365 days of gratitude

February 5, 2018

It’s Februdairy, the month someone has designated to celebrate all things dairy.

A jug of milk always sat on the table during meals when I was a child and my brothers and I were allowed to make thick shakes with frozen milk at the weekends.

Those were the days when we were exhorted to buy a bigger block of cheese which then meant cheddar. Now we have a much bigger variety of cheese and other dairy products to choose from including yoghurt which I don’t remember seeing, or tasting, until I was in my teens.

Dairy isn’t important in New Zealand only as a food, it’s also a major contributor to our economy. The milk, butter, cheese  and other dairy products we sell help us to pay for imports which support our first-world lifestyles.

There’s lots to celebrate in Februdairy and I’m grateful for it all.


Word of the day

February 5, 2018

Blodder – to flow with a gurgling sound out of a vessel with a narrow aperture such as a beer or wine bottle.


Rural round-up

February 5, 2018

Markets in danger – Annette Scott:

New Zealand is at risk of causing global market jitters if its biosecurity doesn’t stand up to international scrutiny, Anzco livestock and agribusiness general manager Grant Bunting says.

Lack of accountability, farmer confusion, inadequate animal traceability and too many pushing their own agendas were key factors contributing to a situation with potential to end in disaster for the meat industry. 

Bunting called for accountability and was not alone.

“There are wider industry stakeholders and other processing facilities that share the same concern.”

While Mycoplasma bovis and the Ministry for Primary Industries response was clearly the topic of the moment, the National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) programme had much to answer. . . 

Camp vision brought to life – Tracey Roxburgh:

Almost four years to the day after United States philanthropists Debbi and Paul Brainerd bought a 1.6ha site in Glenorchy, the doors will officially open on their pioneering Camp Glenorchy project, which will be the most sustainable camping ground in the southern hemisphere, if not the world. Queenstown reporter Tracey Roxburgh got a behind-the-scenes tour to see how the project at the head of the lake is progressing.

It’s one thing to take a tour of a building site crawling with contractors erecting frames, digging holes and assembling roofs, and hear about what it will eventually look like — it’s quite another to go back 12 months later and see the vision brought to life.

In March 2014 Debbi and Paul Brainerd, United States-based philanthropists, bought the 1.6ha  Glenorchy Holiday Park and then  four surrounding properties which now comprise the “Glenorchy Marketplace Project”.

It will open to the public in March. In December  the first certificate of public use certificates were issued by the Queenstown Lakes District Council for five of the camp’s cabins ahead of the first guests arriving on December 20 — part of a “soft opening” to test everything and make sure it was up to scratch.  . . 

Greater penalties for stock thieves:

A Bill designed to deter livestock theft will be introduced to Parliament today under the name of National MP Ian McKelvie.

Mr McKelvie says his Bill intends to introduce stricter measures for sentencing judges to draw on when sentencing thieves caught stock rustling.

“The current law offers no deterrent and the penalties don’t reflect the gravity of the crime or the likely suffering of an animal being slaughtered by a rank amateur. . . 

Second Highest Karaka Yearling Sale result:

The National Yearling Sales has recorded its second highest turnover in its 91 year history.

Over 900 horses were sold at Karaka for a combined aggregate of $97,017,750, smashing last years total of $82,015,500.

The highest combined aggregate was reached in 2008 when $111,148,850 was spent at the iconic New Zealand Sale. . . 

Can Australia’s feedlots compete? -John Carter:

It is invariably said that most of a beast’s breeding goes down its neck. A tour of a feedlot, beginning at the inception pens, confirms the saying. “Genetics” improves with the days on feed. 

Good nutrition is essential in producing good meat. However, Australia is heavily handicapped in the world’s food production race.

Ours is, in general, a tired, burnt out, continent with soil poisoned by our eucalyptus trees. 

Our city-centric governments have allowed developers to cover some of our most productive land with concrete. . . 

 

French seed group says GMO protests could force R&D relocation:

Limagrain, the world’s fourth-largest seed maker, will consider moving its research activities out of France if field trials in its home market continue to be sabotaged by opponents of genetically modified crops.

The French cooperative group was targeted last month by protestors who invaded test fields southeast of Paris and scattered non-commercial seed. That was the latest in a series of actions by opponents of gene-editing technology, which they say will herald a new generation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Limagrain said the incident ruined a 37-hectare trial of wheat based on conventional breeding and showed the risk of a repeat of virulent debate over GMOs. . . 

It’s all aobut inches in farming life and football – Andrew Osmond:

Do you ever wonder what NFL football coaches say to their players during a big game? That’s the challenge for Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots and Doug Pederson of the Philadelphia Eagles, the men whose teams will compete this Sunday in the Super Bowl.

Perhaps they’ll turn to the words of a fictional counterpart. In the 1999 movie “Any Given Sunday,” veteran Coach Tony D’Amato [Al Pacino] delivers one of the greatest inspirational sports speeches, ever.

Pacino challenges his team to win the game “inch by inch, play by play.”

This is a football speech, in a locker room, at half time.  For me, it’s also a speech about farming. And life.

Please hear me out on this and let me explain, the idea’s not as strange as it sounds.

Pacino’s character begins by calling the game “the biggest battle of our professional lives.” Then he makes an almost philosophical point: “You find out life’s this game of inches.”

The same is true for farming. . . 

 


Meatless not as green as painted

February 5, 2018

Chicken was reserved for very special occasions when I was a child.

Beef and mutton (and I do mean mutton, not lamb) were the staple meats in our household.

Beef and lamb (not mutton these days) still feature in at least half our dinners most weeks, we usually have fish a couple of times a week, venison now and then, and quite often have a vegetarian meal for at least one weekend dinner.

This means we’re eating less meat than we used to but if this table is accurate we’re obviously eating someone else’s share of beef and lamb and they’re eating our share of chicken and pork:

I’m usually in charge of what we eat and eating less red meat than in the past is a choice based on health advice.

For some people eating less, or no, meat, is a decision made because of their views on animal rights, or the idea that less meat is better for the environment.

Whether that idea is right is up for debate. More vegetarian diets and less meat isn’t necessarily as green as its pianted.

I’m not sure the science is settled on that when the whole environmental cost from paddock to plate is measured.

 

 


Quote of the day

February 5, 2018

Wit is a weapon. Jokes are a masculine way of inflicting superiority. But humour is the pursuit of a gentle grin, usually in solitude. – Frank Muir who was born on this day in 1920.


February 5 in history

February 5, 2018

1649 The claimant King Charles II of England and Scotland was declared King of Scotland.

1725 James Otis, American lawyer and patriot, was born (d. 1783).

1778  South Carolina was the first state to ratify the Articles of Confederation.

1782 Spanish defeat British forces and capture Minorca.

1783 In Calabria, Italy, a sequence of strong earthquakes started.

1788 Robert Peel, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born (d. 1850).

1818 Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte ascended to the thrones of Sweden and Norway.

1840 John Boyd Dunlop, Scottish inventor, was born (d. 1921).

1840 Hiram Stevens Maxim, American inventor (Maxim gun), was born (d. 1916).

1859 – Wallachia and Moldavia were united under Alexander John Cuza as the United Principalities.

1878 André Citroën, French automobile pioneer, was born  (d. 1935).

1885 – King Léopold II of Belgium established the Congo as a personal possession.

1867 New Zealand’s third public railway, the 27-kilometre line betweenInvercargill and the port at Bluff, built by the Southland Provincial Council, opened.

Opening of railway from Invercargill to Bluff

1900 The United States and the United Kingdom signed a treaty for thePanama Canal.

1908 – Daisy and Violet Hilton, British conjoined twins, were born  (d. 1969).

1917 The current constitution of Mexico was adopted, establishing a federal republic with powers separated into independent executive, legislative, and judicial branches.

1917 – The Congress of the United States passed the Immigration Act of 1917 over President Woodrow Wilson‘s veto. Also known as the Asiatic Barred Zone Act, it forbade immigration from nearly all of south and southeast Asia.

1918 Stephen W. Thompson shot down a German airplane, the first aerial victory by the U.S. military.

1919 Charlie ChaplinMary PickfordDouglas Fairbanks, and D.W. Griffith launched United Artists.

1920  Frank Muir, British comedian, was born (d. 1998).

1924 The Royal Greenwich Observatory begins broadcasting the hourly time signals known as the Greenwich Time Signal or the “BBC pips”.

1942 Cory Wells, American singer (Three Dog Night), was born.

1946 The Chondoist Chongu Party was founded in North Korea.

1958 Gamel Abdel Nasser was nominated to be the first president of theUnited Arab Republic.

1958 – A hydrogen bomb known as the Tybee Bomb was lost by the US Air Force off the coast of Savannah, Georgia, never to be recovered.

1962 President Charles De Gaulle called for Algeria to be granted independence.

1964 Duff McKagan, American musician (Guns N’ Roses), was born.

1972 Bob Douglas became the first African American elected to theBasketball Hall of Fame.

1972 Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark, was born.

1994 – The first New Zealand  Big Day Out was held.

First Big Day Out music festival in New Zealand

1994  More than 60 people were killed and some 200 wounded when a mortar shell hit a downtown marketplace in Sarajevo.

1997 – The “Big Three”  banks in Switzerland announced the creation of a $71 million fund to aid Holocaust survivors and their families.

2004 Twenty-three Chinese people drowned when a group of 35 cockle-pickers was trapped by rising tides in Morecambe Bay, England. .

2004 – Rebels from the Revolutionary Artibonite Resistance Frontcaptured the city of Gonaïves, starting the 2004 Haiti rebellion.

2008 – A major tornado outbreak across the Southern United States left 57 dead.

2009 The United States Navy guided missile cruiser Port Royal ran aground off Oahu, Hawaii, damaging the ship and a coral reef.

2017 – The New England Patriots won Super Bowl LI after coming back down 25 to win 34-28 in overtime. It was the first such overtime game in Super Bowl history. Tom Brady won his 4th Super Bowl MVP award.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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