366 days of gratitude

June 7, 2016

The Maori word whanau is more euphonic, and if I understand it correctly, means more than the English translation of extended family.

Today I caught up with three of my whanau in Dunedin, reminding me that I’m blessed with family near and far and I’m grateful for that.

 


Word of the day

June 7, 2016

Shellacker – a person who paints on object with the aim of making it appear more fitting to the  steampunk world.


Rural round-up

June 7, 2016

Primary sector leader ‘humbled’ by award – Gerard Hutching:

Agricultural leader Chris Kelly said he was “humbled” by the Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) bestowed on him in the Queen’s Birthday honours.

Kelly, who has been involved in the farming sector all his career, is best known as chief executive of Landcorp. During his 12-year stewardship of the SOE between 2001-13, Landcorp’s value mushroomed from $500 million to $1.6 billion.

“I’m proud to be part of a wonderful industry. The primary sector is not only very important for New Zealand but it’s also a great place to work.

“The most memorable component would have been my sojourn at Landcorp. I feel humbled to have been singled out because there are lots of other people who could have been,” Kelly said. . . 

Harnessing youthful energy at Mangahao – Kate Taylor:

The infamous Mangahao fog doesn’t dampen the farming enthusiasm of the Tararua Farmers of the Year. Kate Taylor paid a visit

Toddler Jack reaches for another piece of his toast as mum Ally puts a cake in the oven and dad Pete Apthorp has a well-earned coffee after sending away lambs in the early morning fog.

“The fog is at least easier to deal with than the dark last week before daylight saving ended. The people who like it lighter in the evenings have obviously never had to get stock away early for same-day kill,” says Pete with a chuckle.

Pete and Ally Apthorp, who are still in their 20s, farm on Mangahao-Pahiatua Rd, otherwise known as the Pahiatua Track to Palmerston North. They have been named the 2016 Rural Aerial Co-op Tararua Farmer of the Year and will host a field day on April 27.  . . 

NZ tech firm raises funds, wins award:

A local agri-technology company is on a high after raising $4.5 million for product development and research and being named the best AG-Tech start up in a Silicon Valley technology competition.

Engender Technologies has worked with two Centres of Research Excellence – the MacDiarmid Institute and the Dodds-Walls Centre – to develop technology to allow dairy farmers to manage the sex make-up of their herds.

It opens the way to a leading position in what’s estimated to be a $3.5 billion market. . . 

Nominations sought for 2016 trans-Tasman agribusiness leadership awards:

Nominations have opened for the 2016 Rabobank Leadership Awards, recognising the contribution of senior and emerging leaders in the success of New Zealand and Australia’s food and agribusiness industries.

The peer-nominated trans-Tasman awards – now in their eleventh year – include the flagship Rabobank Leadership Award, which was last year won by New Zealand business leader Sir Henry van der Heyden, the former chair of global dairy giant Fonterra.

The award is presented annually to an individual in a senior leadership role in the food, beverage and agribusiness sector who has created sustainable growth and prosperity at both corporate and industry level, while also demonstrating a wider commitment to society. . . 

Invasive ants eradicated from Tiritiri Matangi:

An ant considered one of the most destructive invasive species in the world has been successfully eradicated from Tiritiri Matangi Island in the Hauraki Gulf, Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says.

“Tiritiri Matangi is one of the few places in the world where Argentine ants have been successfully eradicated, the culmination of 16 years of hard work by DOC staff and volunteers,” Ms Barry says.

“They may be small, but these ants are one of the most damaging of all invasive pest species. The World Conservation Union lists them as one of the 100 worst eco-invaders on Earth.” . . 

Fungi workshop first of its kind:

Some of the world’s leading experts in fungal biology and the study of pest and weed invasions met recently at a workshop organised by researchers from the Bio-Protection Research Centre.

The aim of the  workshop, the first of its kind in New Zealand, was to stimulate discussion between scientists from different disciplines and develop a publication to guide future research in this area.

Sponsored by the New Phytologist Trust the event attracted more than 70 scientists for a day of public talks and a four day writing workshop for key participants.

“This was an incredible opportunity to bring together plant invasion ecologists, fungal ecologists and plant pathologists,” says Professor of Invasion Ecology Ian Dickie. . . 

Dairy: In a tough year, farmers can optimise tax through preferential livestock valuation:

With this years continued convergence of values between the Herd Scheme Value and National Standard Cost for dairy cattle, professional services firm Crowe Horwath says farmers are presented with an opportunity to review their livestock valuation methods and optimise their operations for tax efficiency.

That’s according to Tony Marshall, agri tax specialist who points out that the IRD’s 2016 Herd Scheme (HS) values have drawn to their closest with the National Standard Cost (NSC) in some time. “Valuation choice is important due to the tax treatment of livestock under each scheme,” he notes. “Once livestock are valued under HS, movements in value are non-taxable, whereas movements in value under the NSC method are always taxable, either as income or a deduction.” . . .

LIC bulls deliver top results for farmers:

LIC is celebrating the co-operative’s top bulls with the release of the industry’s latest Ranking of Active Sires (RAS) list – which ranks the top breeding bulls in New Zealand.

”These are our farmers’ bulls, developed by LIC on behalf of farmers for farmers,” LIC’s General Manager Biological Systems Geoff Corbett said.

The co-operative is pleased to see that 26 of the top 30 bulls of all breeds in the country are LIC’s. In other great results, the top 12 bulls across all breeds are LIC’s. . . 

CropLogic Secures New Licence for Global Growth:

Precision agriculture firm CropLogic has signed an exclusive agreement with the New Zealand Institute of Plant & Food Research to expand the marketing of its patented technology to corn, wheat, soybean and cotton farmers in the United States.

The technology — developed over 30 years out of Plant & Food Research, a New Zealand Crown Research Institute, and guided and shaped for international markets by IP investor Powerhouse Ventures — enables growers using the firm’s predictive modelling systems to pinpoint the best times to apply nutrients and to conserve precious water for maximum plant yields. . . 


Negative TB test doesn’t mean no TB

June 7, 2016

The headline says: Otago dairy herd to be slaughtered after one cow tests positive to tuberculosis.

It sounds like the farmer has no choice and that Ministry for Primary Industries is being unfair.

But he does have choices and the MPI is doing what the law requires and empowers it to do – keeping food safe and people healthy.

Only one cow has tested positive for TB but that doesn’t mean the rest of the herd is clear.

We had some cows test positive for TB a few years after we started dairying. All were slaughtered and vets who examined the carcasses found some, but not all of them had the disease.

The herd was tested again, any cows that were positive were killed and again some had TB and some didn’t.

Eventually the herd got several clear tests in a row but a couple of years later we had another cow test positive for TB.

We went through the culling and testing again until we got the all-clear.

More than a year after that a cow from our original herd dried herself off, was culled and sent to the works. There the vet found she was riddled with TB. She had been tested before we bought the herd, tested again several times on our farm but not once did she react positively.

A vet told us that was because she was too busy fighting the disease to react to the test.

Our milk is pasteurised so there was no danger to anyone if it was infected with TB.

The farmer in the story sells raw milk which is why MPI has said he must stop. TB tests aren’t 100% reliable and there is a risk that another cow in the herd could have the disease and pass it on to people through milk unless it’s pasteurised.

The farmer isn’t without choices, he doesn’t have to kill his cows. He can’t keep selling raw milk but he could get it pasteurised. He could also sell the herd (although the cows will only be on movement control which means they can only be moved to another property owned by the farmer or to slaughter);  but that’s not what the headline suggests.


Quote of the day

June 7, 2016

Every reformation ruins somebody. – Amelia B. Edwards who was born on this day in 1831.


June 7 in history

June 7, 2016

1099 –  The First Crusade: The Siege of Jerusalem began.

1420 – Troops of the Republic of Venice captured Udine, ending the independence of the Patriarchate of Aquileia.

1494 –  Spain and Portugal signed the Treaty of Tordesillas which divided the New World between the two countries.

1628 – The Petition of Right, a major English constitutional document, became law when granted the Royal Assent by Charles I.

1654 –  Louis XIV was crowned King of France.

1692- Port Royal, Jamaica, was hit by a catastrophic earthquake; in just three minutes, 1,600 people were killed and 3,000 seriously injured.

1761 –  John Rennie, Scottish engineer, was born  (d. 1821).

1776 –  Richard Henry Lee presented the “Lee Resolution” to the Continental Congress; it was seconded by John Adams and led to the United States Declaration of Independence.

1778 –  Beau Brummell, English fashion leader, was born  (d. 1840).

1800  David Thompson reached the mouth of the Saskatchewan River in Manitoba.

1831 Amelia Edwards, English author and Egyptologist, was born  (d. 1892).

1832 Asian cholera reached Quebec brought by Irish immigrants, and killed about 6,000 people..

1862  The United States and Britain agreed to suppress the slave trade.

1863 During the French intervention in Mexico, Mexico City wais captured by French troops.

1866  1,800 Fenian raiders were repelled back to the United States after they looted and plundered around Saint-Armand and Frelighsburg, Quebec.

1868 Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Scottish architect, designer, and watercolourist, was born (d. 1928).

1880  War of the Pacific: The Battle of Arica, assault and capture of Morro de Arica (Arica Cape), that ended the Campaña del Desierto(Desert Campaign).

1893 Mohandas Gandhi committed his first act of civil disobedience.

1905  Norway’s parliament dissolved its union with Sweden.

1906  Cunard Line’s RMS Lusitania was launched at the John Brown Shipyard, Glasgow.

1909 Mary Pickford made her screen debut at the age of 16.

1917 Gwendolyn Brooks, American poet, was born (d. 2000).

1917 Dean Martin, American actor, was born (d. 1995).

1917  World War I: Battle of Messines –  the attack on Messines  began at 3.10 a.m. with the explosion of huge mines that had been placed under the German lines by tunnellers. Almost immediately, New Zealand troops of 2nd and 3rd (Rifle) brigades left their trenches and advanced towards the ridge in front of them, on which lay the ruins of Messines village. Australian and British troops on either side of them did the same.

The Battle of Messines

1919  Sette giugno: Riot in Malta, four people killed.

1921 Dorothy Ruth, American horse breeder; adopted daughter of Babe Ruth, was born (d. 1989).

1929 John Napier Turner, Canadian seventeenth Prime Minister of Canada, was born.

1931 Malcolm Morley, English painter, was born.

1936 The Steel Workers Organizing Committee, was founded in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Philip Murray was elected its first president.

1938 The Douglas DC-4E made its first test flight..

1940 – Fighter ace Edgar ‘Cobber’ Kain was killed.

1940 Tom Jones, Welsh singer, was born.

1940  King Haakon VII of Norway, Crown Prince Olav and the Norwegian government left Tromsø  and went into exile in London.

1942  World War II: The Battle of Midway ended.

1942 World War II: Japanese soldiers occupied the American islands ofAttu and Kiska, in the Aleutian Islands off Alaska.

1944 World War II: The steamer Danae carrying 350  Cretan Jews and 250 Cretan partisans, is sunk without survivors off the shore ofSantorini.

1944  World War II: Battle of Normandy – At Abbey Ardennes members of the SS Division Hitlerjugend massacred 23 Canadian prisoners of war.

1945  King Haakon VII of Norway returned with his family to Oslo after five years in exile.

1948  Edvard Beneš resigned as President of Czechoslovakia rather than signing a Constitution making his nation a Communist state.

1952 Liam Neeson, Northern Irish actor, was born.

1955  Lux Radio Theater signed off the air permanently.

1958 Prince, American musician, was born (d 2016).

1965  The Supreme Court of the United States decided on Griswold v. Connecticut, effectively legalizing the use of contraception by married couples.

1967  Israeli forces entered Jerusalem during the Six-Day War.

1971  The United States Supreme Court overturned the conviction of Paul Cohen for disturbing the peace, setting the precedent that vulgar writing is protected under the First Amendment.

1972 Karl Urban, New Zealand actor, was born.

1975  Sony introduced the Betamax videocassette recorder for sale to the public.

1976  MacDonalds opened for the first time in New Zealand at Cobham Court, Porirua.

McDonald's arrives in NZ

1977 – 500 million people watched on television as the high day ofJubilee got underway for Queen Elizabeth II.

1981 The Israeli Air Force destroyed Iraq’s Osiraq nuclear reactor duringOperation Opera

1982 –  Priscilla Presley opened Graceland to the public

1989  A Surinam Airways DC-8 Super 62 crashed near Paramaribo Airport  Suriname  killing 168.

1991 Mount Pinatubo exploded generating an ash column 7 km (4.5 miles) high.

1993  The Holbeck Hall Hotel in Scarborough, UK, fell into the sea following a landslide.

1995  The long range Boeing 777 entered service with United Airlines.

1998  James Byrd, Jr. was dragged to death in a racially-motivated crime.

2000 – The United Nations defined the Blue Line as the border between Israel and Lebanon.

2006 – Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, was killed in an airstrike by the United States Air Force.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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