Podunk – a hypothetical small town regarded as typically dull or insignificant; an insignificant, out-of-the-way, or fictitious town; any small and insignificant or inaccessible town or village; small isolated town, region, or place that is regarded as unimportant.
Phone call alerts Fed Farmers’ boss to fire – Audrey Malone:
About 7.30am on Friday Federated Farmers president William Rolleston received a call telling him the forestry block on his family’s farm was on fire.
The land, about 30 minutes south-west of Timaru, had been in the family since 1879. The blaze had started after embers from a burnoff to clear a piece of land, were carried to the forestry block by a gust
Rolleston was at the Mystery Creek Fieldays, near Hamilton, and spent the day getting phone updates from his brother.
Fieldays farmers still spending – Hugh Stringleman:
National Fieldays is maintaining attendance and turnover numbers as farmers shop for bargains, especially for essential items.
Big ticket items were slow to sell but forward ordering for seasonal farm inputs, with the added benefit of delayed payment terms, was steady and competitive, rural retailers reported.
The big co-operatives were keen to help their farmer members wherever possible. . .
This year’s Fieldays has been another major success and shows the resilience of the primary sector, says Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy.
“Over 126,000 visitors attended the 47th annual Fieldays this year which is the biggest agricultural event of its type in the Southern Hemisphere.
“I spent three days at Fieldays and the mood was positive overall, despite a lower payout this year for dairy farmers. Beef exports are strong and horticulture exports are enjoying a record year. The announcement of the official cash rate (OCR) reducing to 3.25% is a timely boost for the primary sector and will help provincial New Zealand. . .
Positive strains in the air – Stephen Bell:
Positive strains are wafting through the agricultural air at the National Fieldays with the industry wondering if farmers have any money in their pockets.
The Ministry for Primary Industries increased the tempo with its outlook for the primary sector predicting a 17% increase in agricultural exports to $41.3 billion between now and 2019.
It even predicted dairy receipts to increase by a compounded annual rate of 6.8% from now to 2019. . .
Farmers creating public access across their land can build awareness of what they do, strengthen relationships with the community and even boost farming productivity.
That’s according to Alistair Gibb, who recently established an easement and track to facilitate public access across his Wairarapa farm to a scenic section of the Ruamahanga River near Gladstone. . .
Communicate to counter critics – Glenys Christian:
A former Fonterrra Shareholders’ Council (FSC) member and strong supporter of the co-operative says even he sometimes feels like a contract milk supplier rather than an owner of the business.
Waikato farmer Neil McLean believes the answer is better communication between the co-op and its farmers.
He estimates that just 25% of them take an analytical approach to their co-op’s performance but need to seek out the necessary information themselves to do so. . .
Rural bachelor Toby cleans up the competition – Libby Wilson:
He wasn’t one of the loudest blokes but Toby How obviously made himself stand out.
The Geraldine-based fencing director made a clean sweep in Rural Bachelor of the Year for Fieldays at Mystery Creek, winning both the Golden Gumboot and the public choice prizes.
Maybe now he can claim to be New Zealand’s second most recognisable bachelor – after Art Green of The Bachelor fame.
But it’s a bit different at Mystery Creek – these blokes The Rural Bachelors were kitted out by Swandri and Skellerup, stayed in campervans and competed by driving tractors, fencing, speed dating and de-boning lamb. . .
My heart says Be bold. Jump in with both feet. But part of me still wants to jump in with one foot, so I have the other available for a quick getaway. In case my heart picks something I’m not ready for yet….
Quick Getaway II – ©2015 Brian Andreas – posted with permission.
You can sign up for the email delivery of a daily dose of whimsy like this at Story People.
One criticism of the last Labour government was its propensity for meddling in other people’s business.
Ruminations from party primary industries spokesman Damien O’Connor show it still wants to do that:
The Labour Party has launched into the controversy surrounding Fonterra’s latest restructuring by saying chief executive Theo Spierings should take a voluntary pay cut “to restore credibility with farmers and staff”.
Spierings’ salary has been estimated to be worth about $4 million a year.
“The events of the last week have shaken the farming sector’s confidence in Fonterra, and the chief executive must take responsibility,” Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor said in a statement.
“Theo Spierings should lead by example and voluntarily reduce his pay by half,” he said. . .
Fonterra’s fortunes do impact on the wider economy but it’s not a public company nor is it an SOE.
It’s a co-operative and the chief executive’s salary isn’t any politician’s business.
It’s the business of the board and shareholders and Labour should keep its nose out of it.
The Flag Consideration Panel is inviting people to upload designs for a new flag.
There are more than 3000 in the gallery already.
This one is Koru in the Southern Cross by Dave Hood:
Sunday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse, but not abuse.
Example is leadership. – Albert Schweitzer
1158 – Munich was founded by Henry the Lion on the banks of the river Isar.
1276 – While taking exile in Fuzhou in southern China, away from the advancing Mongol invaders, the remnants of the Song Dynasty court held the coronation ceremony for the young prince Zhao Shi, making him Emperor Duanzong of Song.
1287 Kublai Khan defeated the force of Nayan and other traditionalist Borjigin princes in East Mongolia and Manchuria.
1645 English Civil War: Battle of Naseby – 12,000 Royalist forces were beaten by 15,000 Parliamentarian soldiers.
1775 American Revolutionary War: the Continental Army was established by the Continental Congress, marking the birth of the United States Army.
1777 The Stars and Stripes was adopted by Congress as the Flag of the United States.
1789 – Whiskey distilled from maize was first produced by American clergyman the Rev Elijah Craig. It was named Bourbon because Rev Craig lived in Bourbon County, Kentucky.
1800 The French Army of First Consul Napoleon Bonaparte defeated the Austrians at the Battle of Marengo in Northern Italy and re-conquered Italy.
1807 Emperor Napoleon I’s French Grande Armee defeated the Russian Army at the Battle of Friedland ending the War of the Fourth Coalition.
1811 Harriet Beecher Stowe, American author, was born (d. 1896).
1821 Badi VII, king of Sennar, surrendered his throne and realm to Ismail Pasha, general of the Ottoman Empire, ending the existence of that Sudanese kingdom.
1822 Charles Babbage proposed a difference engine in a paper to the Royal Astronomical Society entitled “Note on the application of machinery to the computation of astronomical and mathematical tables”.
1839 Henley Royal Regatta: the village of Henley staged its first Regatta.
1846 Bear Flag Revolt began – Anglo settlers in Sonoma, California, started a rebellion against Mexico and proclaimed the California Republic.
1863 American Civil War: Battle of Second Winchester – a Union garrison was defeated by the Army of Northern Virginia.
1863 Second Assault on the Confederate works at the Siege of Port Hudson during the American Civil War.
1864 Alois Alzheimer, German physician, was born (d. 1915).
1872 Trade unions were legalised in Canada.
1900 Hawaii became a United States territory.
1900 The Reichstag approved a second law that allowed the expansion of the German navy.
1907 Nicolas Bentley, British writer and illustrator, was born (d. 1978).
1907 Norway adopted female suffrage.
1909 Burl Ives, American musician, was born (d. 1995).
1919 John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown left St. John’s, Newfoundland on the first nonstop transatlantic flight
1928 Ernesto “Che” Guevara, Marxist Revolutionary, was born (d. 1967).
1929 Cy Coleman, American composer, was born (d. 2004).
1937 – U. S. House of Representatives passed the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act.
1936 Renaldo “Obie” Benson, singer (The Four Tops), was born (d. 2005).
1938 Action Comics issue one was released, introducing Superman.
1940 World War II: Paris fell under German occupation, and Allied forces retreat.
1940 The Soviet Union presented an ultimatum to Lithuania resulting in Lithuanian loss of independence
1940 A group of 728 Polish political prisoners from Tarnów become the first inmates of the Auschwitz concentration camp.
1941 June deportation, the first major wave of Soviet mass deportations and murder of Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians, began.
1942 Anne Frank began to keep a diary.
1946 Donald Trump, American businessman and entrepreneur, was born.
1949 – Alan White, British drummer (Yes), was born.
1950 Rowan Williams, 104th Archbishop of Canterbury, was born.
1951 UNIVAC I was dedicated by U.S. Census Bureau.
1952 The keel was laid for the nuclear submarine USS Nautilus.
1954 U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill into law that places the words “under God” into the United States’ Pledge of Allegiance.
1959 A group of Dominican exiles with leftist tendencies that departed from Cuba landed in the Dominican Republic with the intent of deposing Rafael Leónidas Trujillo Molina. All but four were killed and/or executed by Trujillo’s army
1961 Boy George, British singer (Culture Club), was born,
1962 – The European Space Research Organisation was established in Paris.
1962 The New Mexico Supreme Court in the case of Montoya v. Bolack, 70 N.M. 196, prohibits state and local governments from denying Indians the right to vote because they live on a reservation.
1966 The Vatican announced the abolition of the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (index of prohibited books), which was originally instituted in 1557.
1967 Mariner 5 was launched toward Venus.
1976 The trial began at Oxford Crown Court of Donald Neilson, the killer known as the Black Panther.
1984 Robert Muldoon called a snap election.
1985 TWA Flight 847 was hijacked by Hezbollah shortly after take-off from Athens.
1990 Miners from Jiu Valley were called to Bucharest by President Ion Iliescu to quell demonstrations in University Square by anti-government protesters.
2001 China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan form the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.