366 days of gratitude

October 26, 2016

Rotary visited a propagation nursery this evening.

It gave us a fascinating insight into the science and art of growing vegetables and trees from seed on a large-scale, and the knowledge and technology involved in doing it.

It’s a small business and the passion the owners have for it was obvious.

The visit gave us an appreciation for the work, the business and the people who make it a success and I’m grateful for that.


Word of the day

October 26, 2016

Kludge – an ill-assorted collection of parts assembled to fulfil a particular purpose;  a software or hardware configuration that, while inelegant, inefficient, clumsy, or patched together, succeeds in solving a specific problem or performing a particular task; a workaround or quick-and-dirty solution that is clumsy, inelegant, inefficient, difficult to extend and hard to maintain; a system, especially a computer system, that is constituted of poorly matched elements or of elements originally intended for other applications; an awkward or inferior computer system or program that is created quickly to solve a problem; to improvise or put together from an ill-assorted collection of parts.

Hat tip: Dim Post


Rural round-up

October 26, 2016

Dairy farmers ‘treat those calves like their babies’ – Alexa Cook:

Farmers have hit back at claims of widespread mistreatment of bobby calves, after a video emerged of calves being thrown onto the back of trucks.

The hidden-camera footage, obtained by activist group Farmwatch, also showed calves being dragged along the ground.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has condemned the treatment, and started a full investigation.

But many farmers and farm workers say what was shown on the video did not reflect the reality of the industry. . .

Cruel practices condemned by DairyNZ chief:

DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle says cruel and illegal practices are not in any way condoned or accepted by the industry as part of dairy farming.

“The vast majority of farmers care about their animals and we are committed to farming to very high standards.

“DairyNZ works closely with the wider industry in the management of bobby calves, including the transport sector, meat processors and dairy companies, as well as Federated Farmers and MPI.” . . 

Merino to make stars of growers – Sally Rae:

“You are going to be the rock stars for the future consumers,” New Zealand Merino chief executive John Brakenridge told about 100 merino growers in Omarama yesterday.

Speaking before the company’s annual meeting in the township, Mr Brakenridge said new brands were emerging where consumers could get to know the producer.

He had just returned from the United States, where he met former All White Tim Brown, the co-founder of shoe company Allbirds which has produced a shoe made from New Zealand merino. . . 

Loie and Tony Penwarden are ending their Trewithen Farms sharemilking contract – Sue O’Dowd:

An award-winning Taranaki dairy farm will enter a new era next season as family beckons for its long-serving sharemilkers.

The couple, who have been herd-owning sharemilkers on Faull Farms’ Trewithen Farm at Tikorangi since 2004, are retiring at the end of the 2016-17 season. 

The partnership between Faull Farms and the Penwardens won the inaugural Taranaki Ballance Farm Environment Awards (TBFEA) in 2014. . . 

Tokanui shepherd perfect woman – Tim Miller:

After two days of fierce competition, which included cooking a steak and flying a helicopter, the perfect woman for 2016 has been found.

The Perfect Woman competition returned to Wanaka at the weekend, after a year off in 2015, and 16 contestants took part.

Shepherd Rachel Rule (22), from Tokanui, took the title and  $1000 in prize money.

Miss Rule did not expect to win. She said the best part of the weekend was meeting the other competitors.

“It was a fantastic weekend with just a great bunch of girls and the things we got to do, like flying a helicopter, were really amazing.” . . 

Lives given purpose by the ‘legends’ who helped – Marc Gascoigne:

It’s been a stressful spring for farmers in the Waikato with constant rain causing all sorts of problems, but those stresses were put into perspective in a big way for me last week when I attended two funerals.

When people say life is short they’re usually talking about living until you’re in your eighties, so when you are at a two-year-old child’s memorial service, it’s just not right on any level.

Mason was just two when he came to stay at our farm a few weeks ago with his mum and dad and five-year-old brother Weslley. . . 

Rubbish boosts tasty delicacy – Alan Williams:

Saffron growers and wine-makers are among the businesses swearing by the benefits of organic compost made from Christchurch city’s green waste.  

Te Anau saffron growers Steve and Jo Daley were even prepared to pay up to $2500 a load to get compost trucked the 650km from the Living Earth processing plant at Bromley.  

The Living Earth market was 95% rural based, included pastoral and cropping farmers and the rural sales were 85% repeat business, the company’s rural and urban sales manager Graeme Wright said.  

The Daleys were determined to be organic growers and the cost was worth it for them, with the consistency of the compost and its ability to hold its properties through a hot, dry summer. . . 

Plant-based alternative milk consumption growing in Australia as dairy industry holds firm – Marty McCarthy:

Dairy milk has been flying off the supermarket shelves as consumers continue to sympathise with Australia’s dairy farmers, following the Murray Goulburn crisis.

But so-called “alternative milks” are rising in popularity, and new research shows consumers are increasingly lapping them up.

Supermarkets now stock a range of plant-based milks, including soy, almond, coconut, hazelnut, rice, oat and more recently, macadamia milk.

“While the incidences of lactose intolerance have been increasing there have also been food trends that recommend avoiding cow’s milk,” IBISWorld analyst Lauren Magner said. . . 

Rabobank Global Wine Quarterly Q4 2016: Red Dawn? Behind the Rise in Australian Wine Grape Prices:

Australia takes the pulse of wine grape markets, while the Northern Hemisphere harvest appears set to fall on the short side, and China headlines developments in global wine trade, according to Rabobank’s Global Wine Quarterly for Q4 2016.

The Australian wine grape industry has experienced a ‘red dawn’, with prices rising from their 2011 lows, particularly for red wine grape varieties sourced from more premium growing regions. Rabobank senior analyst Marc Soccio says: “Life has returned to Australian wine grape prices, with China driving much of the recovery in market conditions.”

Highlighting the key role of the China/Hong Kong market in Australia’s wine grape price recovery, the performance of the Chinese market remains a key barometer of future red wine grape market condition. The premiumisation trend in other major markets is also a factor, namely in Australia’s domestic market, as well as in the US and Canada. . . 

Nominations Have Closed for the 2016 Fonterra Elections:

Nominations for the Fonterra Board of Directors’ Independent Nomination Process candidates and the Shareholders’ Council, Directors’ Remuneration Committee, and Fonterra Farmer Custodian Trustee elections closed at 12 noon today.

The candidates successfully nominated following the Independent Nomination Process will be announced on Friday 4 November, 2016. The full list of candidates, including Self-Nominated candidates for the Fonterra Board of Directors’ Election will be announced by Wednesday, 16 November 2016. . . 

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Do not cross this pasture unless you can do it in 9 seconds, because the bull can do it in 10.

 


Boxing not right fit for public funds

October 26, 2016

Duco which is promoting Joseph Parker’s world heavyweight title fight in New Zealand, is seeking public funding:

Boxing requires skill, strength and fitness like other sports.

People get hurt doing it, like other sports.

But unlike other sports, that’s the aim in boxing.

That makes it a bad fit for public funds.

It might gain international attention but it can’t be compared withevents like the Rugby World Cup or next year’s World Shearing and Wool Handling Championships which qualified for major events funds.

They not only had/will have multiple participants they attracted/will attract thousands of visiting supporters and fans over weeks.


Abuse should be reported immediately

October 26, 2016

Farmwatch has released footage from hidden cameras which shows abuse of bobby calves:

It has been almost a year since the group went public with its last major exposé, which showed similar treatment as well as calves being killed through blunt force, and kicked and beaten, resulting in a public outcry and new industry guidelines.

Back then, many in the industry blamed the mistreatment on a few bad apples.

However, Farmwatch says its latest investigation shows this is untrue – and that the abuse of calves is a common practice in one of New Zealand’s biggest industries. . . 

Animal abuse is not common practice. Farmwatch’s statement is a slur on the thousands of farmers and farm workers who treat stock humanely.

Farmwatch has completed another investigation, this time involving about 10 farms in Taranaki and Waikato from August this year. The latest video, released to Checkpoint with John Campbell, showed calves being thrown forcefully onto trucks and dropped onto the ground.

“What you can see here is the workers just throwing them, hurling them, into the back of the truck,” Farmwatch spokesman John Darroch said. “He just chucks it by the neck backwards.”. . 

The dairy industry had, in the past, pinned the abuse on a few bad workers, he said.

“This is representative of the handling of calves, and when we place hidden cameras we get this kind of footage … If it were only a few people doing this, it would be impossible for us to get this footage.” . . 

That’s a nonsensical statement. It takes only one person to do this to obtain footage. Ten is 10 too many but it is not representative of the industry.

Apart from the obvious and overriding importance of animal welfare, bruising of calves reduces the value of their meat.

Almost everyone in dairying will be as angry and upset by this maltreatment as the animal rights people.

Furthermore, almost everyone else, with animal welfare at heart rather than a political agenda,  would have reported the abuse to MPI or the SPCA immediately to ensure the abuse stopped immediately and not waited two months as Farmwatch did.


Quote of the day

October 26, 2016

Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.Napoleon Hill who was born on this day in 1883.

He also said:

Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.

And:

Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.

And:

Money without brains is always dangerous.


October 26 in history

October 26, 2016

306  Martyrdom of Saint Demetrius of Thessaloniki.

1597  Imjin War: Admiral Yi Sun-sin routed the Japanese Navy of 300 ships with only 13 ships at the Battle of Myeongnyang.

1640 The Treaty of Ripon was signed, restoring peace between Scotland and Charles I of England.

1689  General Piccolomini of Austria burned down Skopje to prevent the spread of cholera. He died of cholera soon after.

1774  The first Continental Congress adjourned in Philadelphia.

1775  King George III went before Parliament to declare the American colonies in rebellion, and authorised a military response to quell the American Revolution.

1776  Benjamin Franklin departed from America for France on a mission to seek French support for the American Revolution.

1795  The French Directory, a five-man revolutionary government, was created.

1811  The Argentine government declared the freedom of expression for the press by decree.

1825 The Erie Canal opened – passage from Albany, New York to Lake Erie.

1859 The Royal Charter was wrecked on the coast of Anglesey, north Wales with 459 dead.

1860  Meeting of Teano. Giuseppe Garibaldi, conqueror of the Kingdom of Two Sicilies, gives it to King Victor Emmanuel II of Italy.

1861  The Pony Express officially ceased operations.

1865  Benjamin Guggenheim, American businessman, was born (d. 1912).

1869 – Washington Luís, Brazilian lawyer and politician, 13th President of Brazil, was born (d. 1957).

1873 – Thorvald Stauning, Danish union leader and politician, 24th Prime Minister of Denmark, was born (d. 1942).

1874 – Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, American philanthropist, founded the Museum of Modern Art (d. 1948).

1881  The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.

1883  Napoleon Hill, American writer and philosopher, was born (d. 1970).

1902  – Beryl Markham, Kenyan horse trainer and author, was born (d. 1986).

1905 Norway became independent from Sweden.

1909 Itō Hirobumi, Resident-General of Korea, was shot to death by Korean independence supporter Ahn Jung-geun.

1911 – Sorley MacLean, Scottish poet and educator, was born (d. 1996).

1912  First Balkan War: The capital city of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, was unified with Greece on the feast day of its patron Saint Demetrius. Serbian troops captured Skopje.

1916 François Mitterrand, President of France, was born (d. 1996).

1917   Battle of Caporetto; Italy was defeated by the forces of Austria-Hungary and Germany. The young unknown Oberleutnant Erwin Rommelcaptured Mount Matajur with only 100 Germans against a force of over 7000 Italians.

1918  Erich Ludendorff, quartermaster-general of the Imperial German Army, was dismissed by Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany for refusing to cooperate in peace negotiations.

1919 – Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran, was born (d. 1980).

1920 – Sarah Lee Lippincott, American astronomer and academic, was born.

1921  The Chicago Theatre opened.

1928 – Francisco Solano López, Argentinian illustrator, was born (d. 2011).

1936  The first electric generator at Hoover Dam went into full operation.

1940  The P-51 Mustang made its maiden flight.

1942 The Women’s Jurors Act enabled women to sit on juries in New Zealand.

Women Jurors Act allows women to sit on juries

1942  Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands: U.S. aircraft carrier, Hornet, was sunk and another aircraft carrier, Enterprise, was heavily damaged.

1943 World War II: First flight of the Dornier Do 335 “Pfeil”.

1944  World War II: The Battle of Leyte Gulf ended with an overwhelming American victory.

1947  Hillary Rodham Clinton, 67th United States Secretary of State, was born.

1947 The Maharaja of Kashmir agreed to allow his kingdom to join India.

1948  Killer smog settled into Donora, Pennsylvania.

1955  After the last Allied troops left the country and following the provisions of the Austrian Independence Treaty, Austria declared permanent neutrality.

1955 – Ngô Đình Diệm declared himself Premier of South Vietnam.

1958  Pan American Airways made the first commercial flight of the Boeing 707 from New York City to Paris, France.

1959  The world saw the far side of the Moon for the first time.

1964 Eric Edgar Cooke became last person in Western Australia to be executed.

1965 – Ken Rutherford, New Zealand cricketer, was born.

1967 – Keith Urban, New Zealand singer-songwriter and guitarist (The Ranch), was born.

1967  Mohammad Reza Pahlavi crowned himself Emperor of Iran and then crowned his wife Farah Empress of Iran.

1977 The last natural case of smallpox was discovered in Merca district, Somalia. The WHO and the CDC consider this date the anniversary of the eradication of smallpox, the most spectacular success of vaccination.

1979  Park Chung-hee, President of South Korea was assassinated by KCIA head Kim Jae-kyu. Choi Kyu-ha becomes the acting President.

1984  ”Baby Fae” received a heart transplant from a baboon.

1985  The Australian government returns ownership of Uluru to the local Pitjantjatjara Aborigines.

1992 The London Ambulance Service was thrown into chaos after the implementation of a new CAD, (Computer Aided Despatch) system which failed.

1994 Jordan and Israel signed a peace treaty

1995  Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Mossad agents assassinated Islamic Jihad leader Fathi Shikaki.

1999  Britain’s House of Lords voted to end the right of hereditary peersto vote in Britain’s upper chamber of Parliament.

2000  Laurent Gbagbo took over as president of Côte d’Ivoire following a popular uprising against President Robert Guéï.

2002 Moscow Theatre Siege: Around 50 Chechen terrorists and 150 hostages die when Russian Spetsnaz stormed a theatre building in Moscow, which had been occupied by the terrorists three days before.

2003  The Cedar Fire, the second-largest fire in California history, killed 15 people, consumed 250,000 acres (1,000 km²), and destroyed 2,200 homes around San Diego.

2014 – Britain withdrew from Afghanistan after the end of Operation Herrick which started on June 20, 2002 after 12 years four months and seven days.

2015 – A 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck in the Hindu Kush mountain range in northeastern Afghanistan, killing 398 people and leaving 2,536 people injured.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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