365 days of gratitude

December 12, 2018

Rotary came to us for dinner this evening.

We enjoyed the fellowship, sang some carols and in lieu of payment we asked people to donate to cancer research.

The generous Rotarians donated more than $1,400 for which I’m very grateful.


Word of the day

December 12, 2018

Mataeology – a discourse that is fruitless, useless or in vain; worthless conversation.


Rural round-up

December 12, 2018

Inspirational focus in driving NZ wool business honoured – Sally Rae:

Dave Maslen is a reluctant sustainability superstar.

The New Zealand Merino Co’s general manager for markets and sustainability was a finalist in the sustainability superstar category in the recent NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards.

The category, won by Waikato dairy farmer Tracy Brown, celebrated people who inspired and led others to make a difference.

Mr Maslen’s own nomination came as a surprise and he was reluctant to be singled out, saying it was “most definitely” a team effort. . . 

Leaders discuss sustainable farming – Sally Rae:

Agriculture, as a whole, needs to be brave.

That was the take-home message for North Otago dairy farmer Lyndon Strang after attending the annual DairyNZ Dairy Environment Leaders Forum in Wellington recently.

The three-day event was attended by nearly 100 dairy farming leaders who discussed sustainable farming and progressed goals for the future.

Mr Strang and his wife Jane milk 450 cows at Five Forks and run a self-contained operation, wintering all cows, rearing young stock and growing the majority of their supplements. . . 

Waimea Dam to aid eels on journey to Pacific – scientist – Tracy Neal:

The Waimea Dam will improve the health of the river downstream, and ensure the path of eels to their breeding grounds in the Pacific is not hindered, a freshwater scientist says.

The Tasman District Council recently voted to go ahead with the $105 million irrigation and urban supply scheme, despite levels of public opposition, mainly over cost.

Scientist Roger Young, from Nelson’s Cawthron Institute, has been involved in the project since its inception. . .

More farmers feel under financial pressure:

Farmer satisfaction with their banks is dropping, and more are feeling they are under financial pressure, the Federated Farmers November Banking Survey shows.

While 73.7% of the 750 farmers who responded to the Research First-conducted survey said they were satisfied or very satisfied with their bank, that was a drop of 5% since the previous survey in May.   It’s also the lowest satisfaction level recorded in any of the 10 surveys conducted since 2015.

“The results show a need for renewed efforts to improve relationships between farmers and banks,” Federated Farmers Economics and Commerce spokesperson Andrew Hoggard says. . . 

SenseHub monitors treats – Sonita Chandar:

Consumers of Nestle products can be assured the treats they like best have been made with milk from happy, healthy cows.

As part of Nestle’s commitment on animal welfare it has partnered with Antelliq’s Allflex on a pilot programme to monitor dairy cows’ wellbeing through Allflex’s SenseHub on several Nestle farms.

The collaboration aims to provide Nestle with full visibility into the wellbeing of individual cows and the herd according to a set of key performance indicators. . . 

Group of sheep breeders running parasite resistant stock:

A group of leading sheep breeders have formed WormFEC Gold to show farmers that breeding for parasite resistant genetics will strengthen flocks and save time and money on-farm.

Growing concerns from farmers around increasing levels of drench resistance, rising farming input costs, and issues getting farm labour have prompted 10 WormFEC breeders from across New Zealand to join forces. The breeders’ group brings together more than 200 years combined experience breeding highly productive, parasite resistant rams.

Chairman Robert Peacock of Orari Gorge Station in South Canterbury said the WormFEC Gold group aims to show farmers that breeding sheep for parasite resistance is achievable and will save farmers time and money. He said breeding animals with natural resistance to parasites is part of the long-term sustainable solution for parasite management. . . 

Researchers conclude livestock have no detectable effect on climate – Amanda Radke:

Cow burps are destroying the ozone layer — we’ve all heard that one, and frankly, it’s time for the industry to ditch that myth once and for all.

As our industry zeroes in on topics of sustainability and ways we as beef producers can improve for the better, I continue to beat the same drum — cattlemen and women already do a spectacular job of managing our land and water to produce more beef using fewer resources.

Simply stated, beef production isn’t just sustainable; it’s regenerative. And despite what the naysayers claim, cattle grazing and consuming by-products of crop production play a critical role in our ecosystem. . .

 


Decriminalisation by stealth?

December 12, 2018

The National Party has labelled the medicinal cannabis bill which passed into law yesterday as decriminalisation by stealth.

Health Minister David Clark said until a regime was set up, the legislation would help people ease their suffering with a wider range of medicinal cannabis products becoming available over time.

“We know that some people cannot wait for medicinal products to become more readily available and will want to use illicit cannabis to ease their pain,” he said.

“People nearing the end of their lives should not have to worry about being arrested or imprisoned for trying to manage their pain. So as a compassionate measure we are also creating a statutory defence for people eligible to receive palliation so that they can use illicit cannabis without fear of prosecution.”

The bill will introduce a statutory defence – or amnesty – as a stop-gap measure to allow people at the end of their lives to use illicit cannabis while the scheme is still being established. . . 

Serious question: if cannabis is a medicine, why isn’t it treated like all other medicines and prescribed by doctors who consider it the best option for their patients?

However, National leader Simon Bridges came out swinging in Parliament, calling the bill “decriminalisation of cannabis by stealth”.

“What will the police do when they’re outside a school and someone, under this bill, is smoking cannabis? What will they do?

“I don’t reckon they’ll do much at all,” he said.

“Shame on the House for passing this terrible, unsafe, dangerous bill.”

National’s spokesperson for health Shane Reti also labelled the bill as “lazy and dangerous”.

“This government is simply ticking the 100-day box that they were forced to by the Greens and it is permitting the smoking of drugs in our communities.”

Mr Reti said National supported medicinal cannabis regulation but opposed the smoking of loose leaf cannabis in public.

“That’s why we did the work and created a comprehensive medicinal cannabis regime that widened access to medicinal cannabis and provided a framework for licensing high-quality domestic production under sensible and achievable regulations.

“We offered to share our regime with the government but egos got in the way and we were turned down.”

He said experts in the field should be the ones to decide what medical conditions were suitable for medical cannabis.

Exactly – if it’s medicine it should be treated like other medicines.

It’s not all bad though, the law change could provide an alternative income for farmers:

New Zealand cannabis company Zeacann, which is undergoing a $20m capital raising round to grow cannabis and manufacture medicines for domestic and export markets, welcomed the bill.

Co-founder Chris Fowlie said it was big step forward to helping New Zealanders who were suffering.

“The government is finally removing the stigma that cannabis has suffered from for decades,” Mr Fowlie said.

He said it was good to see that a timeframe had been set for a legal framework on making the products available.

Zeacann estimates it will be able to begin growing cannabis in the first half of next year, once it has received a government licence. . . 

I wonder what security will be required to stop thefts?

I visited farms which grow opium poppies in Tasmania where security was tight.

 


Quote of the day

December 12, 2018

Of all lies, art is the least untrue. Gustave Flaubert who was born on this day in 1821.


December 12 in history

December 12, 2018

627 Battle of Nineveh: A Byzantine army under Emperor Heraclius defeated Emperor Khosrau II‘s Persian forces, commanded by General Rhahzadh.

1769 French explorer Jean François Marie de Surville  first sighted New Zealand near Hokianga.

1779 Madeleine Sophie Barat, French saint was born (d. 1865).

1805  Henry Wells, Founder of American Express, was born (d. 1878).

1812 The French invasion of Russia ended.

1821 Gustave Flaubert, French writer, was born  (d. 1880).

1862 USS Cairo sank on the Yazoo River, becoming the first armored ship to be sunk by an electrically detonated mine.

1863  Edvard Munch, Norwegian painter, was born (d. 1944).

1893 Edward G. Robinson, American actor, was born  (d. 1973).

1870  Joseph H. Rainey of South Carolina became the first black U.S. congressman.

1881 – Harry Warner, Polish-American businessman, co-founded Warner Bros. was born (d. 1958).

1900 Sammy Davis, Sr., American dancer, was born (d. 1988).

1901 Guglielmo Marconi received the first transatlantic radio signal at Signal Hill in St John’s, Newfoundland.

1911 – Boun Oum, Laotian politician, 5th Prime Minister of Laos, was born(d. 1980).

1911 Delhi replaced Calcutta as the capital of India.

1915  Frank Sinatra, American singer and actor, was born (d. 1998).

1927  Robert Noyce, American inventor of the microchip, was born (d. 1990) .

1929 John Osborne, English dramatist, was born (d. 1994).

1935  Lebensborn Project, a Nazi reproduction programme, was founded by Heinrich Himmler.

1936  Xi’an Incident: The Generalissimo of the Republic of China, Chiang Kai-shek was kidnapped by Zhang Xueliang.

1937 – Michael Jeffery, Australian general and politician, 24th Governor-General of Australia, was born.

1938  Connie Francis, American singer, was born .

1940 – Dionne Warwick, American singer, was born.

1941  Adolf Hitler announced the extermination of the Jews at a meeting in the Reich Chancellery.

1948 Batang Kali Massacre – 14 members of the Scots Guards stationed in Malaysia allegedly massacred 24 unarmed civilians and set fire to the village.

1949 – Bill Nighy, English actor, was born.

1950  Paula Ackerman, the first woman appointed to perform rabbinical functions in the United States, led the congregation in her first services.

1956 Irish Republican Army‘s “Border Campaign” began.

1961 The first Golden Kiwi draw took place.

First Golden Kiwi lottery draw

1963 Kenya gained its independence from the United Kingdom.

1964 Prime Minister Jomo Kenyatta became the first President of the Republic of Kenya.

1965 Will Carling, English rugby union footballer, was born.

1969 – Sophie Kinsella, English author and educator, was born.

1979  Rhodesia changed its name to Zimbabwe.

1982 Women’s peace protest at Greenham Common – 30,000 women held hands and formed a human chain around the 14.5 kilometres (9.0 mi) perimeter fence.

1985 Arrow Air Flight 1285 crashed after takeoff in Gander, Newfoundland killing 256, including 248 members of the United States Army‘s 101st Airborne Division.

1988 The Clapham Junction rail crash killed thirty-five and injures hundreds after two collisions of three commuter trains.

1991  Russian Federation gained independence from the USSR.

2000 – The United States Supreme Court released its decision in Bush v. Gore.

2006 Peugeot produced its last car at the Ryton Plant signalling the end of mass car production in Coventry, formerly a major centre of the British motor industry.

2012 – North Korea successfully launched its first satellite,Kwangmyŏngsŏng-3 Unit 2, using a Unha-3 carrier rocket.

2012 – 12-12-12: The Concert for Sandy Relief took place at Madison Square Garden and was broadcast on 20 international television networks to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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