James Robertson FMG Young Farmer of the Year

July 7, 2019

James Robertson is the 51st FMG Young Farmer of the Year.

. . . The 22-year-old is the youngest contestant ever to win the grand final. . .

He’s proof you don’t have to milk cows to have a career in New Zealand’s multi-billion dollar dairy sector.

“The opportunities in the agri-food sector are endless, even if you live in the city. You just have to be passionate,” he said. . .

He also took out the FMG People’s Choice Award, winning $1000 for his Auckland Young Farmers club.

Central Hawke’s Bay technical field representative Joseph Watts, 28, was runnerup while Waikato vet Emma Dangen, 24, came third. .

You can read more about James here.


Word of the day

July 7, 2019

Passeggiata – a leisurely walk, promenade or stroll, especially one taken in the evening for the purpose of socialising; a traditional evening stroll in the central plaza by a town’s residents.


Milne muses

July 7, 2019


Rural round-up

July 7, 2019

Group think clears the waters – Neal Wallace:

The message to those attending the recent South Island Dairy Event in Invercargill was unequivocal: If farmers create an environmental issue they need to take control of the solution. Neal Wallace reports on how farmers are resolving water quality issues in Southland and Otago.

Farmers  are the only people who can reverse the declining quality of Otago’s Pomahaka River, farmer Lloyd McCall says.

The Pomahaka Water Care Group was formed in 2014 because the Otago Regional Council and the Landcare Trust were not going to improve the river’s water quality.

“It’s got to be by farmers,” McCall says.

“You couldn’t fix it by rules.” . . .

Wairarapa shepherd bucks trend of youth rejecting farming careers -Gerard Hutching & Jessica Long:

As fewer young people are signing up for primary sector vocational courses, Wairarapa shepherd Ashley Greer is one swimming against the tide.

Every since she was a teen Greer wanted to work on a farm, although she never had the opportunity when she was young.

“I grew up in Bulls, my dad was a farm worker but we left the farm when I hit high school. I never got all the hands-on experience like other kids did because it wasn’t our farm,” she says . .

Yili’s gain on the West Coast brings a $500,000 windfall to farmers – but local leaders lament sale to foreigners – Point of Order:

Westland  Milk  Products  farmer-shareholders  voted overwhelming in the past week to accept  the  $558m  takeover bid   by   Chinese  giant  Yili  for the   co-op’s  milk processing  operation.

For  individual  farmer shareholders, the  bid  means an injection of  around  $500,000 each  into their  bank accounts,  plus better  returns for their milk  over  the  next  10 years.

No wonder  94%  of the  96% eligible shareholders  cast their votes in   favour.  West Coast farmer and Federated Farmer president Katie Milne, who is also a WMP director, said it was an “absolutely stunning” result for West Coast farmers. . . .

Positive event encourages future farmers – Yvonne O’Hara:

”If we don’t have young people who are passionate and who see a future in the sector coming through, we won’t have a future.”

South Island Dairy Event organising committee chairman Simon Topham was speaking at the end of a BrightSide session in Invercargill last week.

About 120 people, mostly young farm workers, attended the session devoted to finances and career progression.

Mr Topham said the positive response to BrightSide, proved there was a demand for similar sessions in future events. . .

Wool courses target pressing need – Luke Chivers:

New qualifications will help solve a critical need to train shearers and wool handlers, Primary ITO chief executive Linda Sissons says.

Dr Sissons launched three micro-credentials – ‘Introduction to the Woolshed’, ‘Learner Wool Handler’, and ‘Learner Shearer’ – at the Primary Industries Summit in Wellington on Monday afternoon.

The courses are bite-sized pieces of learning, aimed at recognising or teaching specific workplace skills on the job in a short time.. .

Colin Hurst named Arable Farmer of the Year:

His “immense contribution” to Federated Farmers, related industry bodies and across the nation’s arable sector saw Colin Hurst named Arable Farmer of the Year last night.

Federated Farmers Arable Industry Group Chairperson Karen Williams said it was difficult to know where to start with Colin’s contribution to farming. The South Canterbury farmer has served Feds at national, regional and branch level and has also put in countless hours for the South Canterbury Rural Support Trust, the Arable Industry Group’s Herbage Seedgrowers Subsection, United Wheatgrowers and the Foundation for Arable Research. . .

Lighter wines :

This programme is the largest research and development effort ever undertaken by New Zealand’s wine industry. Lighter Wines (formerly Lifestyle Wines) is designed to position New Zealand as number 1 in the world for high quality, lower alcohol and lower calorie ‘lighter’ wines. It aims to capitalise on the domestic and international market demand for these wines.

The challenge

The challenge is not just producing high quality lighter wines but producing them naturally, giving New Zealand a point of difference and making New Zealand the “go to” country for high quality, lighter wines.

The solution

This programme aims to capitalise on market-led opportunities domestically and internationally, using applied research and development to provide innovative solutions. . . 

Hey farmer: you are not the farm – Uptown Sheep:

Hey Farmer,

I need you to hear something right now. I need you to hear this loud and clear – I’m so sorry for everything this year has thrown at you. I’m so sorry for all the things you cannot control that put so much weight on you. But hear me – YOU are not defined by this year’s crop. Or this year’s income. Or this year’s “success”.

You are not the farm. You are more than the farm.

I saw you leave again this morning, smiling, but still carrying the stress. I know the first thing you did was drive down by the creek to see how much the water has receded. After you do chores in flooded pastures, you’ll sit with your Dad to try and figure out what fields might dry out the fastest and what, if anything, can be done while you wait. . . .


Cheers for chocolate

July 7, 2019

It’s World Chocolate Day.

Every day she bought something nourishing, like chocolates, and put them in her special box.  Tomorrow she was going away. That was when she would first open her box, because she would be feeling lonely. It was wonderful how unlonely chocolate made you – A.A. Milne


Sunday soapbox

July 7, 2019

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 result for quotes nature

Adopt the pace of nature, her secret is patience. –  Ralph Waldo Emerson


July 7 in history

July 7, 2019

1456 A retrial verdict acquitted  Joan of Arc of heresy 25 years after her death.

1534 European colonization of the Americas: first known exchange between Europeans and natives of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, in New Brunswick.

1543  French troops invaded Luxembourg.

1575  Raid of the Redeswire, the last major battle between England and Scotland.

1585  Treaty of Nemours abolished tolerance to Protestants in France.

1770 The Battle of Larga.

1777 American Revolutionary War: Battle of Hubbardton.

1798 Quasi-War: the U.S. Congress rescinded treaties with France sparking the “war”.

1799  Ranjit Singh‘s men took up their positions outside Lahore.

1807 Napoleonic Wars: Peace of Tilsit between France, Prussia and Russia ended the Fourth Coalition.

1846 Mexican-American War: American troops occupied Monterey and Yerba Buena (now San Francisco), beginning the United States conquest of California.

1851 Charles Tindley, American gospel music composer, was born (d. 1933).

1860 Gustav Mahler, Austrian composer, was born  (d. 1911).

1861 – Nettie Stevens, American geneticist, was born (d. 1912).

1863  United States began first military draft; exemptions cost $300.

1892 Katipunan: the Revolutionary Philippine Brotherhood was established leading to the fall of the Spanish Empire in Asia.

1898  President William McKinley signed the Newlands Resolutionannexing Hawaii as a territory of the United States.

1904 – Simone Beck, French chef and author, was born (d. 1991).

1906 – Anton Karas, Austrian zither player and composer, was born (d. 1985).

1915 Margaret Abigail Walker Alexander, African-American novelist and poet, was born (d. 1998).

1915 World War I: end of First Battle of the Isonzo.

1916 The NZ Labour Party was founded.

NZ Labour Party founded

1915  An International Railway (New York – Ontario) trolley with an extreme overload of 157 passengers crashed near Queenston, Ontario, killing 15.

1917  Russian Revolution: Prince Georgy Yevgenyevich Lvov formed a Provisional Government in Russia after the deposing of the Tsar Nicholas II.

1917 – Fidel Sánchez Hernández, Salvadoran general and politician, President of El Salvador, was born (d. 2003).

1919 Jon Pertwee, English actor, was born (d. 1996).

1922  Pierre Cardin, French fashion designer, was born.

1924 Arthur Porritt won a bronze medal for New Zealand in the 100m at the Olympic Games (portrayed as Tom Watson in the film Chariots of Fire).

'Tom Watson' wins bronze for New Zealand

1924 Mary Ford, American singer, was born (d. 1977).

1927 Doc Severinsen, American composer and musician, was born.

1928  Sliced bread was sold for the first time by the Chillicothe Baking Company of Chillicothe, Missouri. It was described as “the greatest forward step in the baking industry since bread was wrapped”.

1930  Industrialist Henry J. Kaiser began construction of the Boulder Dam (now known as Hoover Dam).

1933 Sir Murray Halberg, New Zealand runner, was born.

1937 Sino-Japanese War: Battle of Lugou Bridge – Japanese forces invaded Beijing.

1940 Ringo Starr, English drummer and singer (The Beatles), was born.

1941  Bill Oddie, English comedian and ornithologist, was born.

1941 World War II: U.S. occupation of Iceland  replaced British occupation.

1941  World War II: Beirut was occupied by Free France and British troops.

1942 Carmen Duncan, Australian actress, was born.

1946  Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini became the first American to be canonized.

1946   Howard Hughes nearly died when his XF-11 spy plane prototype crashed.

1947 Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev, King of Nepal, was born.

1947 Alleged and disputed Roswell UFO incident.

1953 Che Guevara set out on a trip through Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador.

1956 Fritz Moravec reached the peak of Gasherbrum II (8,035 m).

1958 President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Alaska Statehood Act into United States law.

1959  Venus occulted the star Regulus. This rare event is used to determine the diameter of Venus and the structure of the Venusian atmosphere.

1969  In Canada, the Official Languages Act was adopted making French equal to English throughout the Federal government.

1973  – Natsuki Takaya, Japanese author and illustrator, was born.

1974 West Germany won the FIFA World Cup, beating Netherlands 2-1 in the Final.

1978 The Solomon Islands became independent from the United Kingdom.

1980  Institution of sharia in Iran.

1980 The Safra massacre in Lebanon.

1983 Cold War: Samantha Smith, a U.S.  schoolgirl, flew to the Soviet Union at the invitation of Secretary General Yuri Andropov.

1991  Yugoslav Wars: the Brioni Agreement ended the ten-day independence war in Slovenia against the rest of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

2002 News reports accused MI6 of sheltering Abu Qatada, the supposed European Al Qaeda leader.

2005  A series of four explosions  on London’s transport system killed 56 people, including four alleged suicide bombers and injured over 700 others.

2011 – The roof of a stand in De Grolsch Veste Stadium in Enschede which was under construction collapsed, one killed and 14 injured.

2012 – At least 171 people were killed in a flash flood in the Krasnodar Krai region of Russia.

2013 – A De Havilland Otter air taxi crashed in Soldotna, Alaska, killing 10 people.

2016  – Former U.S. Army soldier Micah Xavier Johnson shot fourteen policemen during an anti-police protest in downtown Dallas, Texas, killing five of them. He was subsequently killed by a robot-delivered bomb.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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