Word of the day

November 2, 2017

Bedlamite – an insane person; lunatic.


Rural round-up

November 2, 2017

Top farmers tackle the crunchy stuff and spell cash with a capital C – Pita Alexander:

Many years ago I can remember a farm survey with one of the questions being: “Do farm men feel they are above average drivers?”.

Unsurprisingly, 92 per cent replied definitely yes and from that point on I have always been careful about interpreting survey results. With that said, my suggested 30-odd point list as to what the top group do, think and say would be:

· They are almost invariably a couple with decision making being more or less equal, even on the crunchy issues.

· They listen well and dwell on a problem, but don’t necessarily act on it.

· Top farmers spell cash with a capital C, because for part of every year it can rule their cashflow and their life.

· They are well aware that historically low interest rates have camouflaged their financial results for the past 10 years. They don’t want to see any change, but they expect it sooner or later. . .

 

Farmers Fast Five – Nick Hamilton – Claire Inkson:

Farmers Fast Five : Where we ask a Farmer a quick five questions about farming, and what agriculture means to them. Today we talk to Omihi Farmer Nick Hamilton.

1. How long have you been farming?

I grew up on this farm and my family ancestors have farmed in this area since the very early days. My wife and I purchased our first block in 1999 but we were still working in town. We leased it out to Dad. We went into partnership with my parents in 2002 when we had our first child. Since then we have leased more land and more recently purchased another block. 

2. What sort of farming were you involved in?
I worked in rural finance after finishing at Lincoln and got to see all sorts of farming operations which was a great help in becoming the sheep and beef farmer I am today. I also spent nearly 5 years working for the New Zealand Merino Company and during that time I got to meet some very progressive farmers and analyse some future focused farming businesses that are making a positive contribution to agriculture and the environment. . . 

PGG Wrightson says earnings growth to stall in 2018, begins strategic review – Jonathan Underhill:

 (BusinessDesk) – PGG Wrightson said earnings growth will stall this year after a wet winter and spring and said it will embark on a strategic review following the appointment of new chief executive Ian Glasson.

Operating earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation for the coming year are expected to be in line with the $64.5 million reported for the year ended June 30, the Christchurch-based company said in a statement. Net profit would fall about 30 percent, mainly reflecting one-time gains from property sales in 2017 that won’t be repeated in the current financial year, it said. . . 

Flying venison sandwiches (Arby’s did it again!):

Venison sandwiches flew out of the doors of US fast-food chain Arby’s last weekend as punters queued to get a taste of the new menu item.

Last year’s ‘limited edition’ promotion of the New Zealand venison sandwich in five hunting states went really well. So well, in fact, that the world’s second largest sandwich restaurant chain decided to see if it could repeat the effect. It ran an extended ‘limited time’ promotion for the sandwich, at the start of the US hunting season on 21 October, across all of its 3228 US retail stores.

Mountain River Venison marketing director John Sadler created the successful item with Arby’s last year, working with Mountain River Processors and in-market partner Terra Pacific Marketing director Angus Cleland and wife Anna Marie Longo.

Sadler has been involved in organising sufficient supplies over the past few months to supply an average of 70 New Zealand farm-raised, grass-fed venison steaks per restaurant. That added up to 226,000 steaks or just over 45 tonnes of product. . . 

Farmtech Startups Serving Smallholder Farms – Emma Cosgrove:

According to the United Nations, agriculture and other “rural activities” are the main source of income for three-quarters of the world’s “extreme poor”. 

Every year for UN World Food Day (October 16) the UN Food and Agriculture Organization picks a theme within food and agriculture to bring awareness to on the day. For 2017 the organization is focusing on the challenges that forced migration brings to agriculture. 

“A large share of migrants come from rural areas where more than 75% of the world’s poor and food insecure depend on agriculture and natural resource-based livelihoods,” says the UN, underlining the inherent linkage between migrants and smallholder farms all over the world.  

According to the UN, migration forced either by conflict and political instability, or economic necessity can exacerbate existing problems in countries and cities that receive many migrants and stress local food systems and economies. 

“Creating conditions that allow rural people, especially youth, to stay at home when they feel it is safe to do so, and to have more resilient livelihoods, is a crucial component of any plan to tackle the migration challenge,” says the organization.  . . 


Thursday’s quiz

November 2, 2017

You’re invited to pose the questions.

Anyone who stumps everyone will win a virtual batch of blue cheese asparagus rolls.


Wool’s greener than synthetic alternatives

November 2, 2017

The anti-wool agenda is shear crazy:

Federated Farmers is mystified and frustrated at the latest PETA attack on the wool industry.

The animal rights organisation is using Hollywood celebrities to promote its anti- wool agenda adding further stress to an industry experiencing challenging times.

“This is quite frankly ridiculous and another predictable example of what PETA resort to when they seek attention on a global scale,” says Federated Farmers Meat & Fibre Chair Miles Anderson.

“The implication that shearing sheep is cruel or mistreatment is mystifying to most kiwis let alone farmers. Sheep naturally grow wool and if we didn’t shear them there would be great animal welfare issues, such as fly strike or discomfort having to carry a 5kg plus fleece around in the heat of summer. 

“Shearing is like getting a haircut, simple as that.”

Many moon ago sheep might not have needed to be shorn.

But modern flocks have been bred to produce wool and leaving them unshorn would be cruel.

That’s why farmers continue to shear their sheep even though the current price for strong wool isn’t covering the cost of shearing.

New Zealand farmers take the welfare of their sheep very seriously and have high standards that they and all those involved with animals including shearers, maintain as a point of pride.

The industry was working together to ensure all involved are well trained to maintain these standards.

“Our wool industry is globally renowned for quality and ethics, unlike PETA which has a particular worldview that they want everyone to conform to and, it’s obvious they don’t care how they go about achieving that,” says Miles.

It was a mystery why wool was being targeted by organisations claiming to appeal to the values of present day society.

“Wool is a truly sustainable and environmentally safe product. It has numerous attributes: being biodegradable, fire resistant and renewable. It’s also naturally insulating and therefore an energy saver, saving on household costs.

A common alternative to wearing wool is synthetics such as polyester and polar fleece, which leave behind microfibres when washed contaminating the environment.

“We have seen a rejection of products containing micro beads in personal care products, if the same scrutiny is applied to clothing, wool presents a fantastic natural, sustainable alternative,” says Miles.

Another benefit of wool is that it takes a lot less energy to produce a kilo of wool than any of the synthetic alternatives.

 


Free trade, fair trade

November 2, 2017

It’s 70 years since 23 countries signed the GATT which provisionally regulated world trade for decades.

That’s something to celebrate.

But it’s frustrating that all these decades on too many people, and governments, don’t understand that free trade is fair trade and how it benefits both buyers and sellers.


Quote of the day

November 2, 2017

Look. Art knows no prejudice, art knows no boundaries, art doesn’t really have judgement in it’s purest form. So just go, just go. K.D. Lang who celebrates her 56th birthday today.


November 2 in history

November 2, 2017

619 – A qaghan of the Western Turkic Khaganate was assassinated in a Chinese palace by Eastern Turkic rivals after the approval of Tang emperor Gaozu.

1410 The Peace of Bicêtre between the Armagnac and Burgundian factions was signed.

1755 – Marie Antoinette, Queen of France was born (d. 1793).

1783  US General George Washington gave his “Farewell Address to the Army”.

1795 The French Directory succeeded the French National Convention as the government of Revolutionary France.

1861  American Civil War: Western Department Union General John C. Fremont was relieved of command and replaced by David Hunter.

1865 – Warren G. Harding, American journalist and politician, 29th President of the United States, was born (d. 1923).

1868  New Zealand officially adopted a  standard time to be observed nationally

1882 Oulu, Finland was decimated by the Great Oulu Fire of 1882.

1889  North and South Dakota were admitted as the 39th and 40th U.S. states.

1893 – Battista Farina, Italian businessman, founded the Pininfarina Company, was born (d. 1966).

1895  The first gasoline-powered race in the United States. First prize: $2,000

1898 Cheerleading started at the University of Minnesota with Johnny Campbell leading the crowd in cheering on the football team.

1899 The Boers began their 118 day siege of British held Ladysmith during the Second Boer War.

1913  Burt Lancaster, American actor, was born (d. 1994).

1914 Russia declared war on the Ottoman Empire.

1917 The Balfour Declaration proclaimed British support for the “establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” with the clear understanding “that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities”

1920 KDKA of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania started broadcasting as the first commercial radio station. The first broadcast was the result of the U.S. presidential election, 1920.

1920 – Muhammad Rafiq Tarar, Pakistani judge and politician, 9th President of Pakistan, was born.

1930 Haile Selassie was crowned emperor of Ethiopia.

1936  The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation was established.

1936 – Italian dictator Benito Mussolini proclaimed the Rome-Berlin Axis, establishing the alliance of the Axis Powers.

1936 – The British Broadcasting Corporation initiated the BBC Television Service, the world’s first regular, high-definition (then defined as at least 200 lines) service.

1938 – Queen Sofia of Spain was born.

1941 Bruce Welch, English musician and songwriter (The Shadows), was born.

1942 At El Alamein in Egypt, the 2nd New Zealand Division opened the way for British armour, allowing the Allies to force a breakthrough and send the Axis forces into retreat.

NZ Division helps Allies break through at El Alamein

1944  Keith Emerson, British keyboardist and composer (Emerson, Lake & Palmer), was born.

1947  Howard Hughes performed the maiden (and only) flight of theSpruce Goose; the largest fixed-wing aircraft ever built.

1956 – Dale Brown, American author and pilot was born.

1957 The Levelland UFO Case in Levelland, Texas, generated national publicity.

1959 Quiz show scandals: Twenty One game show contestant Charles Van Doren admitted to a Congressional committee that he had been given questions and answers in advance.

1959  The first section of the M1 motorway, the first inter-urban motorway in the United Kingdom, was opened.

1960  Penguin Books was found not guilty of obscenity in the Lady Chatterley’s Lover case.

1961  k.d. lang, Canadian musician, was born.

1963  South Vietnamese President Ngô Ðình Diệm is assassinated following a military coup.

1964 King Saud of Saudi Arabia was deposed by a family coup, and replaced by his half-brother King Faisal.

1965  Norman Morrison, a 31-year-old Quaker, set himself on fire in front of the river entrance to the Pentagon to protest the use of napalm in the Vietnam war.

1966  The Cuban Adjustment Act entered force, allowing 123,000 Cubans the opportunity to apply for permanent residence in the United States.

1974  78 died when the Time Go-Go Club in Seoul burned down.

1983 U.S. President Ronald Reagan signed a bill creating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

1984  Velma Barfield became the first woman executed in the United States since 1962.

1988 The Morris worm, the first internet-distributed computer worm to gain significant mainstream media attention, was launched from MIT.

1995 – Former South African defence minister General Magnus Malan and 10 other former senior military officers were arrested and charged with murdering 13 black people in 1987.

2000 – The first resident crew to the ISS docked on the Soyuz TM-31.

2007 – 50,000–100,000 people demonstrated against the Georgian government in Tbilisi.

2014 – A suicide attack killed 60 at Wagah.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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