366 days of gratitude

August 24, 2016

The ding signalled new emails had arrived.

As usual there were several trying to sell me something, some media releases and a newsletter.

There was also a joke. It made me grin and I’m grateful for that.


Word of the day

August 24, 2016

Schmutzwortsuche  – smutty word-search; looking up rude words in the dictionary.


Rural round-up

August 24, 2016

Thousands needed to fill primary industry jobs – Alexa Cook:

The primary sector is turning to cities to promote jobs in the industry in an effort to create a more qualified workforce.

Research commissioned by the Ministry for Primary Industries, Dairy NZ and Beef and Lamb New Zealand has found the industry will need another 2300 people by 2025, on top of the 23,400 needed to replace natural attrition.

There is a growing divide between rural and urban New Zealand, with 36 percent of all secondary students based in Auckland, and just 30 percent spread through rural areas.

New Zealand Young Farmers president Terry Copeland said by 2025 a third of jobs in the dairy industry would not be tied to the land. . . 

Busy ‘making difference’ – Sally Rae:

Fiona Hancox just wants to “make a difference”.

The West Otago sheep and beef farmer recently joined the board of Co-operative Business New Zealand.The organisation represents more than 50 co-operative and mutual businesses operating across a  range of industries, including agriculture, manufacturing, insurance, banking and financial services, utilities, pharmaceuticals, education, health, wholesale and retail.

In February last year, Mrs Hancox became the first female farmer representative director on the board of Silver Fern Farms. . . 

Time to hand over the reins – Sally Rae:

For many years, Chris Bayne has been something of an institution at PGG Wrightson’s Mosgiel store.

So, come September 2,  it will be the end of an era as Mrs Bayne (65) works her last day as store manager.

However, she remained philosophical about leaving a role that has been a big part of her life, saying simply it was “time to go”.

“I just think sometimes you work too long and you retire and, all of a sudden, your health goes to the pack. It’s nice to hand the reins over to someone else …  you can’t work forever,” she said. . . 

Retiring rural postie parks his truck – Lynda Van Kempen:

After travelling more than a million kilometres, Kevin “Rock” McCrorie has finally parked  for good.

His 17-year career as a Maniototo rural postman ended on Friday and he shared some of the finer details with  the Otago Daily Times.

Number of vehicles used: Five Toyota Hiluxes

Kilometres driven: 250 a day, five days a week.

Total: 1,105,000km.

Rural boxholders: 125.

Mail, newspapers and parcels delivered: Hundreds of thousands.

Goldfish received: One

Axolotyls delivered: One. . . 

More business understanding gives Southland sheep farmer positive outlook – Brittany Pickett:

Jo Horrell is feeling positive about the future of the sheep industry.

The Southland farmer believes the tide is turning for sheep farming and she is determined to be part of it. Part of her enthusiasm can be attributed to her recently completing  an Agri-Women’s Development Trust Understanding Your Farm Business course

While she found the Red Meat Profit Partnership-funded course invaluable in gaining a greater understanding of the farm business she runs alongside her husband Bryce, it was having the opportunity to meet like-minded, positive people that for Horrell was a real bonus. . . 

Startup to tackle Predator Free New Zealand challenge:

New Zealand based App and Website Pestur will launch in 2017. Pestur is a social network allowing users to compete with each other in challenges as they work to eradicate different pest species through trapping and hunting.

Co- founder Greta Donoghue says the inspiration came in seeing the millions of people around the world willing to try and catch something that doesn’t exist (Pokemon), “the idea being that if even a fraction of these participants put some real world effort into the issue of invasive pest species we could see tangible improvements ranging from the protection of endangered species to the economics of better crop yields” . . 


Anti-farming bias won’t wait for facts

August 24, 2016

Contamination of Havelock North’s water supply is a serious health issue which has prompted the government to undertake an inquiry.

In announcing the draft terms of reference for it, Attorney General Christopher Finlayson said:

“It is important that New Zealanders have confidence in the quality of our drinking water, and the independent inquiry will ensure we have a clear understanding of what happened in Havelock North,” says Mr Finlayson.

“Cabinet has today agreed to initiate a Government inquiry which will report to me as Attorney General.

“The inquiry will look into how the Havelock North water supply became contaminated, how this was subsequently addressed and how local and central government agencies responded to the public health threat that occurred as a result of the contamination.

“The terms of reference are very wide and will include any lessons and improvements that can be made in the management of the water supply network in Havelock North and, more broadly, across New Zealand.”     

Cabinet will consider over the coming weeks who will lead the Government inquiry.

The inquiry will be undertaken under the Inquiries Act 2013. This will ensure it follows a clear statutory process and will have a range of powers such as the ability to call witnesses.

The need to wait for facts hasn’t stopped the usual anti-farming suspects rushing to blame farming in general and dairying in particular for the contamination and using it as an excuse to call for the end to irrigation development.

Federated Farmers’  Hawke’s Bay president Will Foley said while there was some livestock farming in the area it wasn’t intensive:

. . . Basically in terms of the area around Havelock North there just isn’t intensive livestock farming.

He said farmers were watching the situation but there had not been any discussions yet.

“Really we’re just waiting to see some more clear evidence as to how the contamination occurred. And then if it was something related to farming livestock, then we can react to it then and I guess change practises if that’s what it turns out to be.”

IrrigationNZ points out that a focus on science and proven solutions is needed in the response to the Havelock North water crisis.

“IrrigationNZ is very concerned, as is everyone else, about the situation in Havelock North. However, we are surprised by some of the accusations now being made around intensive livestock and irrigation, particularly as the area surrounding the water supply well is dominated by orchards, cropping and low intensity livestock.”

“Before jumping to conclusions we first must understand the facts. A thorough inquiry will establish how groundwater in the area has become contaminated but this will take time. In the short term we should be moving towards best practice when it comes to protecting public water supplies from contamination,” says Andrew Curtis, IrrigationNZ CEO.

Fact 1;

Pathogen contamination almost always results from a point source or a preferential flow scenario.

“The issue will likely be either a preferential flow scenario down the side of an old well case (particularly around older bore casings), a poorly constructed or sealed well head or backflow (contamination making its way directly into bores). Another scenario could be point source from the stock piling of manure. During periods of heavy downpour, contaminants can move through the soil and then there is a risk,” says Mr Curtis.

Fact 2;

Grazing livestock or irrigation are unlikely to be the cause.

“The Havelock North end of the Heretaunga plains is an area of low intensity livestock. Dominated by orchards and seasonal cropping, with sheep grazing in winter there is no dairy or intensive livestock,” says Andrew Curtis.

Livestock grazing is extremely unlikely to have caused this issue – the pathogens don’t make it through the soil, the soil acts as a filter – research work undertaken by ESR has previously shown this to be true.”

Solutions to prevent contamination of groundwater?

Proven solutions include good management practice at both the supply point and any nearby wells.

“Well head protection is essential for all bores and this needs to be better enforced for older bores. Additionally, we need to be looking at requiring back flow protection where applicable. INZ has produced guidelines for backflow prevention that are based on international best practice for agriculture. On top of this, the council needs to be managing nearby point sources where, if heavy rain occurs, leaching could result. Basically all wells near public water supplies should be properly protected.”

“A best practice approach to managing the threats to public water supplies needs to be implemented across New Zealand. There will always be risks from avian, ruminant and human sources so we need to be identifying all the contamination pathways. We need to let the experts get on with their jobs and not take cheap shots with un-informed accusations,” says Mr Curtis.

It’s understandable for the people of Havelock North to be upset about their water and everyone wants to know what caused the problem and what can be done to prevent it happening again in the area or anywhere else.

But that’s not an excuse for the usual suspects to use the issue for their own political agenda without waiting for the facts. In doing so they’re show their anti-farming bias.

We could forget about feeding people and earning the export income we need for a happy, healthy, well functioning country as those of a very dark green persuasion would have it.

We could produce a lot more food and seriously degrade the environment with no concern for the future, a path for which I haven’t heard anyone advocate.

Or we could use science to produce food sustainably which requires good environmental practices based on science.

If poor farming practices are degrading the water we can do something about it but let’s wait for the inquiry and base any required action on the facts.

 


Quote of the day

August 24, 2016

You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know. – William Wilberforce who was born on this day in 1759.

He also  said:

We are too young to realize that certain things are impossible… So we will do them anyway.

And:

If to be feelingly alive to the sufferings of my fellow-creatures is to be a fanatic, I am one of the most incurable fanatics ever permitted to be at large.

And:

Accustom yourself to look first to the dreadful consequences of failure; then fix your eye on the glorious prize which is before you; and when your strength begins to fail, and your spirits are well nigh exhausted, let the animating view rekindle your resolution, and call forth in renewed vigour the fainting energies of your soul.

And:

True Christians consider themselves not as satisfying some rigorous creditor, but as discharging a debt of gratitude.

And:

We have different forms assigned to us in the school of life, different gifts imparted. All is not attractive that is good. Iron is useful, though it does not sparkle like the diamond. Gold has not the fragrance of a flower. So different persons have various modes of excellence, and we must have an eye to all.

And:

Selfishness is one of the principal fruits of the corruption of human nature; and it is obvious that selfishness disposes us to over-rate our good qualities, and to overlook or extenuate our defects.

And:

The distemper of which, as a community, we are sick, should be considered rather as a moral than a political malady.


August 24 in history

August 24, 2016

79   Mount Vesuvius erupted. The cities of Pompeii, Herculaneum, andStabiae were buried in volcanic ash.

1198 King Alexander II of Scotland, was born (d. 1249).

1200  King John of England married Isabella of Angouleme in Bordeaux Cathedral.

1215  Pope Innocent III declared Magna Carta invalid.

1349 Six thousand Jews were killed in Mainz  after being blamed for thebubonic plague.

1391  Jews  massacred in Palma de Mallorca.

1456  The printing of the Gutenberg Bible was completed.

1511 Afonso de Albuquerque of Portugal conquered Malacca, the capital of the Sultanate of Malacca.

1556  – Sophia Brahe, Danish horticulturalist and astronomer, was born (d. 1643).

1561 Willem of Orange married duchess Anna of Saxony.

1591 Robert Herrick, English poet, was born  (d. 1674).

1662 Act of Uniformity required England to accept the Book of Common Prayer.

1759 William Wilberforce, English abolitionist, was born (d. 1833).

1814  British troops invade Washington, D.C. and burned down the White House and several other buildings.

1815 The modern Constitution of the Netherlands was signed.

1821 The Treaty of Córdoba is signed Mexico, concluding the Mexican War of Independence.

1857  The Panic of 1857 began.

1870  The Wolseley Expedition reaches Manitoba to end the Red River Rebellion.

1875 Captain Matthew Webb became the first person to swim the English Channel.

1878  The Governor, the Marquess of Normanby, formally openedWellington’s steam tram service, which was reportedly the first to operate in the Southern Hemisphere.

Wellington steam-tram service opened

1891  Thomas Edison patented the motion picture camera.

1898Count Muravyov, Foreign Minister of Russia presented a rescript that convoked the First Hague Peace Conference.

1899  Jorge Luis Borges, Argentine writer, was born (d. 1986).

1904 – Mary Burchell (Ida Cook), English activist and author, was born (d. 1986).

1924 Jimmy Gardner , British actor, was born (d. 2010).

1927 David Ireland, Australian author, was born.

1929 Yasser Arafat, Palestinian leader, was born (d. 2004).

1929  Betty Dodson, American feminist and sex educator, was born.

1931 – Resignation of the United Kingdom’s Second Labour Government. Formation of the UK National Government.

1932 Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly across the United States non-stop (from Los Angeles to Newark, New Jersey).

1936 A. S. Byatt, English novelist, was born.

1936  The Australian Antarctic Territory was created.

1937  In the Spanish Civil War, the Basque Army surrendered to the Italian Corpo Truppe Volontarie following the Santoña Agreement.

1938  – David Freiberg, American bassist (Quicksilver Messenger Service and Jefferson Starship), was born.

1942 : The Battle of the Eastern Solomons. Japanese aircraft carrierRyūjōwas sunk and US carrier Enterprise heavily damaged.

1945 – Molly Duncan, Scottish saxophonist (Average White Band), was born.

1945  Ken Hensley, English musician (Uriah Heep), was born.

1949  The treaty creating NATO went into effect.

1950  Edith Sampson became the first black U.S. delegate to the UN.

1954  The Communist Control Act went into effect. The American Communist Party was outlawed.

1954 Getúlio Dornelles Vargas, president of Brazil, committed suicide and was succeeded by João Café Filho.

1960  A temperature of −88°C (−127°F) was measured in Vostok, Antarctica — a world-record low.

1963  The 200-metre freestyle was swum in less than 2 minutes for the first time by Don Schollander (1:58).

1967  Aa group of hippies led by Abbie Hoffman temporarily disrupted trading at the NYSE by throwing dollar bills from the viewing gallery, causing a cease in trading as the brokers scramble to grab them up.

1968  France exploded its first hydrogen bomb, thus becoming the world’s fifth nuclear power.

1991 Mikhail Gorbachev resigned as head of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

1991  Ukraine declared itself independent from the Soviet Union.

1992 – Hurricane Andrew hit South Florida as a Category 5 Hurricane.

1995 Computer software developer Microsoft released their Windows 95operating system.

1998 – First RFID human implantation tested in the United Kingdom.

2000  Argon fluorohydride, the first Argon compound ever known, was discovered at the University of Helsinki by Finnish scientists.

2001 – Air Transat Flight 236 ran out of fuel over the Atlantic Ocean and made an emergency landing in the Azores.

2004  89 passengers died when two airliners exploded after flying out of Domodedovo International Airport. The explosions were caused by suicide bombers.

2006 – The International Astronomical Union (IAU) redefines the term “planet” so that Pluto is considered a Dwarf Planet.

2010 – In San Fernando, Tamaulipas, Mexico, 72 illegal immigrants werekilled by Los Zetas.

2014 – A 6.0 magnitude earthquake struck Napa, California, in the northern San Francisco Bay area, It was the largest earthquake to strike northern California since the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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