365 days of gratitude

January 17, 2018

I’m too old to be a digital native but have younger people in my life who’ve introduced me to apps which make life easier in a variety of ways.

One of these is WhatsApp that enables users to receive and send messages and photos to and from individuals and groups.

This morning I woke up to a message from Paraguay that made me laugh and another from Argentina that started a conversation.

WhatsApp is such an easy way to communicate and share photos with friends and family near and far, and I’m grateful for it.


Word of the day

January 17, 2018

Curmuring – grumbling; murmuring; rumbling, especially in the bowels.


Rural round-up

January 17, 2018

Sunflower fundraiser set to raise funds for struggling farmers – Deena Coster:

Selling a flower which is synonymous with sunshine is helping give hope to struggling farmers.

In mid-November, Taranaki farmer Will Fleming planted about 500 sunflower seeds around the outside of one of his paddocks, and by next week the distinctive flowers will be on sale.

The money raised from selling off the sunflowers will go directly to the Taranaki Rural Support Trust (TRST). . . 

Pacific leader honoured for work in dairy industry and Manawatū community – Paul Mitchell:

Palatasa Havea​ is still trying to get his head around what it means to be a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

The Palmerston North man received the honour for a life-time of work in dairy industry research and his selfless dedication to the Pacific community in the New Year Honours List.

Havea was surprised and humbled by the appointment. But he wasn’t that familiar with the Royal Honours system, what responsibilities came with it, or that he’d done enough to deserve the recognition.

As a senior research scientist at Fonterra his work has resulted in a new manufacturing process for whey protein products and several patents for the company. . . 

Farmers are off to a good 2018 start in spite of unusual weather this summer – Bill Wright:

The year has got off to a good start and the rain on the roof as I sit and write this is music to my ears – as it will be for all but arable farmers trying to harvest crops and parents trying to keep children entertained.

It has been an unusual season, with what seems to be rapid swings between wet and dry, but the fodder beet, kale and maize crops on our farm are all looking great. The maize is a relatively new inclusion in our system and is proving valuable as cattle feed over the late summer.

All our finishing cattle were gone before Christmas, and we are getting lambs away at good weights. . .

South Canterbury farmer’s cricket pitch reports hit it out of the park – Al Williams:

Glenavy has produced an unlikely social media star who is bowling them over with his infectious sense of humour.

From the tiny South Canterbury town on the banks of the Waitaki River, Ross ‘Rous’ McCulloch Glenavy Cricket Club captain, Glenavy Volunteer Fire Brigade member, Rural Bachelor of the Year finalist, sheep farmer and online larrikin is attracting clicks with his classic Kiwi humour.

McCulloch, with the help of his cricket team-mate, opening batsman, camera operator, dairy farmer and fellow fire brigade member Jackson Henshaw, files weekly “pitch reports” to the club’s Facebook page – all tongue-in-cheek – but their efforts on and offline are paying dividends for their community.   . . 

2018 Dairy Industry Award activity heats up as entrants prepare for judging:

While many people have had a rest from the stresses of work over the Christmas and New Year break, the reality can be different for farmers.

Summer is a busy time in the farming calendar, and General Manager of the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards Chris Keeping says it is just as important for farmers to take a break as any other person.

“Farming is a 24/7 commitment, and it is vital that farmers find time to rest and relax with family and friends,” she said. . . 

Station rebuild from the ground up – Jamie Brown:

Marango Station, bordering gorge country adjacent to Guy Fawkes River east of Ebor, has undergone a facelift of massive proportions.

When three investors bought the 3800 hectare freehold and lease hold holding two years ago they put a young cattleman Mick Kelsall in position of manager. This 33 year old’s boundless energy has helped drive substantial change.

He credits his family and grandfather Jim, ‘Kahona’ Hernani and other properties, as his first mentor and these days leans on Dorrigo agent Tim Bayliss for constant feedback. . . 

Engender moves to commercialisation of genetic dairy technology, targets US market – Tina Morrison:

 (BusinessDesk) – Engender Technologies, the agricultural technology company spun out of Auckland University, is moving to scale up its sex-selection product for the dairy industry to full commercialisation in the next 18 months and is targeting the US$2 billion dairy artificial insemination industry.

Co-founded by the University of Auckland and seed investment company Pacific Channel in 2011, Engender has secured option-to-license agreements for its technology with three of the world’s largest artificial insemination companies, has successfully concluded laboratory trials and is preparing for scaling commercialization, the Auckland-based company said in a statement. In August, the company’s first key patent was allowed in the US and its patent attorneys have confidence that it will be granted in its other key markets, it said. . . 


Gut instinct guides business

January 17, 2018

Two Lincoln University researchers have been researching the role intuition plays in farmers’ decisions and how it can be improved.

Dr Peter Nuthall and Dr Kevin Old, from the Department of Land Management and Systems, have had their analysis of farmers’ intuitive decision making published in the international rural research journal Rural Studies*.

Data was gathered from over 700 farmers.

“Farmer intuition has never been analysed to this extent before,” Dr Nuthall said.

Research has shown farmers make the majority of decisions using their intuition. They do not formally analyse each decision, but use their mental powers to decide on what action to take.

Using intuition, or gut instinct, might be unusual for academics but it isn’t peculiar to farmers, especially those brought up in the business who learned by watching and working with their parents.

“Sometimes the decision is instantaneous, but in others a range of thought levels are brought to bear before acting. Good decision intuition is not a mysterious process,” Dr Nuthall said.

“Profit and other assessments show some farmers are good intuitive decision makers, others not so good.”

Farmers with little experience, whether they have good potential intuition or not, find it difficult to make good decisions.

The handicap of inexperience won’t just be the preserve of farmers either.

I don’t know any successful business people who haven’t made mistakes. They’re more likely when they’re inexperienced and if those mistakes aren’t learning experiences.

What’s differentiates the successful from those less so, is the willingness to trust their gut, make decisions, act on them and learn from any mistakes so they don’t repeat them.

Dr Nuthall said the intuition process often uses what is called ‘pattern matching’, where the brain uses experience to match up past events with the current decision problem.

“The farmer’s intuition then comes up with what the brain believes to be the correct action.”

However, intuition is more than just pattern matching, he said.

“Intuition develops with a farmer’s thought process, self-criticism and review.”

The new research showed how farmers can improve their intuition.

“Obviously the farmers’ technical farming knowledge is important as a forerunner. But equally is the attention to carefully observing the state of the farm and the relevant markets,” Dr Nuthall said.

“Observations must be accurate and cover all the issues important to any decision. And the farmer must be good at anticipating the path ahead — looking ahead skills are critical in assessing alternative actions to solve any decision problem. These all tend to be inbuilt skills”

He said these skills can be improved with attention and practice.

“A farmer should analyse all past decisions and take on board any lessons on offer. Discussing past actions with colleagues and family helps improve mind held patterns and produce good solutions.”

I’m not disputing this reasoning but I think a lot of the analysis is unconscious.

Good farmers live and breathe their businesses, observing and thinking about what they see. They read about farming, go to field days and discussion groups and learn from their own experiences and from others.

Farming is a particularly risky business with many variables which are out of farmers’ control.

Those who succeed use their brains but, like other business people, they are also guided by gut instinct.

 

 


Quote of the day

January 17, 2018

If you would have your son to walk honourably through the world, you must not attempt to clear the stones from his path, but teach him to walk firmly over them – not insist upon leading him by the hand, but let him learn to go alone.Anne Bronte who was born on this day in 1820.

She also said:

I would not send a poor girl into the world, ignorant of the snares that beset her path; nor would I watch and guard her, till, deprived of self-respect and self-reliance, she lost the power or the will to watch and guard herself.


January 17 in history

January 17, 2018

1287– King Alfonso III of Aragon invaded Minorca

1377 Pope Gregory XI moved the Papacy back to Rome from Avignon.

1524 Beginning of Giovanni da Verrazzano‘s voyage to find a passage to China.

1608 Emperor Susenyos of Ethiopia surprised an Oromo army at Ebenat; his army reportedly killed 12,000 Oromo at the cost of 400 men.

1648 England’s Long Parliament passed the Vote of No Addresses, breaking off negotiations with King Charles I and thereby setting the scene for the second phase of the English Civil War.

1773 Captain James Cook and his crew became the first Europeans to sail below the Antarctic Circle.

1820  Anne Brontë, British author, was born  (d. 1849).

1852 The United Kingdom recognised the independence of the Boer colonies of the Transvaal.

1853 The New Zealand Constitution Act (UK) of 1852, which established a system of representative government for New Zealand, was declared operative by Governor Sir George Grey.

1863  David Lloyd George, British Prime Minister, was born  (d. 1945).

1865 Charles Fergusson, Governor-General of New Zealand, was born (d. 1951).

1877  May Gibbs, Australian children’s author, was born.

1899 Al Capone, American gangster, was born  (d. 1947) .

1899 Nevil Shute, English author, was born (d. 1960).

1904 Anton Chekhov‘s The Cherry Orchard received its premiere performance at the Moscow Art Theatre.

1905  Peggy Gilbert, American jazz saxophonist and bandleader, was born (d. 2007).

1912 Sir Robert Falcon Scott (Scott of the Antarctic) reached the South Pole, one month after Roald Amundsen.

1917 The United States paid Denmark $25 million for the Virgin Islands.

1927 – Norman Kaye, Australian actor and musician, was born (d. 2007)

1928 Vidal Sassoon, English cosmetologist, was born (d. 2012). 

1929 Popeye the Sailor Man, a cartoon character created by Elzie Crisler Segar, first appeared in the Thimble Theatre comic strip.

1933  Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, French-born Pakistani diplomat (UN High Commissioner for Refugees), was born (d. 2003)

1933  Shari Lewis, American ventriloquist, was born(d. 1998).

1941 Dame Gillian Weir, New Zealand organist, was born.

1942 Muhammad Ali, American boxer, was born.

1942 Ita Buttrose, Australian journalist and businesswoman, was born.

1945  Soviet forces capture the almost completely destroyed Polish city of Warsaw.

1945 – The Nazis began the evacuation of the Auschwitz concentration camp as Soviet forces closed in.

1946 The UN Security Council held its first session.

1949 Mick Taylor, British musician (The Rolling Stones), was born.

1949 The Goldbergs, the first sitcom on American television, first aired.

1950 The Great Brinks Robbery – 11 thieves stole more than $2 million from an armoured car Company’s offices in Boston, Massachusetts.

1956 Paul Young, English musician, was born.

1961 President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivered a televised farewell address to the nation three days before leaving office, in which he warned against the accumulation of power by the “military-industrial complex“.

1962 Jim Carrey, Canadian actor and comedian, was born.

1964  Michelle Obama, First Lady of the United States, was born.

1966 A B-52 bomber collided with a KC-135 Stratotanker over Spain, dropping three 70-kiloton nuclear bombs near the town of Palomares and another one into the sea in the Palomares incident.

1973 Ferdinand Marcos became “President for Life” of the Philippines.

1982 “Cold Sunday” in the United States  – temperatures fell to their lowest levels in over 100 years in numerous cities.

1983 The tallest department store in the world, Hudson’s, flagship store in downtown Detroit closed due to high cost of operating.

1989 Stockton massacre: Patrick Purdy opened fire with an assault rifle at the Cleveland Elementary School playground, killing five children and wounding 29 others and one teacher before taking his own life.

1991  Gulf War: Operation Desert Storm began early in the morning.

1991 – Harald V became King of Norway on the death of his father, Olav V.

1995 The Great Hanshin earthquake: A magnitude 7.3 earthquake near Kobe, Japan, caused extensive property damage and killed 6,434 people.

2002 –  Mount Nyiragongo erupted in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, displacing an estimated 400,000 people.

2007 The Doomsday Clock was set to five minutes to midnight in response to North Korea nuclear testing.

2008 – British Airways Flight 38 crash landed just short of London Heathrow Airport with no fatalities.

2010 – Rioting began between Muslim and Christian groups in Jos, Nigeria, resulting in at least 200 deaths.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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