Word of the day

August 6, 2019

Periclitate – to expose to, put in or be in, a perilous situation; imperil; exposed to danger.


Thatcher thinks

August 6, 2019


Rural round-up

August 6, 2019

We’re on board but don’t kill the cash cow – Dr TIm Mackle:

Dairy farmers in New Zealand are world leading producers of low emissions milk, writes Tim Mackle, chief executive of DairyNZ.

We have a reputation for sustainability and we want to keep it that way. While we are committed to playing our part in the transition to a low emissions economy – alongside the rest of NZ – it must be done fairly and consider the science as well as the economic impacts.

There is more in the Zero Carbon Bill that we agree with than we disagree with, but we have serious reservations about the Government’s proposed 2050 methane reduction target of 24 – 47%.  . . 

Don’t sacrifice science for ideology – Jacqueline Rowarth:

Contrary to recent suggestions in the media, there is very little credible research supporting the success of homeopathic treatment of mastitis in dairy cows.

In fact, reviews published recently covering research since 1970 concluded that ‘homeopathic treatments are not efficient for management of clinical mastitis’. A second review covering research since 1981 concluded that ‘the use of homeopathy currently cannot claim to have sufficient prognostic validity where efficacy is concerned’. 

In plain English, if you want to cure your cow, use the antibiotics which have been the subject of rigorous research and been shown to reduce infection. And, of course, suffering. . . 

DairyNZ director Ben Allomes calls it a day :

DairyNZ director Ben Allomes will step down from the industry good body’s board this October.

One of DairyNZ’s Board of Directors for eight years, Mr Allomes was elected by dairy farmer levy payers in 2011, as one of five farmer-elected directors. Since then, the Woodville-based dairy farmer has played a key role contributing to the governance of DairyNZ and provided key support around a range issues, in particular around people and talent.

DairyNZ chair Jim van der Poel credits Ben for his contribution to the board and his tireless advocacy for dairy farmers. . . 

The Innovative farmer: Generating innovation through a farmer and grower-led system of innovation – Matt Hocken:

Executive Summary

The genesis for my Nuffield Scholarship research was a sense that farmers and growers have a number of significant challenges or problems, both on-farm and off that have not been solved, or we are struggling to solve. As we milk, shear, tend and harvest, thousands of farmer and grower-minds around the country turn to these problems and to the dreams we have for the future. We think about our immediate problems, like how much grass have I got to feed my animals, or do I have a water leak?

We think about system problems, like how will I reduce my nutrient use, or what is my environmental footprint? We think about the tough problems like changing consumer preferences, or heightened society expectations and how can we reconcile these. Collectively we think and dream of a hundred thousand ideas. At the moment very little happens with many of these ideas. I want to change that. . .

Food chandeliers highlight grower’s gathering – Gerald Piddock:

Grabbing the low hanging fruit took on a new meaning at Horticulture New Zealand’s annual conference at Mystery Creek.

Decorating the main conference are four chandeliers covered with fruit and vegetables, providing a colourful reminder to growers of their contribution to feeding the New Zealanders.

The chandeliers – each weighing an estimated 200-500kg – contained 250-300 pieces of fruit or vegetables held together by cable ties or hooks similar to those used by butchers to keep the produce in place. . . 

‘Environmental misinformation is damaging British beef market’, Yorkshire farming leader says – Ben Barnett:

Inaccurate portrayals of livestock’s environmental role risk turning off shoppers from buying red meat at a time when British beef offers the best value for money, a farming leader has warned.

Amid the lowest farmgate prices for beef cattle in years due to a market oversupply, some retailers are offering price promotions on premium cuts.

Nonetheless, North Yorkshire farmer Richard Findlay said a culture of misinformation about the impact of livestock on the environment means consumers could spurn the chance to support British beef at a critical time for farm businesses. . . 


Wonderful workers

August 6, 2019

It’s Farm Worker Appreciation Day.

We are blessed with people who work for us as if they are working for themselves.

Our longest-serving worker came to do three days tractor work after he retired from his own farm. That was nearly 30 years ago, he was 59 at the time.

You can do the maths – he’s now 89 and still a valued member of the team.

Three other workers have been with us for more than 20 years and most for more than a decade.

Our business wouldn’t be where it is without them.


Unintentional balance

August 6, 2019

When I saw this on Twitter on Sunday I wondered how long it would be before someone took it down.

I took a screen shot and when I checked back shortly afterwards the tweet had gone. It was replaced by another with a photo of Justice Minister Andrew Little who is introducing legislation legalising abortions.

No doubt someone realised this photo was an inappropriate one to accompany such a story.

But it, unintentionally, gave a little balance to the debate by illustrating the intellectual inconsistency of one of the pro-abortion arguments – that it’s just a bunch of cells, a fetus, not a baby.

How can it be a baby when, as the photo shows, it’s wanted and loved but not a baby when it’s not; a baby if it is lost in a miscarriage and that is a reason for deep grief, but not a baby when it’s an abortion; or a painful experience when a baby dies in utero and a simple medical procedure getting rid of some cells when it’s aborted?

It can’t but we’re unlikely to see much if any discussion of this in the media, if coverage since the news broke is anything to go by. Everything I’ve read or heard so far accepts a woman’s right to choice with no consideration of a baby’s right to life.

There is an irony that Newshub’s exclusive breaking of the news showed some balance, albeit unintentionally, with that photo because as Karl du Fresne points out  anyone looking for it in coverage of the debate shouldn’t hold their breath :

. . . As the abortion debate heats up, we can expect to see many more examples of advocacy journalism for the pro-abortion case. Overwhelmingly, the default position in media coverage is that the abortion laws are repressive and archaic and that reform is not only overdue but urgent.

But at times like this the public more than ever look to the media for impartial coverage. Is it too much to expect that journalists set aside their personal views and concentrate instead on giving people the information they need to properly weigh the conflicting arguments and form their own conclusions?

That accidental photo could well be as close as much of the coverage  gets to impartiality and balance on this issue.


Quote of the day

August 6, 2019

No man ever got very high by pulling other people down. The intelligent merchant does not knock his competitors. The sensible worker does not knock those who work with him. Don’t knock your friends. Don’t knock your enemies. Don’t knock yourself. Alfred Lord Tennyson who was born on this day in 1809.


August 6 in history

August 6, 2019

1284 Pisa was defeated in Battle of Meloria by Genoa, ruining its naval power.

1538  Bogotá, was founded by Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada.

1661 The Treaty of The Hague was signed by Portugal and the Dutch Republic.

1787 Sixty proof sheets of the Constitution of the United States were delivered to the Constitutional Convention.

1806 Francis II, the last Holy Roman Emperor, abdicated ending the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation.

1809 Alfred Lord Tennyson, English poet, was born (d. 1892).

1819  Norwich University was founded in Vermont as the first private military school in the United States.

1825  Bolivia gained independence from Spain.

1845 The Russian Geographical Society was founded in Saint Petersburg.

1861 Edith Roosevelt, First Lady of the United States, was born (d. 1948).

1861 The United Kingdom annexed  Lagos, Nigeria.

1862  American Civil War: the Confederate ironclad CSS Arkansas was scuttled on the Mississippi River after suffering damage in a battle with USS Essex.

1870  Franco-Prussian War: Battle of Wörth is fought, resulting in a decisive Prussian victory.

1881 Alexander Fleming, Scottish scientist, Nobel laureate, was born  (d. 1955).

1890 At Auburn Prison in New York murderer William Kemmler became the first person to be executed by electric chair.

1901  Kiowa land in Oklahoma was opened for white settlement, effectively dissolving the contiguous reservation.

1909  Alice Ramsey and three friends became the first women to complete a transcontinental auto trip.

1911 Lucille Ball, American actress, was born (d. 1989).

1912  The Bull Moose Party met at the Chicago Coliseum.

1914 First Battle of the Atlantic – ten German  U-boats left their base in Helgoland to attack Royal Navy warships in the North Sea.

1914 – World War I: Serbia declared war on Germany; Austria declared war on Russia.

1915  Battle of Sari Bair – the Allies mounted a diversionary attack timed to coincide with a major Allied landing of reinforcements at Suvla Bay.

1917  Battle of Mărăşeşti between the Romanian and German armies began.

1917 Robert Mitchum, American actor, was born  (d. 1997).

1922 Sir Freddie Laker, English entrepreneur, was born  (d. 2006).

1926  Gertrude Ederle became first woman to swim across the English Channel.

1926  Warner Brothers’ Vitaphone system premiered with the movie Don Juan starring John Barrymore.

1926   Harry Houdini performed his greatest feat, spending 91 minutes underwater in a sealed tank before escaping.

1928 Robert Mitchum, American artist, was born  (d. 1987).

1934 Chris Bonington, British mountaineer, was born.

1936 Jack Lovelock won New Zealand’s first Olympic athletics gold medalwhen he ran the 1500-metres in a world record time of 3:47.8.at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

Lovelock wins 1500-m gold at Berlin

1937 Barbara Windsor, English actress, was born.

1942 Queen Wilhelmina became the first reigning queen to address a joint session of the United States Congress.

1945 The atomic bomb “Little Boy” was dropped on Hiroshima by the United States B-29 Enola Gay. Around 70,000 people were killed instantly, and tens of thousands died in subsequent years from burns and radiation poisoning.

1952 Vinnie Vincent, American musician (Kiss), was born.

1960  Cuban Revolution: in response to a United States embargo, Cuba nationalised American and foreign-owned property in the nation.

1962 Jamaica became independent.

1964 Prometheus, a bristlecone pine and the world’s oldest tree, was cut down.

1965 US President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965into law.

1966 Braniff Airlines Flight 250 crashed in Falls City, NE killing all 42 on board.

1969 Simon Doull, New Zealand cricketer, was born.

1972 Geri Halliwell, British singer (Spice Girls), was born.

1976 Zulfikar Ali Bhutto laid the foundation stone of Port Qasim, Karachi.

1986  A low-pressure system that redeveloped off the New South Wales coast dumped a record 328 millimeters (13 inches) of rain in a day on Sydney.

1990  The United Nations Security Council ordered a global trade embargo against Iraq in response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.

1991  Tim Berners-Lee released files describing his idea for the World Wide Web. WWW debuted  as a publicly available service on the Internet.

1991  Doi Takako, chair of the Social Democratic Party became Japan’s first female speaker of the House of Representatives.

1993 Heavy rains and debris killed  72 in the Kagoshima and Aira areas, of Kyūshū, Japan.

1996  NASA announced that the ALH 84001 meteorite, thought to originate from Mars, contained evidence of primitive life-forms.

1997 Korean Air Flight 801, a Boeing 747-300, crashed into the jungle on Guam on approach to airport, killing 228.

2008 A military junta led by Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz staged a coup d’état in Mauritania, overthrowing president Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi.

2011 – A helicopter containing members of Navy SEAL 6 was shot down in Afghanistan killing 38.

2012 – Valerie Adams was awarded a gold medal for the shot put at the London Olympic games.

2012 – NASA’s Curiosity rover landed on the surface of Mars.

2015 – A suicide bomb attack killed at least 15 people at a mosque in the south-western Saudi city of Abha.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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