365 days of gratitude

July 7, 2018

It’s been a day of inspiration, stimulation, deep conversation and lots of laughter for all of which I’m grateful.


FMG Young Farmer livestream

July 7, 2018

The FMG Young Farmer of the Year is being live-streamed by Mediaworks now.  

 


Word of the day

July 7, 2018

Phenom – a person who is outstandingly talented or admired; a star; person of phenomenal ability or promise; someone or something extremely successful.


Rural round-up

July 7, 2018

Rural health wants tourists’ cash – Neal Wallace:

A rural South Canterbury general practitioner was paid $13 for each of the 150 emergency calls she made in the last year, a pay rate described by the Rural GP Network as a joke.

The network’s chief executive Dalton Kelly said with such low pay rates plus the demands on rural GPs it is understandable rural health professionals are leaving the sector, prompting a call for a portion of the proposed tourist tax to be directed to rural health services.

Kelly said rural GPs and nurses are regularly called to tend to sick and injured tourists and unlike an urban incident, patients cannot be transferred to someone else who is on call. . .

Trading times get challenging – Pam Tipa:

A trade expert has backed up comments by agricultural trade envoy Mike Petersen, who says New Zealand is facing its most challenging time in trade in 30 years.

Petersen told Rural News that the established rules on trade via the World Trade Organisation, particularly for agricultural products, are at risk from the US-China trade war.

While the products being targeted now are not NZ products, the risk of spillover into our products is very high, he says. . . 

Concerns over Mycoplasma bovis leave farmer confidence in the balance:

Concerns about the impact of Mycoplasma bovis disease on the country’s agricultural sector have seen New Zealand farmer confidence decline over the past quarter, the latest Rabobank Rural Confidence Survey has shown.

While farmer confidence remains at net positive levels, the overall reading dropped to +two per cent in the latest quarter, from +15 per cent in the previous survey. . .

A strong bull-seeking season in south – Nicole Sharp:

Prices are up and bull breeders are happy following a successful selling season.

Bull breeders throughout Southland and Otago have been hosting fellow farmers on farms for sales over the past couple of months.

PGG Wrightson livestock genetics representative Callum McDonald said sales came to a conclusion at the end of last month and there was positivity in the air.

”We have seen a great bull-selling season for the South, with high demand for quality bulls“ . . 

Hundreds gather to celebrate 50th anniversary of FMG Young Farmer of the Year:

Hundreds of people have celebrated the 50th anniversary of New Zealand’s longest-running agricultural contest.

The first FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final was held in Auckland in 1969.

Former winners and finalists were among a 400-strong crowd which gathered in Invercargill last night to mark the milestone.

“It’s amazing. It’s just like a school reunion isn’t it,” said Levin farmer Geoff Kane, 66, who won the national final in 1981. . .

Entire Northland school visits farm on paddock to plate learning journey

A national project is helping a Northland teacher combine her two passions of education and food production.

Natalie Lynch teaches a class of Years 5-8 students at Matakohe School in the Kaipara District.

Last week the small school’s entire roll of 47 pupils visited the farm of Marshall Walton in Whangarei.

“Watching a sheep being shorn, pressing a bale of wool in a manual press, and using the drafting gates was a new experience for everyone,” said Natalie. . . 

Omega lamb project update in third year:

The Omega Lamb Project is now in its third year and well over 100 restaurants in New Zealand and Hong Kong have had Te Mana Lamb on their menus.

The project builds on a decade-long scientific programme and breakthrough research. It found that the right combination of genetics, management and feeding can alter the fat profile of lamb and produce animals that are healthy, while delivering a tastier and healthier product.

Te Mana Lamb is higher in Omega-3 than other lamb available on the market.

Mark Williamson, general manager of the Omega Lamb Project, a collaboration between the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) under the Primary Growth Partnership, the farmer-owned Headwaters and leading food company Alliance Group, said Te Mana Lamb is being praised by chefs for its flavour and consistent eating quality. . . 

Fears for future of Scots beef and lamb production – Colin Ley:

The viability of beef and sheep production in Scotland is being threatened by a Scottish government climate change bill that includes a net zero greenhouse gas emissions target.

Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) chairman Jim McLaren said that will make it virtually impossible for the country’s farmers to produce beef and lamb.

“Moving to net zero GHG emissions would be absolutely devastating for our livestock industry,” he told an industry meeting at the Royal Highland Show.  . . 

 


Saturday’s smiles

July 7, 2018

As a farmer, I hear lots of jokes about sheep.

I told them to my dog but he’d herd them all.

Why shouldn’t you tell a secret on a farm?

Because the potatoes have eyes and the corn has ears.

Why did the scarecrow win the Nobel Prize?

Because he was out standing in his field.

What do you say to a cow if it’s in your way?

You tell it to Mooooooooooove.

What do you get when you cross a robot and a tractor?

A transfarmer.

What did the neurotic pig say to the farmer?

You take me for grunted.

What do you call the best butter on the farm?

A goat.

Which farm animal keeps the best time?

A watch dog.

Did you hear about the wooden tractor ?

It had wooden wheels, wooden engine, wooden transmission and wooden work.

Did you hear about the magic tractor?

It turned into a field.

I was driving past a farm the other day and there was a field with loads of sheep in it.

I thought to myself “Wow! Look at all those sheep crammed in there. There’s too many to even zzzz…”

What do farmers use to make crop circles?

A pro-tractor.

Who tells chicken jokes?

Comedi-hens.

 


Give wool front seat AirNZ

July 7, 2018

Air NZ should be publicizing wool not fake meat:

Federated Farmers is puzzled why our national carrier is making a song and dance about an overseas-produced plant protein burger but not the Kiwi company that supplies them with world-leading transportation fabrics.

“Air New Zealand has been offering vegetarian options on their in-flight menus for a long time. The Impossible Burger available on Business Premier flights between Los Angeles and Auckland for a few months is just another option,” Federated Farmers Meat and Wool Chairperson Miles Anderson says.

“Other dishes feature New Zealand-made produce and farmers are confident passengers will always make a place on their plate, and in their heart, for our natural tasting, grass-fed beef and lamb.  People come back to their tried and true favourites.”

Air New Zealand prides itself on being innovative, and like to partner with like-minded enterprises.

“Farmers understand that – we do it ourselves.  But why would our national carrier build an advertising campaign around a foreign product and not a cutting edge Kiwi firm supplying a key component made from a natural, sustainable New Zealand product?”

Inter-weave Ltd is a New Zealand owned and operated bespoke wool upholstery and home wares manufacturer. They combine leading design and technology with luxurious naturally-grown, New Zealand wool fibres to produce high quality, clean, anti-static, ethical textiles sold around the world.

The transportation fabrics Inter-weave supplies to Air New Zealand meet the highest flame retardant criteria. They are accredited with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and have Enviromark NZ diamond accreditation, the highest achievable in this programme.

“Typical of products made from wool, the fabrics are beautiful, have excellent durability and will perform exceedingly well under constant wear. Wool fibres have elasticity that allow them to recover to their original shape even after being stretched over 30%.”

It’s a great advertisement for New Zealand natural products, our farmers and an industry that is the lifeblood of rural communities, delivering a livelihood for thousands of Kiwi families.

“Seated in nature, and a Kiwi product flying high.  Sounds like a great basis for one of those cheeky and fun Air New Zealand advertising campaigns to me,” Miles says.

I sometimes choose vegetarian options and I’m open to genetic modification so I don’t have a problem with the airline offering fake meat.

But MIles has got it right, our national airline would have been better publicising our cutting-edge wool rather than the USA’s fake meat.

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Quote of the day

July 7, 2018

When it ultimately comes down to the point, and you’re standing on the start line, and the starter calls for: ‘on your mark … get set …’, who’ve you got to help you? Only yourself. – Sir Murray Halberg who celebrates his 85th birthday today.


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