Dr Rolleston new vice-president of the World Farmers Organisation:
Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston has been elected Vice President of the World Farmers Organisation (WFO) while attending its General Assembly in Milan.
The WFO aims to bring together all the national producers and farm cooperative organisations with the objective of developing policies which favour and support farmers’ causes in developed and developing countries around the world.
“I am delighted and incredibly humbled to be elected into this role,” says Dr Rolleston. . .
Sheep shipment should have been handled better – Jon Morgan:
I recall once being told that the Prime Minister gets more calls and letters about animal welfare than any other issue.
No-one likes to see an animal suffer and it appears we’re more vigilant about this than we are about anything else, including child cruelty.
The authorities act quickly and severely when cases of animal cruelty occur. Hardly a week goes by when we’re not reading of a case before the courts. Unfortunately, each year several of these are farmers and involve multiple animals.
And so the outcry over the recent shipment of 50,000 sheep (actually 45,000) to Mexico quickly escalated to hysterical levels. . .
Gisborne bull breeders on a high after $100,000 sale – Kate Taylor:
Angus breeders Charlie and Susie Dowding are buzzing at the sale of one of their bulls for $100,000 – a record price for an on-farm bull sale in New Zealand.
The Gisborne stud’s Rangatira 13-38 sold to the Bayly family’s Cricklewood Angus, Wairoa, which will use the rising two-year-old bull itself initially and make semen available for sale in the future.
“I don’t think I’ve stopped smiling yet,” Susie Dowding said.
“We had no idea at all he would be so sought after. We had moved him up the catalogue but obviously he should have been up further. I’m not sure how many were bidding to start with but it ended up with two studs who wanted him badly.” . .
Focus on support networks – Sally Rae:
A gathering of rural professionals is being held in Oamaru next week to highlight the support networks available to farmers.
It has been organised by the Rural Support Trust, Federated Farmers, Beef and Lamb New Zealand and DairyNZ.
The organisations all had concerns for farmers, particularly in North Otago but also other areas, over the next three to four months, as they faced the effects of drought and also the low dairy payout, Otago Rural Support Trust co ordinator Dave Mellish said. . .
ECan’s future direction – Conan Young:
After five years without a democratically elected regional council, warnings are being sounded that Canterbury’s stock of capable leaders is in danger of being hollowed out.
As Insight investigated the plan for ECan to make a partial return to democracy, it was told the region is getting used to having decisions made for it by government appointed commissioners.
Environment Canterbury’s councillors were sacked by the government amidst claims they were dysfunctional and had failed to introduce a water plan for the region, allowing it to make the most of its alpine water and reap the economic rewards of large scale irrigation.
Now there’s a proposal for a partial return to democracy with a mix of elected members and appointed commissioners.
According to the government, there’s still too much at stake to risk a return to fully elected councillors.
But the head of the Politics Department at Canterbury University, Bronwyn Hayward, takes issue with that position. . .
Cashflow crucial for Taranaki demonstration farms – Sue O’Dowd:
Demonstration farms near Stratford and Manaia are closely monitoring their cashflow, focusing on pasture management and deferring some expenditure as they plan for the season ahead.
The Stratford Demonstration Farm, operated by an incorporated society, and the Waimate West Demonstration Farm, owned by a trust, were both established in 1917 by local farmers who wanted a model dairy farm in their area to develop and promote better farming methods. Both farms are managed by the Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre.
Waimate West Demonstration Farm chairman John Fischer says cashflow will be crucial if dairy farmers are to manage their finances in the wake of two seasons of low payout forecasts. . .
Auditing just futile bureaucracy – Lynda Murchison:
So much time and energy is spent managing land and water at present, with decisions around rules only the first step.
What those rules look like and how much they will cost farmers and the community to implement also needs close scrutiny. Take a couple of examples from Canterbury.
Overseer; like it or hate it, Canterbury farmers are required to record an estimate of their nitrogen losses using Overseer. Personally I don’t have an issue with that. . .