366 days of gratitude

October 6, 2016

The first time I went to town after our son died I was aware that the world was still turning as normal while my life had been changed irrevocably.

About half way to town I passed a grove of flowering cherry trees, their pink blossom standing out against the clear, blue sky.

Part of me was confounded by this exuberant show of new life while I was so consumed by a death. But a small part of my mind also registered that this was a sign that spring always follows winter.

I remember that each I drive past those trees, which is usually several times each week, and none more so than at this time of year when they are again in full bloom.

Today I’m grateful for nature’s message that life goes on and that after winter there will be spring.


Word of the day

October 6, 2016

Dissensus  – widespread disagreement, dissatisfaction or dissent;  inability of a group to reach unanimous agreement; (in law) the mutual agreement of the parties to a simple contract obligation that it shall be dissolved or annulled;  an undoing of the consensus which created the obligation.


Rural round-up

October 6, 2016

Industry condemns skipper’s actions:

Seafood New Zealand supports the prosecution of a commercial fishing boat skipper over the death of albatross at sea.

“Industry is very disappointed in this skipper’s actions that were totally out of line. We support the Ministry for Primary Industries in the action they have taken against him,” says Chief Executive Tim Pankhurst.

“There is no excuse for his behaviour. He was required to use a tori line, a device using streamers to scare off birds. . . 

Dairy price effect still hurting NZ SMEs:

The dairy downturn is still having an impact on small to medium enterprises in many parts of the country, although there are definite green shoots in the economy according to the latest MYOB Colmar Brunton Business Monitor Survey.

More than one third (34 per cent) of all agribusinesses have been affected by low dairy prices in the past six months, with 12 per cent saying the impact is ‘very negative’.

For the many businesses connected to the agricultural economy, that remains a problem. Compared to a national average of 39 per cent, just 25 per cent of rural SMEs saw their revenues improve in the last 12 months, according to the latest Business Monitor, and 24 per cent reported a decline in income over the period. . . 

New Zealand farming leaders check in on Brexit:

Britain’s arrangements for leaving the European Union (EU) by the summer of 2019 and progress towards an EU-NZ Free Trade Agreement, will be on the agenda when Beef + Lamb New Zealand meets British and EU farming representatives during a northern hemisphere visit.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand Chairman, James Parsons and Southern South Island farmer director Andrew Morrison are in Britain, France, Ireland and Belgium this week to meet with New Zealand’s farming counterparts, to discuss areas of common interest including lamb consumption and maintaining year-round supply for European consumers. . . 

$3m in new projects for High-Value Nutrition:

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce today announced the High-Value Nutrition National Science Challenge is investing $3 million in its Consumer Insights and Science of Food research programmes.

“The research into high-value nutrition is hugely important in moving our food production from volume to value”, Mr Joyce says.  “These projects will help product development that brings maximum returns for New Zealand food exporters.”

The Consumer Insights research programme is focused on understanding consumers’ beliefs, perceptions, attitudes and behaviours.

“Up to $1.5 million has been allocated to research the science of consumers, with a focus on health and wellness needs of Asian consumers. It will research what is needed to establish a habitual consumption of high-value nutritional foods, which is vital in ensuring investment is directed in areas that will resonate most with consumers. . . 

Ancient sheep breed alive and well in Wimbledon – Christine McKay:

Jacob sheep are an ancient breed with their story appearing in the book of Genesis in the Bible.

For Wimbledon farmer, Brian Hales, the story of the Jacob sheep is something special.
“Their story and how they came to be in New Zealand, is truly magnificent,” he said.

Jacobs are brown sheep with white spots or white sheep with brown spots. Their breed, Manx Loughtun, is unique for having one, two or three sets of horns. . . 

New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards offer benefits to farm owners and employers:

Excitement is building as the date for entries to open for the 2017 The New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards entries nears. Entries for the 2017 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards will be accepted online at dairyindustryawards.co.nz from October 20 and will close on November 30, with Early Bird entries closing at midnight on November 9.

The Awards encourage best practice and the sharing of excellence and also identify and promote the dairy industry’s future leaders. They enable people to progress through the awards as a person progresses through the dairy industry – from farm worker to herd manager, farm manager and contract milker to share milker.

The Awards are supported by DairyNZ, De Laval, Ecolab, Federated Farmers, Fonterra Farm Source, Honda Motorcycles NZ, LIC, Meridan Energy, Ravensdown, Westpac and industry partner Primary ITO. . . 

Sanford gets Marlborough innovation award – Tracey Neal:

Sanford fishing company’s Marlborough operation has received a civic award more than a year after major job losses at the company.

Its Havelock processing facility is one of the largest in New Zealand, employing 300 people and contributing around $15 million annually to the local economy in salary and wages.

The company’s mussel processing operation in Havelock was yesterday given the Marlborough Award, last presented in 2006, which recognises significant contribution to the district through innovation. . . 

Fonterra Moves to Reduce Sugar Content in Kids’ Yoghurt – Anchor Uno:

Fonterra’s Anchor Uno now contains the lowest levels of sugar (per 100 grams) in any kids’ yoghurt brand in New Zealand, with 40 per cent less sugar than the original Uno formulation.

Good nutrition is important for growing children as they are developing nutritional habits that can continue throughout their lives. The Anchor team recognise this and has come up with a way to provide a healthier alternative that kids still enjoy.

Anchor Cultured Brand Manager Nicola Carroll says Anchor is committed to continuously improving its product portfolio to reduce the use of added sugars without compromising the quality, taste and texture of the product. . . 

A day down on the farm: Owl Farm’s first Annual Public Open Day:

Owl Farm in Cambridge is opening its gates to urban communities for its inaugural Open Day on Saturday 15 October, 11am until 4pm.

The theme, ‘From our grass to your glass, how your milk is made’, aims to close the gap between town and country by giving the communities in which Owl Farm operates an up-close experience of a working dairy farm.

“It’s vitally important that the dairy industry engage and demonstrate what dairy is all about, and where our milk comes from,” says Demonstration Manager Doug Dibley. “The event will be a fantastic opportunity for a fun and educational day on the farm for the whole family”. . . 

Auditing Stock – A crucial component to mitigating stock losses:

The recent theft of 500 dairy cows has been another harsh wake up call for the industry as farmers consider if they are taking the right precautions in protecting their second largest asset. Michael Lee, an agribusiness audit specialist at Crowe Horwath, advises how the introduction of simple systems can mitigate potential theft.

The Federated Farmers’ dairy industry chairperson, Andrew Hoggard points out if a bank was robbed there would be uproar, but police don’t tend to see stock as cold, hard cash.

Lee agrees saying, “Stock theft is extremely important for farmers as not only do they lose their capital when stock is stolen, which for a dairy cow can be up to $2,000, they also suffer the loss of revenue from that stock.” . . 

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Thursday’s quiz

October 6, 2016

You are invited to pose the questions.

Anyone who stumps everyone will win a virtual asparagus and blue cheese roulade.


Quote of the day

October 6, 2016

Progress is man’s ability to complicate simplicity.  – Thor Heyerdahl who was born on this day in 1914.

He also said:

One learns more from listening than speaking. And both the wind and the people who continue to live close to nature still have much to tell us which we cannot hear within university walls.


October 6 in history

October 6, 2016

105 BC Battle of Arausio: The Cimbri defeated the Roman army of Gnaeus Mallius Maximus.

69 BC Battle of Tigranocerta: Forces of the Roman Republic defeated the army of the Kingdom of Armenia led by King Tigranes the Great.

68 BC Battle of Artaxata: Lucullus defeated Tigranes the Great of Armenia.

1289 – Wenceslaus III of Bohemia, was born, (d. 1306).

1600  Jacopo Peri‘s Euridice, the earliest surviving opera, received its première performance in Florence, signifying the beginning of the Baroque Period.

1683  William Penn brought 13 German immigrant families to the colony of Pennsylvania, marking the first immigration of German people to America.

1744  – James McGill, Scottish-Canadian businessman and philanthropist, founded McGill University, was born (d. 1813).

1762  Seven Years’ War: conclusion of the Battle of Manila between Britain and Spain, which resulted in the British occupation of Manila for the rest of the war.

1769 Ship’s boy Nicholas Young received a gallon of rum and had Young Nick’s Head named in his honour for being the first aboard theEndeavour to spot land.

Young Nick sights land

1789  French Revolution: Louis XVI returned to Paris from Versailles after being confronted by the Parisian women.

1838 – Giuseppe Cesare Abba, Italian soldier, poet, and author, was born (d. 1910).

1849  The execution of the 13 Martyrs of Arad after the Hungarian war of independence.

1854 The Great fire of Newcastle and Gateshead started shortly after midnight, leading to 53 deaths and hundreds injured.

1884  The Naval War College of the United States Navy was founded in Newport, Rhode Island.

1889  Thomas Edison showed his first motion picture.

1903  The High Court of Australia sat for the first time.

1906  The Majlis of Iran convened for the first time.

1908 Austria annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina sparking a crisis.

1910 Barbara Castle, British politician, first woman to be First Secretary of State, was born (d. 2002).

1914 Thor Heyerdahl, Norwegian explorer was born  (d. 2002).

1927  Opening of The Jazz Singer, the first prominent talking movie.

1928  Chiang Kai-Shek became Chairman of the Republic of China.

1930 Richie Benaud, Australian cricketer, was born.

1939 – Melvyn Bragg, English journalist, author, and academic, was born.

1939  World War II: The  Polish army was defeated.

1942 Britt Ekland, Swedish actress, was born.

1945 Billy Sianis and his pet billy goat were ejected from Wrigley Field during Game 4 of the 1945 World Series (see Curse of the Billy Goat).

1948 Gerry Adams, Northern Irish politician, was born.

1973  Egypt launched a coordinated attack against Israel to reclaim land lost in the Six Day War. The Ramadan War Yom Kippur War started at 2:05 pm that day.

1976  Cubana Flight 455 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean after two bombs, placed on board by terrorists with connections to the CIA, exploded. All 73 people on-board were killed.

1976 New Premier Hua Guofeng ordered the arrest of the Gang of Four and associates and ended the Cultural Revolution in China.

1976   Massacre of students gathering at Thammasat University in Bangkok, Thailand to protest the return of ex-dictator Thanom, by a coalition of right-wing paramilitary and government forces, triggering the return of the military to government.

1977  In Alicante, Spain, fascists attacked a group of MCPV militants and sympathisers, one MCPV sympathiser was killed.

1977 The first prototype of the MiG-29, designated 9-01, made its maiden flight.

1979 Pope John Paul II beaome the first pontiff to visit the White House.

1981 President of Egypt  Anwar al-Sadat was assassinated.

1985  PC Keith Blakelock was murdered as riots erupted in the Broadwater Farm suburb of London.

1987  Fiji became a republic.

1995 51 Pegasi was discovered to be the first major star apart from the Sun to have a planet (and extrasolar planet) orbiting around it.

2000 Yugoslav president Slobodan Milošević resigned.

2000  Argentine vice president Carlos Álvarez resigned.

2002  The French oil tanker Limburg was bombed off Yemen.

2007 Jason Lewis completed the first human-powered circumnavigation of the globe.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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