Sheepish by name not by nature – Andrew Stewart:
As a teenager Sophie Barnes decided she wanted to be a very good sheep farmer. Then she heard the best sheep farmers weren’t in her native Britain but on the other side of the world. Undaunted, she sold up, packed up and came to New Zealand. Andrew Stewart charts her journey.
Seventeen is a very young age to know exactly what you want to do with your life. But it was when Sophie Barnes discovered her love for sheep farming and realised it was going to be her lifelong passion.
The young girl from Nottingham was working on a British farm when she saw a ewe giving birth in an indoor barn at 3am.
Experiencing the birth and offering some help was an epiphany for Sophie and from that moment on there was only one thing she wanted to do – be the best sheep farmer possible. . .
Shortages of doctors and nurses in the regions are reaching crisis level, warn rural GPs.
The Rural General Practice Network is backing calls for rural health schools to embed a wide range of health professionals inside rural communities.
Its chief executive Dalton Kelly said such programmes had proved successful in Canada and Australia – but New Zealand had been slow to act.
“Already a quarter of rural practices have vacancies that we are struggling to fill and it is harder and harder to attract medical professionals into rural communities,” he said. . .
Opportunity for Fonterra: smaller, more focused, more profitable, says FNZC – Pattrick Smellie:
Fonterra has a rare opportunity to shed assets that aren’t performing, write down others to attract investment partners, and become a company more focused on value than volume, says First NZ Capital.
Head of institutional research Arie Dekker says the new senior management, by dropping capital expenditure intentions in the year ahead to $650 million from $1.005 billion, have already given an important signal that they will “address one of the key hygiene factors necessary to make it a more investable proposition.”
“Fonterra Shareholders Fund needs to show greater respect in its use of what we continue to highlight is scarce access to capital,” Dekker said in a note to clients. “Farmers and investors have lost considerable wealth from poorly thought-out and executed investment outside the core business in recent years.” . .
Happy medium needed in hops growth – Pam TIpa:
NZ Hops Ltd has at least quadrupled the value of its co-operative during the past 10 years.
Chief executive Doug Donelan says the Tasman-based 27-member producer co-op has grown from about $8 million to about $35m gross revenue.
But he says the co-op believes growth needs to be managed to ensure the significant increases in volumes that are coming on stream can be marketed. . .
A huge congratulations to Annabel Bulk from Felton Road for becoming the Young Horticulturist of the Year 2018. Having won the Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year competition at the end of August, she went on to represent the viticultural sector in this tough and prestigious competition.
The competition was held over the 7th and 8th November, where Annabel competed against five other finalists from other horticultural sectors – Landscaping NZ, Horticulture NZ, NZ Plant Producers, NZ Flower Growers and NZ Amenity Horticulture. . .
Cattle quadruple the protein value of corn – Abby Bauer:
It takes approximately 1,400 pounds of corn to finish out a steer. Would we be better off feeding that corn to humans instead?
Associate Professor Tyron Wickersham and colleagues at Texas A&M University have done work to answer that very question. He shared this information during a media event coordinated by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.
He explained that there is a subset of people who favor the adoption of a plant-based diet, believing it is a better option for optimizing the food supply and human health, protecting the environment, and maintaining social justice. Yet, humans in general prefer and demand livestock protein sources when they have the money to buy them. . .