Women forge farming futures together – Sally Rae:
A farm training institute with a difference opened its gates in Northern Southland at the beginning of this year. Business and rural editor Sally Rae checks out how the first year of the Fairlight Foundation went.
For the past year, Emma Foss, Yvonne van Baarle and Ella Eades have lived, worked and learned together.
Now they are preparing to go their separate ways, pursuing careers in the rural sector, but they will always share a common bond as the first interns of the Fairlight Foundation.
The foundation is a female-only farm training institute based at Fairlight Station, a 2500ha property near Garston, in Northern Southland, owned by Simon and Lou Wright, and Doug and Mari Harpur. . .
Data ‘wrangler’ happy on block – Sally Rae:
She describes herself as a recovering academic.
Most days, Nicola Dennis is happily ensconced in her home office, on a rural block of land in East Otago, surrounded by animals, and doing her thing as a “data wrangler”.
In November, Dr Dennis made the move to self-employment, establishing her own business which focused on the agricultural sector which she has been involved in since graduating from university.
Originally from Northland, her parents moved to be dairy farmers in Southland in 1996. She always had a love of animals, being outside and living in a rural setting. . .
A day in the life of a beekeeper – Nikki Mandow:
The sun is shining, the mānuka is coming into flower and New Zealand’s beekeepers are hoping for a great season. But as business editor Nikki Mandow discovered, producing some of the world’s best honey products is way harder than it sounds.
If you want to write a story about beekeepers, you better be prepared to get up early. I talk to Alejandro Gibson, Comvita’s Taupo-based apiary manager, at 7am, but he’s already been up a couple of hours, is dressed in his hi-viz gear, and is champing to get off the phone to head off to his hives, before it gets too hot for the bees.
Talking to journalists? Not high priority on a sunny day.
But then I ask the question: “What’s it like being a beekeeper?” and any impatience or reluctance disappears. Gibson’s love for bees is infectious – almost an hour later, when I press stop on the Zoom recording, I’ve caught the bug. . .
Tomato prices pull down overall food prices:
Food prices fell 0.6 percent in November 2021 compared with October 2021, mainly influenced by lower prices for tomatoes, Stats NZ said today.
Tomato prices fell 49 percent in November. However, their price was 54 percent higher than a year ago.
“The weighted average price of 1kg of tomatoes fell from $12.04 in October 2021 to $6.16 in November 2021,” consumer prices manager Katrina Dewbery said. “This compares with $3.99 in November 2020.”
Monthly fruit and vegetable prices fell 6.7 percent in November. As well as lower tomato prices, there were lower prices for broccoli, strawberries, and potatoes. These falls were partly offset by higher prices for apples, kiwifruit, and carrots. . .
New Zealand winegrowers launches 2021 mentoring programme:
New Zealand Winegrowers is delighted to launch the 2021 Mentoring Programme. This programme aims to support wine industry members increase their confidence, focus on their self-development and reach their goals.
The programme matches one mentee with an experienced mentor from within the New Zealand wine industry, following a careful selection and matching process. The pair then meet regularly over the next six to eight months as the mentee sets goals, makes plans to reach them and is encouraged and supported by their mentor.
Previous mentors and mentees have found the programme incredibly valuable, with the 2021 programme the biggest so far including 18 matched pairs. Applications were received throughout September and October, matches carefully made and the mentor and mentee workshops run by Fiona Fenwick were held at Giesen’s Ara Wooldshed Cellar Door in Blenheim. Auckland mentors had their session online due to Covid Alert Level restrictions. . .
NZ Dairy Industry Awards’ dairy trainee numbers increase:
The Dairy Trainee category has received a substantial increase in the number of entries for the 2022 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards.
170 entries have been received in the refreshed category including 27 in Canterbury region, 22 in Waikato and 21 in Southland/Otago.
Nationally, 112 entries were received in the Dairy Manager category and 82 entered Share Farmer of the Year.
NZDIA General Manager Robin Congdon said a total of 364 entries were received for the Awards. . .