Rural round-up

It’s okay to not be okay – Jamie Mackay:

 A recent personal tragedy has made The Country host Jamie Mackay reconsider his stance on mental health.

I’m ashamed to admit it, especially as there is a history of mental illness in my own family, but until relatively recently I was a bit blasé about mental health.

Back when my grandmother was a young mother under considerable stress raising six kids, she had what was at that time called ‘a breakdown’. She was sent off to a mental institution (as they were known then) three hour’s drive away.

We were often packed into the car when my father went to visit her, but we were never able to see her. She lived until I was 16 years of age, but I never met her. As a family we never talked about her, other than to acknowledge that she was institutionalised. . . 

Rural sector vital to recovery, despite confidence dip – David Anderson:

COVID-19 is negatively impacting New Zealand’s rural sector confidence.

The declining confidence comes as the country’s primary industries prepare to shoulder some of the heavy lifting for economic and social recovery, claims specialist rural bank Rabobank.

New Zealand chief executive Todd Charteris says the bank’s latest rural confidence survey shines a light on the psyche of farmers at a critical time for the nation.

“The food and agri sectors will be crucial in helping to rebuild the New Zealand economy and Rabobank continues to have a strong positive long-term view of the sector outlook,” he says.  . .

Fruit, wine industries respond to coronavirus with vintage Kiwi adaptability – Georgia-May Gilbertson:

Kiwis are stepping in to cover a shortage of backpackers and overseas seasonal workers in the fruit and wine industries.  

For the last few years the kiwifruit industry has experienced a labour shortage when it comes to harvest, but New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated (NZKGI) president Nikki Johnson says covid-19 has changed that. 

“The way that our labour situation is laid out is that about 50 per cent are New Zealanders,  25 per cent are working holidays visa workers or backpackers, then 20 per cent are RSE (Recognised Seasonal Employer) workers,” Johnson said.  . . 

COVID-19: Growing interest in NZ sheepmeat in China – Peter Burke:

Chinese consumers are increasingly positive about New Zealand-produced beef, lamb and mutton in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a social media analysis by Beef + Lamb New Zealand. 

B+LNZ’s market development team says it is monitoring Chinese consumers’ perceptions of the protein market, the perception of protein origin, and the changes in retail channel choice during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The red meat grower organisation has published a report summarizing the latest findings, which can be found here:

Click here to view the full report. . . 

Coronavirus: The harvest bubble ‘flogging the wifi’ as hand picking starts to wrap – Jennifer Eder:

Many seasonal workers in Marlborough’s wine industry are also stuck at home on Coronavirus lockdown as hand harvesting of grapes comes to an end.

All non-essential businesses were to close when the country moved to alert level 4 on March 25, but people working in the grape harvest were categorised an essential service as part of food and beverage production.

Many vineyard workers brought into the country on the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme are approaching the end of their contracts, but cannot fly home during lockdown. . . 

‘Massive disconnect’: Helen Skelton urges public to respect farmers:

Television presenter Helen Skelton has said there is a ‘massive disconnect’ between food producers and the British public.

The BBC presenter, who currently hosts Springtime On The Farm, urged consumers to have greater respect for farmers.

The 36-year-old grew up on a farm herself, and has a ‘huge amount of respect’ for those who produce the nation’s food.

“Now I live on the edge of the city, and there’s a massive disconnect between food producers and the rest of the country,” she said. . . 


One Response to Rural round-up

  1. Murray Roxburgh says:

    Another rich vein of thought provoking links.

    I hope Jamie doesn’t over think what he could have done, just keeping the annual refresher course in friendship alive is not always easy but a very useful tool particularly for rural oriented men and real risks to Mental health.

    I have found myself too close to too many such sad and often inexplicable tragedies.

    As to the annual Duck shooting opening days, I warrant that duck shooting is reducing as a focus, the camaraderie and refuelling will increasingly prevail
    I have a couple of those and this year one was due to gather at an Air BnB in Oamaru.
    Of the seven couples involved this year we were first to pull the plug due to health issues only to watch the others do likewise within days.
    That all went down in early March after we had decided to park the Movan and withdraw to our, daily getting smaller, fixed base.

    With the fees paid and the generosity of our host (aint North otago people special) we plan to resurrect the occasion when the current environment allows.

    The other is a weekly Morning Tea at a fixed place and time gathering connected to a training class of 59 that any of the class who should be in the garden City can rock up to safe in the knowledge that they will have someone there. from their shared past. Partners and Husbands welcome, socially so rewarding and beneficial.
    The interruption weighs heavy as a side effect of “Cabin Fever”.

    Take strength from the survivors Jamie, it is well known such tragedies too often have very little by way of warning signs until reviewed in that well known advantaged rear view mirror.
    Also alas, and true sadly, Men are usually very successful at Suicide in a first attempt.
    My sage advice is to continue the event and use it to prevent another such ending.
    My first response experience has highlighted such risks for me and has encouraged my new propensity to quietly advise a call to “Lifeline” a family friend, The Doctor or any such place to get a conversation started.


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