Word of the day

January 14, 2016

Pooterism – taking oneself far too seriously; believing that one’s importance or influence is far greater than it really is.

Hat tip: Private Secret Diary


366 days of gratitude

January 14, 2016

We were without electricity for more than four hours while the lines company did some scheduled maintenance.

I used the time to tidy one of those cupboards that things-that-might-be-useful-one-day get chucked into.

It’s the sort of job that goes better with something to listen to so I found a seldom-used transistor and batteries which not only fitted it but worked.

Today I’m grateful for batteries.


Rural round-up

January 14, 2016

Partnerships the key to China business models – Allan Barber:

It’s true of any marketing and distribution strategy, but China’s size and comparatively underdeveloped cold chain make this factor even more important for the successful development of agricultural business there.

With all export markets it is important for companies to analyse and select the preferred product type and form, business segment, geographic target area, and method of reaching the identified market. Market access and tariffs are other important considerations. When an export destination has been selected, a scattergun approach almost certainly won’t work, while a too narrowly defined market may be equally unsuccessful. . . 

Sprout Agribusiness Programme & Who Wants To Go Mobile Milking? – Milking on the Moove:

For the last 2 years I’ve been working full time to set up an experimental prototype dairy system. The plan has always been to “pave the way”so other people, like me can go farming even if they don’t have any land or very much money.

I believe it was Peter Brock who said “Bite off more than you can chew and then chew like crazy”.

That describes my last two years quite accurately.

Without going into all the details, I’ve learnt a lot over the last two years and now it’s time to crank things up and get this show on the road for real. . .

Novel idea helps rebuild South Island crayfish stocks  – Dave Gooselink:

A forestry company has taken on the job of rebuilding stocks of freshwater crayfish in the South.

The unusual combination came about as a way of finding other uses for the forests’ emergency fire ponds.

The freshwater crayfish known as koura are listed as a threatened species by the Department of Conservation. Now they’re getting a boost, thanks to an unusual project by forestry company Ernslaw One.

It came up with the idea of farming koura in their fire ponds, as a way of bringing in extra income between harvests. . . 

Bad to best: all because of steep slope innovations:

New Zealand forestry has gone from a bad performer to being one of the best, and John Stulen says this is because of the new innovations in steep slope harvesting.

In recent years, New Zealand forestry has faced massive hurdles in safety, especially on steep slopes. Too many accidents occurred because workers were facing too many risks in the workplace – it had to stop. However, leaders in the forest industry have stepped up to the challenge, hugely reducing the number of serious accidents.

“It’s no coincidence that forest workplaces have become safer,” says John Stulen, co-organizer of the Steep Slope Logging Conference. He says a completely new generation of hi-tech steep slope harvesters has made the forest workplace much safer for everyone working at the felling face. . . 

Rare sheep conditions unites industry:

A combination of rare conditions has tormented sheep farmers Hamish, Annabel, Alastair and Sue Craw on their Banks Peninsula farm Longridge Agriculture Ltd for the past 10 years.

Since 2004, the Craws have been dealing with a range of animal health issues that have yet to be explained. To start with, their sheep were wasting away with an extreme case of wearing teeth. In 2013 an extremely rare calcium deficiency was causing their lambs’ legs to fracture, and in 2015 milk fever issues also arose in their ewes.

Alastair Craw says in the beginning the situation was having a significant economic impact on the business, with the more productive animals faring the worst. . . 

T-shirt competition launched to celebrate 30yrs of sponsoring Young Farmers:

This year will be Ravensdown’s 30th year sponsoring the FMG Young Farmer of the Year. To celebrate the farmer owned cooperative is launching a national t-shirt competition.

Greg Campbell, Ravensdown Chief Executive says the key to any long standing sponsorship or business relationship is a mutual respect and interest.

“We’re thrilled to be celebrating such a big milestone with Young Farmers. We’ve been right behind them for such a long time because we believe in supporting the next generation of farmers who are the future of our industry.” . . 

A new generation beginning to take over the reins at Hunter’s:

One of the leading ladies of New Zealand wine, Jane Hunter says her Hunter’s winery is seeing a new generation of winemakers step up and take on key roles as Hunter’s approaches 30 years.

She says Hunter’s produces about 100,000 cases and export to 23 countries and this is her 29th year in the role of owner and managing director of Hunter’s.

“Things have certainly changed in Marlborough since I arrived here in 1983 to take up the role of Viticulturist for Montana Wines. . .


Thursday’s quiz

January 14, 2016

Anyone is welcome to pose the questions while I’m blogging lighter.

There is no need to follow the five-question format I used and anyone who stumps everyone will win a virtual box of moorpark apricots.


What do the 17% want?

January 14, 2016

A Federated Farmers poll shows 83% satisfaction with the performance of the National-led government among the country’s farmers.

Over 1,100 members were surveyed in the run up to Christmas, with only 17% dissatisfied with the performance of the Key government in 2015.

“Farmers generally look for governments to manage the economy well, drive positive change on international trade and make pragmatic decisions in other areas, and that’s exactly what we’ve seen this year from Prime Minister Key and his government,” says Federated Farmers President Dr William Rolleston. 

“83% satisfaction looks spot on when you look at the level of interest rates and key international wins such as TPP, the Paris Climate Change Talks and the WTO’s recent abolition of export tariffs. These are all good outcomes for farmers and stand to enhance New Zealand’s export earnings for many years to come.”

This begs the question – what do the 17% who aren’t satisfied want?

Some will think the government hasn’t done enough and some won’t like what it has done.

Contrary to popular criticism, Federated Farmers and the National Party are two separate organisations. Members of both share similar views on several issues including the benefits of free trade and the importance of property rights.

But Feds is not politically aligned. It has no more influence on the government than any other lobby group and not all farmers are members of either or both Feds and the party.

While the new emissions reduction targets and weight of developing country support grabbed the headlines around the Paris Agreement, the signing of COP21 was also a significant outcome for farming with recognition that emissions reductions must be weighed up against the food supply required to feed a rapidly growing global population.

“This is recognition we and farming organisations around the world have worked long and hard to achieve, and one the government also put its weight behind.  Farmers are appreciative of those efforts – and also the $20 million the government has invested to fund research into scientific solutions for reducing agricultural emissions,” says Dr Rolleston.

“Federated Farmers believes this is absolutely the right approach and our own team of science experts will look to assist the government to help ensure this investment leads to the breakthrough we are all looking for.” . . .

Science not politics must drive policy if it is to be effective.


Quote of the day

January 14, 2016

At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us. – Albert Schweitzer who was born on this day in 1875.

 


January 14 in history

January 14, 2016

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.

1806  – Charles Hotham, English-Australian soldier and politician, 1st Governor of Victoria, was born (d. 1855)

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

1845 – Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, 5th Marquess of Lansdowne, English politician, 34th Governor-General of India, was born (d. 1927).

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 enzymethat 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 theSwedish Pirate Party.

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


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