Rural round-up

Connecting all dairying women – Sally Rae:

When the decision was made to convert their Southland sheep farm to dairying, Katrina Thomas knew nothing about cows.

Undeterred, she decided to “jump in” and become regional group convener for the Dairy Women’s Network.

That way, she thought, she would learn.

It worked and Ms Thomas has now taken on a bigger role, as southern regional hub leader which incorporates Otago and Southland, as well as the fledgling Central Otago DWN branch. . . 

Winter feed pays dividends – Sally Rae:

Johnny Duncan’s fodder beet proved unbeatable in the Maniototo Young Farmers Club’s recent winter feed competition.

The competition attracted 50 entries and it was Mr Duncan’s crop that claimed the overall title.

A dinner, auction and prize-giving held at the Maniototo Stadium and attended by 140 people raised $20,000. . . 

What farming isn’t – Sarah Mock:

This past May, I spent more days in a Ram 1500 pickup on dirt roads than in my apartment. I had the incredible opportunity to traverse the American heartland for just over two weeks, seeking out interesting stories from some of America’s most progressive farmers. Since I moved to California just about a year ago, my view of the endless acres of black soil and satellite-straight rows of corn and soybeans has changed, but not in the way I expected.

Farming in the Midwest: farming for the farmer’s market as scuba diving : sky diving. Same basic direction, but otherwise, literally different elements.

We live in an Instagram-ready, organic cold-pressed hemp milk age. To us, the word “farm” brings to mind a rustic (yet modern) retreat where a cornucopia of lusciously crisp fruit and vegetables are picked daily by weathered hands (body optional) and perfectly clean eggs are laid in perfectly clean straw in reclaimed wood barns with just enough dust in the air to create a flawless #nofilter “eggstra” special post. . . 

Concerns over farmers’ mental helath:

Farmers in Northland are being urged to check on their neighbours as winter and financial stress tighten their grip in the dairy sector.

Federated Farmers president John Blackwell said there had been good turnouts at regular dinners organised to bring stressed farmers and their families together.

But he said those most in need of support may not be asking for it. . . 

Polish meat industry delegation in New Zealand – Allan Barber:

On Friday I attended a seminar, officially named a Congress, presented by a Polish delegation which was in New Zealand as part of a series of five exhibition events to promote ‘the taste of quality and tradition directly from Europe.’ A somewhat bizarre coincidence meant the event took place at exactly the same time as the votes were being counted in the British referendum which culminated in the decision to leave the EU.

The Auckland congress was the third in a series of five being held in different countries targeted for export development for Polish pork and beef products; the other target countries being South Africa, Singapore, Taiwan and Kazakhstan. This one was timed specifically to coincide with the Fine Food New Zealand 2016 held over the weekend at Auckland’s ASB Showgrounds at which Polish frozen and refrigerated pork and beef products were available for tasting and evaluation by potential importers. . . 

Fertility increase in merinos

An improved lamb marking rate at a Wimmera Merino stud supports the breed’s key role in Australia’s modern sheep industry. 

Wallaloo Park Merinos, Marnoo, has recorded some of its best results since starting in 1979. Principal Trent Carter said figures across the board were substantially higher than average and showed success was achievable with good management, genetics and nutrition.  . . 

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