Urban dwellers lack of knowledge of the work farmers do for the environment distressing – Jacqueline Rowarth:
A rat race is an endless, self-defeating, or pointless pursuit. The term was coined in the early 1930s, but in Alice Through the Looking Glass, published in the early 1870s, Lewis Carroll had the Red Queen tell Alice that “here it takes all the running you can do to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run twice as fast as that”.
That is the point of the “howl of a protest” that was made by the convoy of tractors, utes and dogs last week.
Farmers were expressing frustration at the deluge of regulations and paperwork.
The work they do for the environment is being overlooked. . .
Full of pride for mother in ute with dogs – Anna Campbell:
Climate change is a global problem, a problem shared and a problem far bigger than New Zealand politics.
Climate change is a problem that the majority of farmers recognise, one in which many are adapting to daily in dealing with the increasing numbers of droughts and floods. Farmers are improving their environments by changing their farming practices, whether that be fencing waterways, developing Land and Environmental Plans, planting trees or altering winter grazing practices. Change on-farm is happening at a significant scale across the country.
On Friday morning, I was worried about the Groundswell farmer protest, I was worried that it would look like farmers were trying to shirk their responsibility and avoid change, despite what they are already doing and despite their plans for doing more. I was worried farmers would look like rednecks and I was worried about the ever-increasing rural-urban chasm. Let’s not call this a divide any more.
On Friday, I apprehensively left my centrally heated office to stand in the Octagon and lend my support to the protest — who knew Otago had so many farmers? . .
This might have been our first successful farmer protest – Craig Hickman:
I’ve never made a secret of the fact I’m no fan of farmer protests; there had never been a successful one in my living memory and there has been a tendency recently for them to backfire and paint farmers in a bad light, usually as ignorant racist misogynists.
People fondly recall Shane Ardern driving his tractor up the steps of Parliament in 2003 to defeat the proposed “Fart Tax”. They point to this as an example of a resounding success.
I don’t know how you measure success, and sure the Government of the day appeared to back down, but there’s the small issue that the protest didn’t actually work. While farmers weren’t asked to pay for emissions research via taxation, our industry bodies agreed to pay for it via levies instead, with the Government reserving the right to reconsider the tax should payments ever stop.
Not only is it difficult to measure whether a protest has been successful, they can be harmful too. . .
The Ardern government may have been stirred, but it wasn’t shaken, by the nationwide protest by farmers last Friday. And no matter how far the protest may have turned heads in the rest of the population, it leaves farmers no further advanced in persuading ministers to modify or revise the policies which their action targeted.
So if ministers won’t back down on their environmental reforms or their climate change policies, where can the farmers go? Parade through Wellington to Parliament? Mount a 24-hour vigil in Parliament Grounds?
So far there has been silence from the originators of the Groundswell and if there is a new sense of unity in the rural regions, it has yet to be channelled into the kind of pressure that automatically achieves change. . .
There’s more to beef and lamb than steaks and Sunday Roasts
When you think about meat processing it would be no surprise that the first output you thought about, was food. But what happens to the rest of the carcass? The parts that are not suitable or desired for consumption? That is where byproducts and co-products come in.
Referred to in the industry as the ‘fifth quarter’ co-products (materials intended for human consumption) and byproducts (materials that can be edible and non-edible) are valuable and account for over half of a carcass. These co-products extract maximum value and minimise waste.
With new technology and innovation, the use and application of co-products are constantly developing across a range of industries. Where once tallow was used for soap and candle making, now it is being converted to create a biofuel that burns cleaner and reduces emissions. . .
Mum, I don’t want to be mean but I reckon that (weight loss program) will really benefit you. You are like really beautiful but you have a big bottom”.
That’s what my eight-year-old daughter told me at the start of this year while watching television one night.
Now I’ve certainly been in a good paddock and I can’t blame my kids anymore, it’s been six years since nappies.
But it made me think about the power of advertising and social media, and how it influences our lives these days. . .