Word of the day

08/12/2021

Caboose – a ship’s galley; a house on deck, where the cooking is done; freight-train car attached usually to the rear mainly for the use of the train crew; one that follows or brings up the rear


Rural round-up

08/12/2021

Loss of farming land – Clive Bibby:

I have written about this before but up until now, nobody in authority seems to be listening or worse still, is hoping that it will just continue to happen and no body will notice. 

In fact it appears that the “one way” transfer of our productive grazing land into the fast expanding exotic forestry estate is all part of the government’s plan to achieve its ill advised zero carbon emissions target. More about that later. 

The upcoming sale of 6200 hectares of prime East Coast hill country (Huiarua and Matanui Stns) with a combined carrying capacity of over 45,000 stock units and the probability that it might all end up in trees is more than just a little bit worrying.

In the NZ context this is the classic example of what is being allowed to happen to our most precious asset and worse still- it is promoted as being in the nation’s best long term interest. What a sick joke.  . .

$20m possum control plan to eradicate bovine TB in Hawke’s Bay over next five years – Maddisyn Jeffares:

A bid to eradicate bovine tuberculosis in Hawke’s Bay will see $20 million committed to possum control in the region over the next five years.

Hawke’s Bay farmers and hunters have since 2019 been struggling with bovine tuberculosis’s spread. As at February, 15 herds were infected.

Operational Solutions for Primary Industries (Ospri) works to control the spread of the disease, which is mainly transmitted by possums.

Ospri says what it is doing is working. Between August and October it completed aerial operations covering about 30,000 hectares including in Waipunga near the Napier Taupō Road, Waikoau, Willowflat and Poronui-Ripia. . .

Hopes beneficial insects could boost farm yields :

A new research project involving 45 Canterbury farms will look at how specifically designed native plantings could be used to attract beneficial insects, boosting farm yields.

The project is being led by Plant and Food Research, with $2.2 million of funding coming from the Ministry for Primary Industries Plant Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund and a range of industry partners investing just over $1m.

The project will plant land that is currently under-utilised – such as fence lines, road verges and watercourses – with local native plants that have been proven to support and maintain beneficial insect life.

Plant & Food Research lead researcher Dr Melanie Davidson said native plantings could host many beneficial insects that support farming in Aotearoa. These insects included pollinators and natural enemies of insect pests. . .

Once in a generation level of change divides primary sector :

Bank of New Zealand’s (BNZ) Shift Happens – Future of agribusiness reporttoday reveals a divided primary sector, adapting to the challenges of climate change and regulation, demanding more from rural connectivity, and grappling with COVID-induced supply chain pain and labour constraints.

When considering the future, the Shift Happens survey found New Zealand’s agribusinesses evenly split. 53% expressed optimism for the future (down from 58% in 2020) while an increasing number of farmers were feeling threatened by change and its impact on the long-term success of their agribusiness (42% to 47%). Those who were more optimistic about the future, were also more likely to embrace the myriad solutions available to overcome the current challenges impacting the sector.

The survey also found:

  • Rural connectivity as the most influential megaforce on the future of agribusinesses (54%) with 70% of farmers seeing it as essential to the increasing use of technology and data collection. . . .

’She looks like me Aotearoa’ new campaign to challenge gender stereotypes about working in the meat sector :

A global campaign backed by leading meat businesses has been launched in Aotearoa New Zealand to change perceptions of careers in the meat industry, highlight female role models and encourage more women to join the sector.

‘She Looks Like Me’ Aotearoa will showcase the breadth of roles and career options that exist in the meat supply chain and launches with the ‘day in the life’ video of Cromwell Butcher, Jayne McMillan who has combined her love of science and her connection to the rural sector.

“When I started in the industry, 27 years ago, there were no women on the processing floor and they were largely confined to administration roles. Through hard work, passion and resilience I now own and operate a boutique butchery and delicatessen where I am CEO, Human Resource Manager, Accountant, Butcher, Packer, Customer Service Representative and more.”

I am proud to share my meat industry story through the ‘She Looks Like Me’ campaign, and urge any women to consider this sector. There is a role for everyone, from technical, butchery or trimming through to marketing, procurement, and leadership – your opportunity for growth is endless. Take the leap. I am living, breathing proof of where that first step can take you.” . .

Green thumb farmer making change for the environment :

It’sa concept that’s taken root in the past few decades: planting trees on farms.

Aside from sheltering livestock, trees can be used to reduce soil erosion and salinity. They can support food and fibre production, enhance biodiversity and beautify the landscape while creating additional income opportunities from tree products.

One farmer who is keen on trees is Andrew Stewart. The fourth-generation farmer and agricultural scientist recently took home the Bob Hawke Landcare Award for environmental work and sustainable agricultural achievements.

The award comes with a $50,000 prize to develop knowledge and contributions to Landcare. . .

 


Social investment was working

08/12/2021

Heather du Plessis Allan is excited about National leader Chris Luxon’s promotion of social investment:

. . .This was originally Bill English’s idea.

And his idea was to invest in kids and families who were clearly going to become problems later on.

You know the ones. I know the ones. The government knows the ones.

Kids who are sending a bunch of warning signs that things are going in the wrong direction.

Let’s say they’re growing up in a statehouse that’s had too many visits from the cops lately, their parents have been on the dole too long, they start showing up as truant on the school list too often,  maybe they get in a bit of trouble with the police themselves as a young one.

Bill English’s idea is that when you see that family is triggering alarms you know that child will end up probably committing crime later on and then in jail and costing the taxpayer a huge amount of money.

So, you break the cycle. You invest in them early, and you invest a lot. Whatever it takes to get their life in order

And it’s a win-win. They have a better more productive life with better opportunities and society aka taxpayers don’t end up with the huge bill for throwing them in jail for years on end. . . 

The policy was working but was shamefully dropped by Labour.

Because rather than spending lots of money on a huge group of people identified through something as genial as their ethnicity, wasting money on people who don’t need it and missing the ones who do, I would like the government to spend the same amount on one child helping them out and giving them a greater chance of it working.

It wasn’t only children who benefitted from this policy. It was also used for teen parents, teaching them to look after themselves and their babies, helping them get qualifications, become work ready and eventually get jobs. It could be used for anyone on a benefit to break the cycle of disfunction and poverty.

Social investment fosters independence. It’s the total opposite of Labour’s policy which encourages benefit dependency and all the high social costs which result from that.


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