Rural round-up

March 7, 2017

Telling NZ’s red meat story globally:

New Zealand’s red meat sector has “taken another step” towards  positioning its beef and lamb as a premium food choice globally, Beef + Lamb New Zealand chief executive Sam McIvor says.

More than 70 people including farmers, meat exporters and government partners have been meeting to advance the project with the aim of supporting better sector profitability.

The story of New Zealand farming and its farmers is at the heart of Beef + Lamb’s new market development strategy targeting new and emerging markets.

The sector had been working together for 12 months, designing a new market development plan and the first piece of it was defining the sector’s story, Mr McIvor said. . . 

New Pareora venison plant a major boost to South Canterbury economy – Pat Deavoll:

The Silver Fern Farms (SFF) Pareora freezing works can now offer its skilled employees full-time work across 52 weeks, rather than the seasonal work of the past, as a result of a new $7 million venison processing plant.

Seventy staff, shareholders and executives gathered at Pareora, south of Timaru, on Tuesday for the official opening of the plant, which processed its first animal on November 14 last year.

The new plant had been built to replace the meat co-operative’s Islington plant, which was on leased land and part of a business park at Belfast, Christchurch. . .

Velvetleaf-sniffing dog Rusty finds weed pest in Waikato no problem – Gerald Piddock:

With a sniff of the air and nose to the ground, Rusty has his prize within minutes.

The seven-year-old border collie cross turns back to his handler, John Taylor and barks, letting him know he has found another velvetleaf plant.

He then leads Taylor to the plant’s location in the ryegrass paddock on a farm in eastern Waikato. The invasive species is carefully uprooted and bagged for disposal.

Palmerston North hosts Rural Games this weekend – Jill Galloway:

Throwing arms are being warmed up for the Hilux Rural Games, which are being held in Feilding on Friday and Palmerston North during the weekend.

Among the competition disciplines are gumboot, egg and cowpat throwing with the criteria harder for the egg thrower as one member of a two-person team has to catch the raw egg intact.

Also on the line-up will be wood chopping, speed shearing, dog trialling and fencing. . . 

 

Zespri brand turns 20, as industry aims to more than double sales to $4.5 billion by 2025:

This week marks a milestone with the kiwifruit industry coming together to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Zespri brand, proudly owned by New Zealand kiwifruit growers.

Zespri chief executive Lain Jager says the celebrations come at a great time, with the industry aiming to more than double sales to $4.5 billion a year by 2025.

“Kiwifruit is an important economic contributor to communities in regional New Zealand, with more than $1.14 billion returned to NZ communities last year alone. More than $21 billion of premium kiwifruit has been sold in a Zespri box since 1997; our brand is underpinned by the great work done over many years right across the industry from orchards to packhouses and in the markets,” says Mr Jager. . . 

Public warned of fines up to $20,000 for collecting toheroa at 90 Mile Beach:

Fisheries officers are appealing to the public to ensure they’re up to speed with the rules around collecting toheroa, now that the rare shellfish are making a comeback to 90 Mile Beach (Northland).

Ministry for Primary Industries spokesman, Steve Rudsdale, says the beach has been empty of toheroa for many years and it is great to see juvenile toheroa making a comeback and beginning to recover.

However, he says their survival will be threatened if people don’t leave them alone.

“There is a ban on collecting these shellfish for a very good reason.  . . 

Dairy awards southern finalists named:

Finalists have been named for Southland-Otago and Canterbury-North Otago in the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards.

The awards, which oversee the Share Farmer of the Year, Dairy Manager of the Year and Dairy Trainee of the Year competitions, received 424 entries nationally, 75 of them coming from those regions.

The Canterbury-North Otago regional winners will be named on March 22 and the Southland-Otago ones on March 25.

They will then progress to the national final. The winners will be announced at a function at Sky City in Auckland on May 6. . . 


Shear(ing) brilliance

February 11, 2017

Prime Minister Bill English beat world champion shearer Sir David Fagan in a challenge at the World Shearing and Wool Handling championships.

shearing

shearing

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If Sir David noticed that he was handicapped by a sheep that was ever so slightly bigger than the PM’s he was too much of a sportsman to mention it.

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Sir David vs PM

February 11, 2017

Prime Minister Bill English has accepted champion shearer Sir David Fagan’s challenge to a sheep shearing contest.

. . . After being publicly challenged late last year by the world’s most-decorated shearer, Sir David Fagan, Bill English has duly accepted and will shear on-stage at the 2017 World Shearing and Woolhandling Championships at ILT Stadium Southland.

Sir David said the Prime Minister’s attendance was great news for the event.

We’re rapt. He’s always been supportive of agriculture and our industry and sport. We’re looking forward to having him and we are pretty excited to be able to host him in this venue at ILT Stadium Southland. To have the PM support the event, let alone have him take up the challenge of shearing a sheep is pretty impressive. He will be the first World leader to shear a sheep and having seen him shear before he’s going to do very well,” he said. . . 

The championships are being streamed live here. The PM and Sir David are scheduled to shear at 1:45.


366 days of gratitude

November 9, 2016

An Olympic silver medal came to our place today.

The one who won it came too and gave us an insight into the dedication, focus and physical, mental and emotional effort that went in to the win.

Few of us have what it takes to be elite sportspeople, but we can be inspired by them and I’m grateful for that.


Melbourne Cup picks

November 1, 2016

The appeal of horses’ names and jockeys’ colours is the usual basis for my picks in any race.

But today, patriotism is my guide and I’m opting for Pentathlon:

Pentathlon is the only Kiwi-trained, bred and owned starter in this year’s Cup. Pentathlon is being prepared by Kiwi training legend John Wheeler from New Plymouth. It’s been 20 years since Wheeler saddled up a runner in the great race. He will be ridden by New Zealand jockey Mark Du Plessis.

The Victorian Racing Club has the field and form here.

Sticking with patriotism, I’m picking Who Shot Thebarman for second and going for a jockey in blue, Beautiful Romance for third.

There’s a virtual gourmet picnic for anyone who picks the winner with a bonus virtual bottle of champagne for anyone who picks the first three.

 

UPDATE: I’m swapping my pick to Who Shot Thebarman for first and Pentathlon for second.

The horse is owned by Dan, Michael, Shaun and Humphrey O’Leary and is trained by expatriate New Zealander Chris Waller.

It was named after a favourite saying of the O’Leary’s aunt when her gin glass was empty and needed a refill.

TAB NZ has reported that up to 70 members of the O’Leary brothers family and friends will travel to Melbourne to support the horse.

I know some of the family and even if I didn’t that much support from family and friends, not to mention the aunt’s spirit, appeals.


Boxing not right fit for public funds

October 26, 2016

Duco which is promoting Joseph Parker’s world heavyweight title fight in New Zealand, is seeking public funding:

Boxing requires skill, strength and fitness like other sports.

People get hurt doing it, like other sports.

But unlike other sports, that’s the aim in boxing.

That makes it a bad fit for public funds.

It might gain international attention but it can’t be compared withevents like the Rugby World Cup or next year’s World Shearing and Wool Handling Championships which qualified for major events funds.

They not only had/will have multiple participants they attracted/will attract thousands of visiting supporters and fans over weeks.


Three more bronzes

September 18, 2016

Two New Zealand paralympians have won three bronze medals to bring the country’s total to 21.

William Stedman has won bronze in the 400 metre sprint and 800m.

Emma Foy and her pilot Laura Thompson won their second medal in the Rio Paralympics with a bronze in the women’s road race.

New Zealand is now 12th in the medal tally with nine gold, five silver and seven bronze.


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