365 days of gratitude

March 11, 2018

Nearly 20 years ago my farmer completed Rabobank’s Executive Development Programme for Primary Producers (EDPPP).

He and our business have benefitted immensely from what he learned during the programme and an immeasurable bonus on top of that is friendships made with other participants throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Partners are invited to alumni events so I have met some wonderful people and visited inspirational businesses.

This year’s alumni tour began with breakfast in Queenstown then headed south to Gore with three farm visits en route.

Next day we headed back to Queenstown with three more farm visits on the way.

It’s both a pleasure and a privilege to visit businesses like this and to be part of a group of such motivated and interesting people and I’m very grateful for it.


Word of the day

March 11, 2018

Moire – silk fabric that has been subjected to heat and pressure rollers after weaving to give it a rippled appearance; having a rippled, lustrous finish; an irregular wavy finish on a fabric; a ripple pattern on a stamp; a fabric having a wavy watered appearance; an independent usually shimmering pattern seen when two geometrically regular patterns (such as two sets of parallel lines or two halftone screens) are superimposed especially at an acute angle.


Nats’ new caucus line-up

March 11, 2018

National leader Simon Bridges has announced the team to take on the government:

National Party Leader Simon Bridges has unveiled his new caucus line-up, saying it reflects his intention to make the most of the party’s considerable experience as well as new talent – and to recognise hard work, new ideas and success.

“The National Party caucus is brimming with energy and enthusiasm and a willingness to work in the best interests of New Zealand. This new line-up reflects that.

“It is a strong mix of former Ministers and senior MPs alongside emerging ones who have proven to me they have what it takes to hold this Ardern-Peters Government to account, to listen to New Zealanders and to develop new policies for the 2020s.

“This means the energy of all 56 of our MPs – Parliament’s strongest and most diverse caucus – is focused on the role of Opposition, ensuring every MP has a chance to directly contribute to taking on the Government and driving innovation and policies in the best interests of New Zealand.

“The team I have announced today also reflects the strength and talents of the women in our caucus, with three in the top five positions, and eight in the top 20. And they are there on merit.

“Unlike our opponents who believe in quotas and catering to special and competing interests, the National Party believes in rewarding hard work and success – in Parliament and out of it.

“That’s how New Zealand will continue to get ahead – through being focused and ambitious, innovative and smart.

“National believes in a New Zealand that is confident, outward and forward looking, and backs itself to succeed on the world stage.

“This team of MPs is an alternative Government in waiting. It will effectively hold this weak Coalition Government to account and ensure the National Party earns the trust of New Zealanders and the right to govern in their interests in 2020.”


Little Things

March 11, 2018

Little Things Prints

 Little things © 2018 Brian Andreas – posted with permission.

You can buy books, posters, cards, ornaments and more and sign up for a daily dose of whimsy like this by email at Story People.


Rural round-up

March 11, 2018

Farmer’s lucky escape from Cyclone Bola – Kate Taylor:

A lucky glance gave now-retired Whatatutu farmer Rod Mead time to escape when a flooded river topped its stopbank. Kate Taylor talks to a survivor of Cyclone Bola.

Rod Mead looked across the river flats on Waitahoata Station near Whatatutu, Gisborne, with horror but also relief. Minutes earlier, he had been lifting equipment in the station’s old woolshed in case Cyclone Bola flooded the valley.

Glancing towards the river, Mead saw it had breached its stopbanks and immediately went outside and started up the tractor. As he did so, floodwater swirled around his ankles and he steered the tractor toward the safety of his hillside track 400 metres away.

He didn’t look back again until he reached the track and when he did he saw floodwaters raging where moments before he had been standing.

Learn from best dairy farmers – Alan Williams:

New Zealand’s best dairy farmers are achieving results well above average levels and other farmers are being urged to learn from them.

Their pasture and animal health management put them well ahead in milk produced per cow liveweight and in lower rates of cow losses.

Research overseas and in NZ showed leading farmers are ahead of the consultants, institutions and available information in the work they’re doing, veterinary surgeon and farm systems analyst Brian McKay told a Federated Farmers dairy group presentation in Christchurch. . .

MPI stock process creating huge stress – Sally Rae:

From a distance, Kerry and Rosie Dwyer’s Maheno farm looks a picture.

The sun is shining on a glorious autumn day in North Otago and the paddocks are covered in lush, green grass.

But something is missing; shelter sheds – usually home to hundreds of calves – sit empty and the 120ha farm is devoid of stock, apart from a few sheep.

“I’ve got no business. It’s stuffed and I accept that.

“I just don’t know what we’ll do,” Mr Dwyer says. . . 

Barren paddock turned bustling village: Celebrating 25 years of the Central Districts Field Days -Sam Kilmister:

The Central Districts Field Days turn 25 next week. Sam Kilmister looks back at an agricultural showcase that had small beginnings and now a big following.

Noel and Eleanor Mortimer recall the moment their son-in-law Don Eade started the Central Districts Field Days.

He had returned from the Mystery Creek Fieldays, near Hamilton, which ignited a vision to have it replicated in Manawatū. . .

What a whopper! Dart takes pumpkin prize again – Sally Rae:

It was a hell of a pumpkin.

Dart Watson might have been one of the younger entrants in the produce shed at the Wanaka A&P Show, but he sure grew one of the most spectacular entries.

For the third consecutive year, Dart (13) won the largest pumpkin in the junior section with an absolutely whopping vegetable. . .

Heat detection device up for an award :

A low-cost device designed to detect when cows are ovulating and ready to be inseminated has earned two Kiwi entrepreneurs a place among the finalists in the 2018 New Zealander of the Year awards.

Fraser Smith and Matt Yallop, of Farmshed Labs, are finalists in the New Zealand Innovator of the Year category for their product FlashMate.

 


Sunday soapbox

March 11, 2018

Sunday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse, but not abuse.

Image may contain: text

What makes Heroic? – To face simultaneously one’s greatest suffering and one’s highest hope. – Friedrich Nietzsche


March 11 in history

March 11, 2018

1387 Battle of Castagnaro: English condottiero Sir John Hawkwood led Padova to victory in a factional clash with Verona.

1649 The Frondeurs and the French government signed the Peace of Rueil.

1702 The Daily Courant, the UK’s first national daily newspaper was published for the first time.

1708 Queen Anne withheld Royal Assent from the Scottish Militia Bill, the last time a British monarch vetoed legislation.

1824 The United States War Department created the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

1845 Hone Heke cut down the British flag pole for the fourth time. He and Kawiti were leading figures in the attack which resulted in the  fall of Kororareka.

The fall of Kororareka

1848 Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine and Robert Baldwin became the first Prime Ministers of the Province of Canada to be democratically elected under a system of responsible government.

1851 The first performance of Rigoletto, written by Verdi.

1864 The Great Sheffield Flood: The largest man-made disaster ever to befall England killed more than 250 people.

1867  The first performance of Don Carlo written by Verdi.

1872 – Kathleen Clarice Groom, Australian-English author and screenwriter, was born (d. 1954).

1872 Construction of the Seven Sisters Colliery, South Wales, started; located on one of the richest coal sources in Britain.

1884 – The New Zealand Freethought Association was founded.

New Zealand Freethought Association founded

1888 The Great Blizzard of 1888 began along the eastern seaboard of the United States, shutting down commerce and killing more than 400.

1903 Ronald Syme, New Zealand classicist and historian, was born (d. 1989).

1915 J. C. R. Licklider, American computer scientist and Internet pioneer, was born (d. 1990).

1916 Harold Wilson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born. (d. 1995)

1916  Ezra Jack Keats, children’s  author, was born (d. 1983).

1917   Baghdad fell to the Anglo-Indian forces commanded by GeneralStanley Maude.

1927 Samuel Roxy Rothafel opened the Roxy Theatre in New York.

1931 Rupert Murdoch, Australian-born entrepreneur, was born.

1941  President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Lend-Lease Act into law, allowing American-built war supplies to be shipped to the Allies on loan.

1945 The Imperial Japanese Navy attempted a large-scale kamikaze attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet anchored at Ulithi atoll in Operation Tan No. 2.

1952 Douglas Adams, English writer, was born (d. 2001).

1958 Ghazi Mashal Ajil al-Yawer, interim President of Iraq, was born.

1977 The 1977 Hanafi Muslim Siege: more than 130 hostages held in Washington, D.C., by Hanafi Muslims are set free after ambassadors from three Islamic nations join negotiations.

1978 Coastal Road massacre: At least 37 were killed and more than 70 are wounded when Al Fatah hijack an Israeli bus, prompting Israel’s Operation Litani.

1985 Mikhail Gorbachev became the Soviet Union’s leader.

1990 Lithuania declared itself independent from the Soviet Union.

1990 Patricio Aylwin was sworn-in as the first democratically elected Chilean president since 1970.

1993 Janet Reno was confirmed by the United States Senate and sworn-in the next day, becoming the first female Attorney General of the United States.

1999 – Infosys becomes the first Indian company listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange.

2004  Simultaneous explosions on rush hour trains in Madrid  killed 191 people.

2006 Michelle Bachelet was inaugurated as first female president of Chile.

2009 Winnenden school shooting – 17 people were killed at a school in Germany.

2011 – An earthquake measuring 9.0 in magnitude strikes 130 km (81 mi) east of Sendai, Japan, triggering a tsunami killing thousands of people. This event also triggered the second largest nuclear accident in history, and one of only two events to be classified as a Level 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale.

2012 – A US soldier killed 16 civilians in the Panjwayi District of Afghanistan near Kandahar.

2014 – Russia annexed Autonomous Republic of Crimea. Leading to the 2014 Crimean crisis and 2014–15 Russian military intervention in Ukraine.

2016 – At least 21 people are killed by flooding and mudslides in and around São Paulo, Brazil, following heavy rain.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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