Saturday’s smiles

November 10, 2018

The Chief of Staff of the Air Force was interviewing potential recruits when he saw two young twins.

He looked at the young woman and asked: “What skills can you bring to the Air Force?”

The young woman looked at him and said: “I’m a pilot!”

The Chief of Staff got all excited, turned to his aide and said: “Get her in today, all the paper work done, everything, do it!”

The aide hustled the young woman off. The General looked at the second twin and asked: “What skills to you bring to the Air Force?”

The young man said: “I chop wood!”

Son,” the Chief of Staff replied: “We don’t need wood choppers in the Air Force, what else do you know how to do?”

“I chop wood!”

“Young man,” huffed the Chief of Staff, “You are not listening to me, we don’t need wood choppers, this is the 21st century!”

“Well,” the young man said, “You hired my sister!”

“Of course we did,” said the general, “She’s a pilot!”

The young man rolled his eyes and said, “So what! I have to chop it before she can pile it!”


Saturday’s smiles

October 27, 2018

Einstein was invited to speak at an important science conference.

On the way there, he said to his driver, “I’m sick of all these conferences. I always say the same things over and over!”

The driver agreed. “You’re right. As your driver, I attend all of them, and even though I don’t know anything about science, I could give the conference in your place.”

“That’s a great idea!”  Einstein, said. You look like me, let’s switch places then!”

They swapped  clothes and as soon as they arrived, the driver dressed as Einstein goes on stage and started giving the usual speech, while the real Einstein, dressed as the car driver, watched from the back of the room.

But in the crowd, there was one scientist who wanted to impress everyone and thought of a very difficult question to ask Einstein, hoping he wouldn’t be able to respond.

The woman stood up and asked her very difficult question.

The whole room went silent, holding their breath, waiting for the response.

The driver looked at the questioner, dead in the eye, and says : “Madam, your question is so easy to answer that I’m going to let my driver reply to it for me.”


Rural round-up

October 27, 2018

Power prices heading north for the summer – Richard Rennie:

 Farmers looking to renew electricity contracts are being cautioned to expect a shock from new prices as the power industry faces tightening supply conditions amid strong demand from South Island irrigators for electricity.

Ruralco Energy general manager Tracey Gordon is dealing almost daily with co-operative farmer shareholders seeking advice as their electricity contracts come to an end and new ones are being set.

While electricity companies are renegotiating contracts with existing customers, those seeking new supply arrangements might find it more difficult to get on board. . .

Large-scale Canterbury irrigation project in new hands:

 An irrigation company has bought the resource consents for the large-scale Hurunui Water Project.

Shareholders on the Hurunui Water Project have voted unanimously to sell the council consents to Amuri Irrigation Company.

Amuri Irrigation chairperson David Croft said the company was aware of a strong desire for irrigation to be delivered to farmers south of the Hurunui River in north Canterbury. . . 

Agritourism witha  touch of southern hospitality – Tess Brunton:

Southland farmers have started looking for greener pasture – and tourist dollars – by welcoming visitors onto their working properties.

 It’s a niche market now, but there are hopes the region could become a mecca for agritourism.

Venture Southland has been running agritourism information workshops across the region this week, attracting more than one hundred people over four sessions.

Velvet prospects sound:

The velvet market during the 2018-19 season is expected to be reasonably stable, with consumption in Asia increasing in line with production growth in New Zealand.

Apart from a brief downward dip in prices two years ago, driven by uncertainty about regulatory changes in China, NZ velvet production and prices have increased for eight years. . .


Meat companies only have themselves to blame if meat prices are too high – Allan Barber:

 Seven years ago, the last time lamb prices were as high as they have been for the last 12 months, overseas customers suddenly decided enough was enough and turned off the tap, causing a sharp drop in price which reached its low point of less than $4.50 per kilo more than a year later. The difference this time appears to be a more gradual climb and a longer peak with no sign yet of a repeat collapse.

The other significant difference is the emergence of China as a key market, whereas in 2012 the traditional markets of UK, EU and USA had to bear the impact of selling to their consumers a product which had effectively priced itself off the market. Today the spread of market demand means more of the lamb carcase can be sold at a higher price; although this doesn’t mean there isn’t some risk of another collapse, there are greater signs of sustainability. . .

Why cows are getting a bad rap in lab-grown meat debate – Alison Van Eenennaam:

A battle royal is brewing over what to call animal cells grown in cell culture for food. Should it be in-vitro meat, cellular meat, cultured meat or fermented meat? What about animal-free meat, slaughter-free meat, artificial meat, synthetic meat, zombie meat, lab-grown meat, non-meat or artificial muscle proteins?

Then there is the polarizing “fake” versus “clean” meat framing that boils this complex topic down to a simple good versus bad dichotomy. The opposite of fake is of course the ambiguous but desirous “natural.” And modeled after “clean” energy, “clean” meat is by inference superior to its alternative, which must logically be “dirty” meat.

See the whole picture here.


Saturday’s smiles

October 20, 2018

An old man was on his death bed wanted to be buried with his money.

He called his priest, doctor and lawyer to his bedside. “Here’s $30,000 cash to be held by each of you. I trust you to put this in my coffin when I die so I can take all my money with me.”

At the funeral, each of the three put an envelope in the coffin.

As they drove away together, the priest suddenly broke into tears and confessed, “I only put $20,000 into the envelope because I needed $10,000 to repair the roof of the church.”

“Well, since we’re confiding in each other,” said the doctor, “I only put $10,000 in the envelope because we needed a new X-ray machine for the pediatrics ward at the hospital which cost $20,000.”

The lawyer was aghast. “I’m ashamed of both of you,” she exclaimed. “I want it known that when I put my envelope in that coffin, I enclosed a check for the full $30,000.”


Saturday’s smiles

October 13, 2018

A pianist was playing in a night club, getting a few requests and some tips.

Towards the end of the night, a man walked up with a wad of bills in his hand and asked the pianist to play a jazz chord.

She played an A Major 7.

He said, “No, no. A jazz chord.”

She did a little improvisational thing, but he didn’t like that either.

“No, no, no! A jazz chord. You know, ‘A jazz chord, to say, ah love you.'”


Rural round-up

October 3, 2018
Government blamed for pessimism – Neal Wallace:

Growing pessimism among dairy farmers has sent confidence plunging into negative territory for the first time since early 2016. The quarterly Rabobank Rural Confidence Survey of 450 farmers reveals confidence in the agricultural economy has fallen from plus 2% in June to minus 3% in September.

Those expecting an improvement in the next 12 months fell from 26% to 20% while those expecting conditions to worsen rose slightly from 23% to 24%. . .

Farmer group aims at land best practice  – Simon Hartley:

A farmer-led initiative covering six Aparima catchments in Southland is looking at ways to improve land management practices to benefit the environment and local communities.

The Aparima Community Engagement (ACE) project, which represents six local catchment groups, has been under way since March this year, and a fortnight ago briefed Environment Minister David Parker on its aims during his visit to the area.

The type of issues being tackled includes identifying best practice around the likes of buffer zones for wintering, and the use of crops and fertiliser. . . 

McDonald’s lauds Maori beef farm  – Hugh Stringleman:

Hapū-owned Whangara Farms, on the East Coast north of Gisborne, has been accredited to the McDonald’s Flagship Farmers programme, the first such appointment in the Southern Hemisphere. Under general manager Richard Scholefield for the past 12 years, the 8500ha group has become the 28th Flagship Farmer for the worldwide restaurant chain and the seventh beef supplier. . .

Hunting lobby wins concessions over tahr cull  – Kate Gudsell, Eric Fryberg:

The powerful hunting lobby has won concessions in the heated fight over the cull of thousands of Himalayan Tahr.

A meeting was held yesterday between Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage and hunting groups including the New Zealand Deerstalkers Association and the Game Animal Council as well as conservation groups such as Forest and Bird, and iwi Ngāi Tahu with the hunting industry emerging confident at the outcome.

The hunting fraternity say Ms Sage has pulled back from positions which the industry had found unacceptable and forced her to re-think plans to cull 10,000 Himalayan Tahr from the Southern Alps.  . .

Seeka warns of possible PSA outbreak in Victorian orchard – Gavin Evans:

(BusinessDesk) – Seeka, New Zealand’s biggest kiwifruit grower, says it may have found the fruit disease PSA in an orchard it is developing in Australia.

It has notified Agriculture Victoria of unusual bacterial symptoms and is removing suspicious plant material pending further test results. . .

Pāmu releases first Integrated Report – returns to paying a dividend

Pāmu Farms of New Zealand (Landcorp) has released its first truly integrated Annual Report for 2018 today.

Chief Financial Officer Steve McJorrow said the 2018 EBITDAR[1] of $48.5 million, announced on 31 August, was very pleasing, and reflected good milk and red meat returns, along with revaluation of carbon holdings (NZUs).

“We are also pleased to be back to paying our shareholders a dividend, which will be $5 million for the 2017/18 financial year. . .

Dairy Hub farm reserach to be revealed at field day:  – Yvonne O’Hara:

Kale versus fodder beet, phosphorous supplementation and buffer widths will be the focus of the Southern dairy hub’s next field day at Makarewa on October 10.

DairyNZ senior scientist Dawn Dalley said they would be updating those attending about the early results of the studies being carried out on site.

Farm manager Shane Griffin will be talking about the hub farm’s progress and Dr Ross Monaghan, of AgResearch, will discuss results of the nitrogen leaching study.

Dairy apprenticeship programme celebrates first birthday:

Federated Farmers is wishing happy birthday today to the Federated Farmers Apprenticeship Dairy Programme on its first anniversary.

The pilot programme supported by MBIE, the PrimaryITO and Feds, was launched last year with the intention of finding more Kiwis keen to work in the dairy industry on farm, and keen to upskill into a farming career.

After almost a year Feds is proud to say we’ve had 193 employer expressions of interest, and 98 completed farm charters, enabling employers to enter the programme along with 180 eligible apprentice expressions of interest and 62 apprentices in the programme. . .

 

Saturday’s smiles

September 29, 2018

They were the first to attempt to colonize Mars.

They landed with grass seeds to plant and horse, sheep and cattle embryos.

But the grass wouldn’t grow and none of the calves would survive.

The horses and sheep were doing well, but there not enough to meet their needs. So they sent a message to earth asking for more sheep and horses and a replacement for the cattle and grass.

They particularly wanted an animal that could be used as meat in place of beef.

Earth radioed back asking if venison would be satisfactory and it was.

Finally a space shuttle arrived with the needed supplies. The bill of lading was rushed to the leader of the colony who then spoke to his consul, “We got everything we asked for. They sent mare zygotes and doe zygotes and little lambs and ivy.”


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