Rural round-up

Veganuary: Can veganism save the planet? – Jacqueline Rowarth:

Whether you enjoyed your festive dinner with gusto, defiance, guilt, or smugness in the knowledge that you chose non-animal food, you can make a resolution to embrace a more environmentally friendly diet for the future.

You’ll be able to do this by eating food in moderation to meet the needs of your body and mind.

Extreme diets, over-eating and simply the number of people doing the eating are the main causes of environmental impacts associated with food, not animals per se.

This doesn’t fit with the message from activists to save the planet by becoming vegan, but the science doesn’t fit the message either. . .

Sun helping cherries but staff still scarce :

A year after heavy and persistent rain destroyed millions of dollars of Central Otago cherries, growers are thankful for this month’s sun, but are facing another sort of problem.

Last year, heavy rain began on New Year’s Day and continued for 36 hours, causing the Fraser River to breach its banks and localised flooding, and making cherries split in what were expected to be bumper crops.

3 Kings Cherries manager Tim Paulin said rain early in the season last month had caused some splitting in the Sweetheart cherries, but fine weather since meant the fruit was now in good condition.

The company started operations last month in a large new packhouse on the hill above the Clyde bypass, and staff were busy last week packing fruit for another grower. . .

Shear4Blair – 24 hours of shearing to raise funds for Southland charity hospital – Rachael Kelly:

Preparing for a 24-hour shearing event is not unlike preparing to run a marathon except the race is much longer.

Cole Wells is one of four shearers who will spend 24 hours on the boards in the historic Wohelo Station woolshed, high in the hills of West Otago at Waitangi weekend, for the Shear4Blair event.

He’ll be joined by Eru Weeds, Braydon Clifford and David Gower, who will collectively aim to shear more than 9500 lambs in 24 hours, donating their wages to the Southland Charity Hospital.

They’ll shear 12 two hour runs, starting at 6am on Saturday morning, finishing at 2pm on Sunday afternoon. . .

Honour surprises scientist :

DR PETER FRANCIS FENNESSY

For services to agricultural science and business

“Exceptionally surprised, to be perfectly honest,” is how Dunedin scientist Dr Peter Fennessy describes being made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to agricultural science and business.

Dr Fennessy, who said he was honoured by the accolade, has had a broad and distinguished career as a scientist, mentor, consultant, and entrepreneur over 45 years and has held governance and management roles across numerous small-to-medium agri and biotechnology startups and enterprises, including a long-term involvement with Blis Technologies as a director and chairman.

He was general manager of AgResearch Invermay from 1992 to 1997 before entering the private sector and founding highly successful agribusiness consulting firm AbacusBio in 2001. . .

How the man from McKinsey ended up running NZ’s biggest farm – Jamie Gray:

How did Steve Carden, whose curriculum vitae includes a stint at the high-powered US consultancy McKinsey and Co, end up running Landcorp?

Carden, who is soon leave to the state-owned farming giant for NZX-listed winemakerDelegat’s, says it was a matter of “falling in love” with agriculture.

Landcorp, which has the brand name Pāmu (to farm) produces dairy, beef, lamb, wool, venison, trees and of all things, sheep and deer milk from a vast estate of 144 farms, covering a million acres (404,000 hectares).

Before joining Pāmu in 2013, Carden was general manager of PGG Wrightson Seeds Australia from 2010 having earlier joined the company as its group manager of business development. . .

 

Lab grown meat is supposed to be inevitable, the science tells a different story – Joe Fassler:

Splashy headlines have long overshadowed inconvenient truths about biology and economics. Now, extensive new research suggests the industry may be on a billion-dollar crash course with reality.

Paul Wood didn’t buy it.

For years, the former pharmaceutical industry executive watched from the sidelines as biotech startups raked in venture capital, making bold pronouncements about the future of meat. He was fascinated by their central contention: the idea that one day, soon, humans will no longer need to raise livestock to enjoy animal protein. We’ll be able to grow meat in giant, stainless-steel bioreactors—and enough of it to feed the world. . .

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