Word of the day

January 1, 2020

Jentacular – of  or pertaining to a breakfast taken early in the morning, or immediately on getting up.


Sowell says

January 1, 2020


Rural round-up

January 1, 2020

South Waikato dairy farmer recognised in New Year honours – Gerald Piddock:

Championing the rights of sharemilkers has seen Tony Wilding recognised in the New Years honours list.

The dairy farmer, who farms at Okoroire in South Waikato, was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his work in the dairy industry and the community.

He said his initial reaction when he found out was disbelief. Once it sunk in, he began to realise how special it was.

“I”m pretty delighted and particularly my family who have seen me doing such a lot of stuff that was unpaid for in a lot of areas.” . .

Prices strong, farmers low – report – David Anderson:

Despite generally strong commodity prices, farmer confidence remains at near record lows, according to the latest Agri Focus report from ANZ Bank.

“Confidence at the farm level remains subdued despite returns being near record levels,” the bank’s December 2019 report says.

“Farmers remain concerned as to how future environmental legislation will impact the profitability of their business.”

It adds that dairy land values are also under pressure for the same reason.  . .

LAND CHAMPION: Wool fashions farming’s future– Hugh Stringleman:

New Zealand Merino chief executive John Brakenridge has seen the future of the primary sector and pioneered many of its elements well in advance of most farmers, their processors and exporters.

Few people in NZ can claim the transformation of a primary industry through their life’s work and fewer still have taken the principles uncovered beyond their home industry for the betterment of the sector.

All that has been done by Brakenridge’s ideas, enthusiasm, business relationships and persistence.

The forging of long-term supply contracts between wool growers and apparel brands like . . 

Going green makes money – Jenny Ling:

A Northland farming family is adding value and creating extra income by supplying milk in glass bottles direct to customers. Jenny Ling reports.

Far North sharemilkers Gav Hogarth and Jody Hansen knew they needed a plan B when Fonterra announced a forecast milk payout with a three in front of it.

The couple had been milking their herd of pedigree Jerseys on a conventional, twice-daily milking system for five years at their Kawakawa farm when the dairy co-operative dropped the milk payout from $4.15 a kilogram of milksolids to $3.90 in early 2016. 

“At $3 you’re not making any money and farming is not sustainable at that level,” Gav says.

“The options were either I went back to work or we would have to borrow money to feed the cows,” Jody says. . . 

Contract milking offers opportunities – Pam Tipa:

Contract milking is a good introduction to self-employment, says Northland AgFirst consultant Kim Robinson.

Her advice to young people wanting to go 50/50 sharemilking is, to do one year of contracting milking first.

“Contract milking teaches people how to become self-employed, to run their own businesses . .

Global wardrobe study:

Our wardrobes are growing, which comes as no surprise given fibre production for clothing and the amount of clothes produced, is on the rise. But, like most things in life, we have options. Consumers have the power to choose what they wear and this choice can ultimately have a huge impact on what designers, brands and retailers produce.

For many, it may come as a surprise that our love for clothing is putting a strain on the environment. And with phrases such as “climate crisis” becoming the new normal, it’s time for individuals to pay attention to everyday habits. One small action, as insignificant as it may seem, can cumulatively have enormous impact. From wearing our clothes for longer, doing laundry less frequently, or paying attention to what our clothes are actually made of, consumers have the power to make a difference and influence brands’ business decisions.

This report examines consumer wardrobe and laundry behaviours, offering solutions to help reduce our impact on the environment every day. . . 

 


A new decade

January 1, 2020

Is it really 20 years since we greeted a new millennium, wondering if all the computers in the world would crash?

Back then a few numerical purists argued that given there was no year zero, the 21st century wouldn’t really start until 2001.

Some of those purists might be arguing that we’re a year short of the new decade now but if we stop being teens and enter our 20s on our 20th birthday, then surely the 2020s started this morning.

Whether or not you agree, may the new year, and decade be kind to you and yours.


Deserved honours

January 1, 2020

Each time the honours lists come out someone opines that they are achronistic and we should be rid of them.

I disagree. It is good to recognise ordinary people doing extraordinary things Among whom, in this year’s honours list is Sir Robert Martin.

Robert Martin wanted a leader that looked and sounded like him, and when there wasn’t one, he decided to fill the gap.

Having spent more than 30 years advocating for the rights of disabled New Zealanders, Sir Robert has been made a knight companion in the New Year’s Honours list.

He has a learning disability and spent much of his childhood inside institutions and living with foster parents.

He was a witness at the inquiry into abuse in state care. The knighthood doesn’t make up for the shocking abuse he suffered there but all he’s achieved in spite of that makes him more than worthy of it.

Sir Robert said he was both proud and humbled to receive a knighthood for services to people with disabilities.

“I couldn’t have got where I’ve got to without the assistance and also the support I’ve received over the many years from other people with learning disabilities.”

It was his concern for those around the world who still did not have a voice that drove him to be an advocate.

That drive took Sir Robert right to the United Nations, where in 2018, he became the first person with learning disabilities to chair a meeting during a session.

He served on the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for the 2017-2020 term, and was seeking re-election.

“In a lot of places around the world, people with learning disabilities are still much invisible…” he said.

“People with learning disabilities are part of our world, part of our communities and part of our societies.”

Sir Robert said he had been advocating for disabled New Zealanders for as long as he could remember, because there was never anyone else to do it. . .

Sir Robert wanted a leader that looked and sounded like him, and when there wasn’t one, he decided to fill the gap.

“That’s why I fought tooth and nail for the likes of People First, the only organisation in New Zealand that speaks for, and on behalf of people with learning disabilities.” . . 

I had the pleasure of meeting Robert at an IHC conference more than 20 years ago. He was engaging and humble. He had already achieved a lot then and has done a lot more since.

 


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