Hat tip: Utopia
Andrew Cotter of Olive and Mabel fame, commentates Phillip Island’s little blue pneguin’s homecoming race:
Take an Icelandic film, give it an Australian makeover and what do you get? You get Rams:
Kiwi actor Sam Neill is starring in an Aussie remake of an award-winning Icelandic film.
Despite being an Australian creation by way of Iceland, the synopsis for the film has a distinctly Kiwi flavour of the woolly variety.
“In remote Western Australia, two estranged brothers, Colin (Sam Neill) and Les (Michael Caton), are at war,” it reads.
“Raising separate flocks of sheep descended from their family’s prized bloodline, the two men work side by side yet are worlds apart. When Les’ prize ram is diagnosed with a rare and lethal illness, authorities order a purge of every sheep in the valley.
“While Colin attempts to stealthily outwit the powers that be, Les opts for angry defiance. But can the warring brothers set aside their differences and have a chance to reunite their family, save their herd, and bring their community back together?” . .
From the sporting archives:
Would the world be a better place if the maternal instinct triumphed over the hunting one like this more often?
A few days late for International Dog Day, Dog by Nat Johnson:
Stressed southern farmers get help – Neal Wallace:
Agriculture leaders are scrambling to support Southland farmers struggling to deal with the seasonal pressures accentuated by a media campaign questioning their winter grazing management and animal welfare.
Southland Rural Support Trust chairwoman Cathie Cotter says the campaign has added to the seasonal stress of calving and lambing and a wet, cold latter part of winter.
“We are very concerned for farmers. . .
Not Just A Southland Issue — August 2019 – dairymanNZ:
Last week the Minister of Agriculture announced the members of his taskforce that will investigate the practice of wintering cow on crop in Southland, their brief being to “do a stocktake of the multiple initiatives that are already underway to promote good winter grazing practices and identify why those are not currently working for all.”
The issue has of course been brought to a head by environmental campaigners in Southland releasing drone footage of cows up to their hocks in mud along with pictures of cows calving in similar conditions.
The reaction from farmers on twitter has been starkly divided; Southland farmers believe it is an issue for their region to tackle without interference from central government or advice from outside experts, let alone from the lone environmentalist appointed to the taskforce. They are not interested in the opinions of non-farming urbanites whose only experience with wet weather grazing was that one time they got caught in the rain during a picnic. . .
Eagerly grabbing their chances – Neal Wallace:
Blair and Jane Smith freely admit to having their share of good fortune as they embark on their farming careers but that doesn’t mean they are resting on their laurels. Neal Wallace reports.
It might be a cliche that business success is all about opportunities but that is the reality for North Otago farmers Blair and Jane Smith.
In 2008 as they were in the process of taking over Jane’s family farm neighbours Bruce and Fay McNab invited them to look over their hill property.
Blair says they initially had no idea why they got the invitation but the farm was for sale and the McNabs viewed them as potential owners. . .
Ten years ago Lindy Nelson was wondering why rural women weren’t more visible as decision-makers around the table in the boardroom or even in their own farm kitchens.
She did some research and decided to take the bull by the horns, setting up an organisation to give them a bigger voice.
The Agri-Women’s Development Trust was born and now trains and supports hundreds of women – and now men too – to make change in New Zealand’s primary sector and in rural communities. . .
Battery-powered tractors still a long way off – Mark Daniel:
The likelihood of electric or hybrid powered farm tractors still appears a long way off.
The German news site Top Agrar says research by Fendt indicates that the energy density of currently available batteries would not suit high horsepower prime movers.
Fendt director of research, development and purchasing, Heribert Reiter, says tractors up to 68hp (50kW) can typically use batteries to run for one to four hours depending on the task. . .
‘Widespread support’ for advance parties – Trevor Walton:
They sound as if they are small military detachments charged with reconnaissance, but in the case of the deer industry’s advance parties (AP) they are in fact the main body of the army.
Deer Industry New Zealand (DINZ) Passion2Profit manager Innes Moffat said there were now 29 advance parties, involving 352 of the industry’s 1200 or so commercial deer farms and more than 30% of the industry’s deer.
”There are eight APs operating across Otago and Southland, catering for farmers in different districts and with different interests,” Mr Moffat said.
”For example there are environment APs in Central Otago and Southland; an AP catering for farmers who specialise in elk/wapiti; and a data group in Southland working on a short term project. . .
Who wins in dog walker vs farmer😕
A Peak District farmer has been forced to give up his “gentle” highland cattle after a single dog walker complained that they felt unsafe around the herd.
Alex Birch, 32, has roamed his 27-strong herd on Baslow Edge in the Peak District for 40 years, ever since his grandfather David Thorp first introduced them to the land as a young man.
Walkers in the national park regularly encountered the red-haired cattle, described as “the most photographed cows in the world”, as they grazed on the bracken.
They were even the face of BBC Look North’s weather programme.
But ramblers cannot find the animals on Baslow Edge anymore, as Mr Birch has been forced to sell and slaughter his cattle following a complaint to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) from an anonymous dog walker.
The complaint stressed concern after a walker claimed that one of the highland cows attempted to attack their dog. . .
It has gained over 23,000 signatures in just 24 hours. The petition says: “For over 40 years a herd of Highland cattle have been allowed to graze on the moorland of Baslow Edge in the Peak District, delighting walkers, cyclists and photographers.
“They have also played a crucial part in maintaining and enriching this beautiful moorland. The highland cattle actively helped the biodiversity of the area.
“Sadly, the HSE has decreed that these gentle creatures should be removed from this area due to the complaints of one individual who, by walking with a dog too close to the herd, felt that they were in danger of attack.”
It adds: “Baslow Edge is visited by thousands of people every year, who enjoy the sight of these magnificent creatures, are respectful of their space, particularly when the cows have calves, with no incident.
Cows with calves are very, very protective.
“This petition is also to show support to the farming community and Mr Thorp, the farmer who owned the herd of highland cattle on Baslow Edge. Quite simply, the act of removing this herd was uncalled for and a knee-jerk reaction to one individual.”
Despite fierce public backlash against the decision, a HSE spokesman said the matter has been ‘satisfactorily resolved’. . .
People wanting more access to farmland in New Zealand often look to the UK’s right to roam as an exemplar.
It’s stories like this which keep farmers here maintaining their private property rights which include the right to restrict entry and bar dogs on a lead or not.