during a patrol by the HMNZS WELLINGTON.

“The HMNZS WELLINGTON has intercepted a vessel, calling itself  the Yongding, fishing illegally to the west of the Ross Sea,” Mr McCully says.

“This is the third vessel to be discovered fishing illegally in the Southern Ocean during this patrol.

“All three vessels claim to be flagged to Equatorial Guinea and we continue to convey to Equatorial Guinea our concerns about these vessels’ operations and request permission to board the vessels. . .

Manawatu Farm Days to educate the next generation:

Federated Farmers Manawatu-Rangitikei is launching its own Farm Day program to educate the next generation and the urban community.

James Stewart, Federated Farmers Manawatu-Rangitikei provincial president says Farm Days are about educating people about the origins of their food in an entertaining way.

“This is a concept based off the national Federated Farmers Farm Day initiative, which was introduced seven years ago, with a more intimate feel. This year’s school holidays, kids can see first hand the influence agriculture has to the local region and wider New Zealand.” . . .

 Spotlight on dairy efficiency – Shan Goodwin:

THE value of generating a cash budget and balance sheet was highlighted at the first workshop of the NSW dairy Focus Farm project.

The whole-of-business learning initiative, a first of its kind in NSW, will focus on improving operating surplus at the Lismore district farm of fourth-generation milk producer Andrew Wilson.

Over the next two years, a support group made up of fellow producers, financial and accounting experts, dairy industry consultants and advisers and livestock and pasture experts will meet regularly to put in place strategies for reducing fixed costs, maximising natural resources like home-grown feed and boosting productivity and profitability on the 250 milker farm “Torokina”, Woodlawn. . .

 

 


Agritech exports worth $1.2b

January 14, 2015

New Zealand’s agritechnology exports are worth approximately $1.2 billion annually, and there is a big opportunity to grow them further according to the latest research into the sector, Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce said.

The Coriolis Report into New Zealand’s agritech sector was commissioned by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise to understand the export opportunities for Kiwi agritech companies. It provides detailed analysis of the size, value and future potential of the agritech sector, New Zealand’s strengths in an international context, and compares our agritech production with similar-sized agricultural nations.

“The agriculture sector plays a very significant role in our economy,” Mr Joyce says. “This research shows that our innovative agritechnology systems generate very significant exports in their own right, and provide the opportunity to deliver much more for New Zealand in the years ahead.”

New Zealand’s agritech sector is made up of a diverse range of products and services, including animal and seed genetics, fertiliser and agri-chemicals, fencing supplies, farm tools, machinery and systems, and pumping and irrigation industries.

“Australia and the United States are our top agritech export destinations but the research reveals that exports to Canada, China, South Korea and Saudi Arabia are showing double-digit growth,” Mr Joyce says.

“New Zealand has historically underperformed in agritech exports compared with other advanced agricultural nations.  However our exports are now growing more quickly than our competitors’, and opportunities for more growth exist across a wide range of markets.  Europe, China and South America stand out as the biggest areas of potential growth.”

The removal of the dairy quota system is opening up opportunities in Europe and New Zealand’s Free Trade Agreement with China, along with China’s substantial demand for meat and dairy products, is providing New Zealand agritech companies with significant opportunities, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy says.

“New Zealand is one of the world’s most efficient primary producers, and this report shows our expertise and technology in this area is in growing demand around the world.”

Animal health products, medicines and preventative treatments for on-farm use were the largest export earners at $311 million. This category was closely followed by fencing supplies and equipment, and machinery and systems, each with $307 million in export sales.

The report is available here.

Land sales to foreigners is a very emotive issue. There’s rarely a fuss when an agritech company is sold even though the land will always stay here but intellectual property is mobile.

This is not an argument against selling to overseas companies. There can be advantages to New Zealand from such sales, not least of which is the investment of more capital.

We need to recognises and appreciate that our success in farming is both helped by and contributes to success in agritechnology and that foreign investment can help both.


Things to do in Oamaru – historic precinct

January 14, 2015

When the farm consultant bringing a group of Australian farmers to North Otago was discussing the proposed itinerary it included a look at irrigation infrastructure.

I suggested that some of the party might like an alternative.

I was right.

The whole party had been to whisky tasting on Monday night  and four of the women were keen to return to discover more of the charms of Oamaru’s historic precinct.

We parked by Oamaru Steam and Rail’s Harbourside Station and walked the few metres to admire the train outside Steampunk HQ.

Our next stop was the Grainstore Gallery:

The Grainstore Gallery is quite unlike any other you will find anywhere. A simply astonishing array of original artworks amidst a unique and magnificent ambience. Most of the works are created on site by owner and artist in residence, Donna Demente. Her work is famous throughout NZ for its mysterious richness and eerie presence, focussing on the glances and gazes of her portrait subjects (some masked) which loom large like illuminated echoes of the Renaissance, Romantic and Religious iconography of yesteryear.

There is also plenty of ephemera and minutiae to enable you to take home a small souvenir of your experience of this majestic interior. . .

 From there we walked to the end of Harbour Street, admiring Ian Anderson’s Oamaru stone carvings en route  and popped into Housekeepers Design for retail therapy and coffee before meandering back up Harbour Street.

Lavish Soap, home of the goat milks and flaxseed ointment which I swear by to counter eczema,  was our next stop before a long browse and several purchases at Lazy Cat Pottery Art and Café.

We were too early for Birdlands Wine and Scotts Breweing and Oasis, resisted the lure of the Harbour Street Bakery and Adventure Books but were waylaid by Presence.

An hour simply wasn’t long enough – we had to miss Slightly Foxed, the Woolstore Complex,  the inside of Steampunk HQ and several other attractions including the newly opened Galley café and the steampunk playground.

Victorian Oamaru is a good place to start when looking at what to see and do in and near the historic precinct.

 Events include the regular Sunday Farmers Market, the Oamaru Harbour Regatta on Waitangi Day, February 6th; the Harbour Street Jazz Festival from Friday March 20th to Sunday 22nd and the annual Victorian Heritage Celebrations in November.

P.S.

This is part of a series of posts of things to see and do in Oamaru and the wider  Waitaki hinterland.

You’re welcome to add your thoughts on the area or your own part of the country/world.

 


January 14 in history

January 14, 2015

83 BC Marcus Antonius, Roman politician, was born (d. 30 BC).

1129 Formal approval of the Order of the Templar at the Council of Troyes.

1301 Andrew III of Hungary died, ending the Arpad dynasty.

1514  Pope Leo X issued a papal bull against slavery

1539 Spain annexed Cuba.

1639 The “Fundamental Orders“, the first written constitution that created a government, was adopted in Connecticut.

1724 – King Philip V of Spain abdicated the throne.

1761  The Third Battle of Panipat between the Afghans under Ahmad Shah Durrani and the Marhatas. The Afghan victory changed the course of Indian History.

1784  United States Congress ratified the  Treaty of Paris with Great Britain.

1814  Treaty of Kiel: Frederick VI of Denmark ceded Norway to Sweden in return for Pomerania.

1875 Albert Schweitzer, Alsatian physician, Nobel laureate, was born  (d. 1965).

1883 – Nina Ricci, Italian-born French fashion designer (d. 1970)

1886  Hugh Lofting, English author, was born  (d. 1947).

1891 Bob  Fitzsimmons won the world middleweight boxing title.
Bob Fitzsimmons wins world middleweight boxing title

1904  Sir Cecil Beaton, English photographer, was born  (d. 1980).

1907 An earthquake in Kingston, Jamaica killed more than 1,000.Richard Briers, English actor, was born

1938 – Norway claimed Queen Maud Land in Antarctica.

1940  Sir Trevor Nunn, English theatre director and film director, was born.

1941  Faye Dunaway, American actress, was born

1943  Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill began the Casablanca Conference to discuss strategy and study the next phase of World War II.

1943 –  Franklin D. Roosevelt became the first President of the United States to travel via aeroplane while in office when he travelled from Miami, Florida to Morocco to meet with Winston Churchill.

1950The first prototype of the MiG-17 made its maiden flight.

1952 NBC’s long-running morning news program Today debuted, with host Dave Garroway.

1963 – Jim Sullivan began his broadcasting career at 3ZC in Timaru.

1967  The Human Be-In, took place in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, launching the Summer of Love. Between 20,000 to 30,000 people attended.

1970 Diana Ross & The Supremes’ final concert appearance at The Frontier Hotel- Las Vegas

1972 Queen Margrethe II of Denmark ascended the throne, the first Queen of Denmark since 1412 and the first Danish monarch not named Frederick or Christian since 1513.

1994  Samir Patel, American spelling bee winner, was born.

1998  Researchers in Dallas, Texas presented findings about an enzyme that slows aging and cell death (apoptosis).

1999 Toronto, Mayor Mel Lastman was the first mayor in Canada to call in the Army to help with emergency medical evacuations and snow removal after more than one meter of snow paralysed the city.

2004 – The national flag of Georgia, the so-called “five cross flag“, was restored to official use after a hiatus of some 500 years.

2005  Landing of the Huygens probe on Saturn’s moon Titan

2010 – – Yemen declared an open war against the terrorist group al-Qaeda.

2011 – The former president of Tunisia, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fled his country to Saudi Arabia after a series of street demonstrations against his regime and corrupt policies, asking for freedom, rights and democracy, considered as the anniversary of the Tunisian Revolution and the birth of the Arab Spring.

2012 – The Pirate Party of Greece was founded, on the model of the Swedish Pirate Party.

Sourced from NZ History Online, the Otago Daily Times & Wikipedia.


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