Wonderful workers

August 6, 2019

It’s Farm Worker Appreciation Day.

We are blessed with people who work for us as if they are working for themselves.

Our longest-serving worker came to do three days tractor work after he retired from his own farm. That was nearly 30 years ago, he was 59 at the time.

You can do the maths – he’s now 89 and still a valued member of the team.

Three other workers have been with us for more than 20 years and most for more than a decade.

Our business wouldn’t be where it is without them.


2020 Zanda McDonald Award entries open

August 3, 2019

Applications for the 2020 Zanda McDonald Award have opened:

Flying around Australia and New Zealand in a private jet, and being mentored by some of the greatest leaders in the agriculture industry might sound like a bit of a pipe dream, but it will be a dream come true for one young Kiwi or Aussie again next year.

Applications for the prestigious 2020 Zanda McDonald Award open today, and the search is on to find talented and passionate young individuals working in the ag sector to apply.

Now in its sixth year, the award provides the winner with an impressive personal development package that includes an all-expenses paid trans-Tasman mentoring trip, $2000 cash, and the ability to get up close and personal with leaders in the Australasian ag sector through the Platinum Primary Producers (PPP) Group. Some travel takes place in a privately chartered Pilatus PC-12 aircraft, enabling the winner to reach diverse and remote farming operations.

Richard Rains, Chairman of the Zanda McDonald Award, says the award is widely seen as a career and life-changing experience, that can really help take them to the next level.

“We’ve been lucky to discover some inspiring young people since the award began, with quite diverse backgrounds. But the one thing they all have in common is a real passion for the industry, and a hunger to make a difference. I’m really excited to see who will be uncovered this year. The prize is quite something, but even if you don’t win, there are still some wonderful opportunities if you make it into the top three, so I’d encourage anyone considering it to throw their hat in the ring.”

Previous winners have included a dairy farmer, a sheep and beef farmer, a business manager of a sheep milk company, and a beef extension officer. Earlier this year, for the first time, two people were crowned with the title – Queenslander Shannon Landmark, 28, and Luke Evans, also 28, from the Northern Territory.

Landmark is a trained vet and the coordinator of the Northern Genomics Project at the University of Queensland, where she focusses on improving genetic selection and reproductive technology. Evans, 28, is the Station Manager at Rockhampton Downs Station, a 450,000-hectare beef property in Tennant Creek. For Evans, it came as a huge surprise.

“I’m just a bush kid, and I wasn’t that comfortable putting myself out there, but my boss encouraged me to put an application in. And I can honestly say it’s been one of the best things I’ve ever done. I’ve already met some really great people, everyone has been so welcoming. I can’t wait to spend some time with them on my mentoring trip later this year, to find out how they’ve succeeded in business, and how I can further develop my skills.”

Applications are open to individuals aged 18 – 35 years, who live and work in the agriculture sector in Australia or New Zealand. Entries close on Friday 30th August 2019.

Further details and an online application form can be found on the PPP Group website – www.pppgroup.org


Milne Muses

July 28, 2019


July 26 in history

July 26, 2019

657  Battle of Siffin.

811  Battle of Pliska; Byzantine emperor Nicephorus I was slain, his heir Stauracius was seriously wounded.

920 Rout of an alliance of Christian troops from Navarre and Léon against the Muslims at Pamplona.

1309  Henry VII was recognized King of the Romans by Pope Clement V.

1469  Wars of the Roses: Battle of Edgecote Moor – Pitting the forces of Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick against those of King Edward IV.

1581 Plakkaat van Verlatinghe (Act of Abjuration). The declaration of independence of the northern Low Countries from the Spanish king, Philip II.

1745  The first recorded women’s cricket match took place near Guildford,.

1758  French and Indian War: Siege of Louisbourg ended with British forces defeating the French and taking control of the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

1803 The Surrey Iron Railway, arguably the world’s first public railway, opened in south London.

1822  José de San Martín arrived in Guayaquil, Ecuador, to meet Simón Bolívar.

1847 Liberia declared independence.

1856 George Bernard Shaw, Irish writer, Nobel Laureate, was born (d. 1950).

1861 American Civil War: George B. McClellan assumed command of theArmy of the Potomac following a disastrous Union defeat at the First Battle of Bull Run.

1863 – Approximately 25 gold miners died on the Arrow diggings, north-east of Queenstown, as a result of flash floods.

Floods kill 25 miners in Central Otago

1863 American Civil War: Morgan’s Raid ended –  Confederate cavalry leader John Hunt Morgan and 360 of his volunteers were captured by Union forces.

1865 New Zealand’s parliament moved from Auckland to Wellington.

Parliament moves to Wellington

1875  Carl Jung, Swiss psychiatrist, was born  (d. 1961).

1878 Poet and American West outlaw calling himself “Black Bart” made his last clean getaway when he stole a safe box from a Wells Fargo stagecoach. The empty box was found later with a taunting poem inside.

1882 Premiere of Richard Wagner‘s Parsifal at Bayreuth.

1882 The Republic of Stellaland was founded in Southern Africa.

1887 Publication of the Unua Libro, founding the Esperanto movement.

1890 In Buenos Aires, the Revolución del Parque forced President Juárez Celman’s resignation.

1891  France annexed Tahiti.

1894 Aldous Huxley, English-born author, was born (d. 1963).

1895 Jane Bunford, Britain’s tallest-ever person, was born (d. 1922).

1897  Paul Gallico, American author, was born  (d. 1976).

1908  United States Attorney General Charles Joseph Bonaparte issued an order to immediately staff the Office of the Chief Examiner (later renamed the Federal Bureau of Investigation).

1909 – Vivian Vance, American actress, was born (d. 1979).

1919 – James Lovelock, English biologist and chemist, was born.

1922 Blake Edwards, American film director, was born.

1925 – Ana María Matute, Spanish author and academic, was born (d. 2014).

1928  Gisborne-born Tom Heeney took on Gene Tunney for the world heavyweight title in front of 46,000 spectators at Yankee Stadium, New York. Although he was defeated, his title bid aroused tremendous interest in both New Zealand and the US.

Kiwi boxer fights for world heavyweight title

1928 Stanley Kubrick, American film director, was born (d. 1999).

1928 – Sally Oppenheim-Barnes, Baroness Oppenheim-Barnes, English politician, was born.

1928  – Bernice Rubens, Welsh author, was born (d. 2004).

1936 Mary Millar, English actress, was born(d. 1998).

1936  The Axis Powers decided to intervene in the Spanish Civil War.

1936  King Edward VIII, in one of his few official duties before he abdicated the throne, officially unveiled the Canadian National Vimy Memorial.

1937  End of the Battle of Brunete in the Spanish Civil War.

1939 John Howard, 25th Prime Minister of Australia, was born.

1941 In response to the Japanese occupation of French Indo-China, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the seizure of all Japanese assets in the United States.

1942  – Vladimír Mečiar, Slovak politician, 1st Prime Minister of Slovakia, was born.

1943 Mick Jagger, English singer (The Rolling Stones), was born.

1944  World War II: Soviet army entered Lviv,  liberating it from the Nazis. Only 300 Jewish survivors left, out of 160,000 prior to Nazi occupation.

1944 – The first German V-2 rocket hit Great Britain.

1945 Dame Helen Mirren, English actress, was born.

1945  The Labour Party won the United Kingdom general election of July 5by a landslide, removing Winston Churchill from power.

1945  The Potsdam Declaration was signed.

1945 The US Navy cruiser Indianapolis arrived at Tinian with the warhead for the Hiroshima atomic bomb.

1946 Aloha Airlines began service from Honolulu International Airport.

1947  Cold War: U.S. President Harry S. Truman signed the National Security Act into law creating the Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Defense, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the National Security Council.

1948  U.S. President Harry S. Truman signed Executive Order 9981 desegregating the military of the United States.

1949 Roger Taylor, English musician (Queen), was born.

1950 Susan George, English actress, was born.

1952 King Farouk of Egypt abdicated in favor of his son Fuad.

1953 Fidel Castro led an unsuccessful attack on the Moncada Barracks beginning the Cuban Revolution.

1953  Arizona Governor John Howard Pyle ordered an anti-polygamy law enforcement crackdown on residents of Short Creek – the Short Creek Raid.

1956  Following the World Bank’s refusal to fund building the Aswan High Dam, Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalised the Suez Canal sparking international condemnation.

1957  Carlos Castillo Armas, dictator of Guatemala, was assassinated.

1958 Explorer 4 was launched.

1959 Kevin Spacey, American actor, was born.

1963  Syncom 2, the world’s first geosynchronous satellite, was launched from Cape Canaveral on a Delta B booster.

1963 – Earthquake in Skopje, Macedonia left 1100 dead

1964 Sandra Bullock, American actress, was born.

1965  Full independence was granted to the Maldives.

1966  Lord Gardiner issued the Practice Statement in the House of Lords stating that the House was not bound to follow its own previous precedent.

1968 Vietnam War: South Vietnamese opposition leader Truong Dinh Dzu was sentenced to five years hard labour for advocating the formation of a coalition government as a way to move toward an end to the war.

1971   Apollo 15 launched.

1973 Kate Beckinsale, British actress, was born.

1974  Greek Prime Minister Konstantinos Karamanlis formed the country’s first civil government after seven years of military rule.

1975 Formation of a military triumvirate in Portugal.

1977 The National Assembly of  Quebec imposed the use of French as the official language of the provincial government.

1984 – Ann Hercus became New Zealand’s first Minister for Women’s Affairs.

Ann Hercus becomes first Minister of Women's Affairs

1989 A federal grand jury indicted Cornell University student Robert T. Morris, Jr. for releasing the Morris worm, the first person to be prosecuted under the 1986 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

1994 Russian President Boris Yeltsin ordered the removal of Russian troops from Estonia.

1999 Cessation of combat activities after the Kargil War; celebrated as Kargil Vijay Diwas in India.

2005   STS-114 Mission – Launch of Discovery, NASA’s first scheduled flight mission after the Columbia Disaster in 2003.

2005  Mumbai received 99.5cm of rain (39.17 inches) within 24 hours, bringing the city to a halt for over 2 days.

2005  Samir Geagea, the Lebanese Forces (LF) leader, was released after spending 11 years in a solitary confinement.

2007 – Shambo, a black cow in Wales that had been adopted by the local Hindu community, was slaughtered due to a bovine tuberculosis infection, causing widespread controversy.

2008 – 56 people were killed and over 200 people were injured in 21 bomb blasts in Ahmedabad bombing in India.

2009 – The militant Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram attacked a police station in Bauchi, leading to reprisals by the Nigeria Police Force and four days of violence across multiple cities.

2013 – A gunman, Pedro Alberto Vargas, killed six people in Hialeah, Florida, and was fatally shot by police.

2016 – Sagamihara stabbings  in Kanagawa Prefecture in Japan in which 19 people were killed.

2016 – Hillary Clinton became the first female nominee for President of the United States by a major political party at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

2016 – Solar Impulse 2 became the first solar-powered aircraft to circumnavigate the earth.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


Quote of the day

July 25, 2019

You see a place better with your mind’s eye, anyway. Imagination gives you twenty-twenty vision. Sally Beauman who was born on this day in 1944.


July 21 in history

July 21, 2019

356 BC – The Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, was destroyed by arson.

230 – Pope Pontian succeeded Urban I as the eighteenth pope.

285 – Diocletian appointed Maximian as Caesar and co-ruler.

365 – A tsunami devastated the city of Alexandria, Egypt. The tsunami was caused by the Crete earthquake estimated to be 8.0 on the Richter Scale. 5,000 people perished in Alexandria, and 45,000 more died outside the city.

1242 – Battle of Taillebourg : Louis IX of France put an end to the revolt of his vassals Henry III of England and Hugh X of Lusignan.

1403 – Battle of Shrewsbury: King Henry IV defeated rebels to the north of the county town of Shropshire, England.

1545 – The first landing of French troops on the coast of the Isle of Wight during the French invasion of the Isle of Wight.

1568 – Eighty Years’ War: Battle of Jemmingen – Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, Duke of Alva defeated Louis of Nassau.

1645 – Qing Dynasty regent Dorgon issued an edict ordering all Han Chinese men to shave their forehead and braid the rest of their hair into a queue identical to those of the Manchus.

1656 – The Raid on Malaga took place during the Anglo-Spanish War.

1718 – The Treaty of Passarowitz between the Ottoman Empire, Austria and the Republic of Venice was signed.

1774 – Russo-Turkish War (1768–1774): Russia and the Ottoman Empire signed the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca ending the war.

1831 – Inauguration of Leopold I of Belgium, first king of the Belgians.

1858 Alfred Henry O’Keeffe, New Zealand artist, was born (d. 1941).

1861 American Civil War: First Battle of Bull Run – the first major battle of the war began.

1865 Governor George Grey oversaw the capture of the Pai Marire (Hauhau) pa at Weraroa, Waitotara.

Capture of Weraroa pā

1865  Wild Bill Hickok shot and killed Davis Tutt in what is regarded as the first true western showdown.

1873 Jesse James and the James-Younger gang pulled off the first successful train robbery in the American Old West.

1899 Ernest Hemingway, American writer, Nobel laureate, ws born (d. 1961).

1904  Louis Rigolly,  became the first man to break the 100 mph (161 km/h) barrier on land. He drove a 15-litre Gobron-Brille in Ostend.

1918  U-156 shelled Nauset Beach, in Orleans, the first time that the United States was shelled since the Mexican-American War.

1919  The dirigible Wingfoot Air Express crashed into the Illinois Trust and Savings Building in Chicago, killing 12 people.

1920 Isaac Stern, Ukrainian-born violinist, was born  (d. 2001).

1922  Mollie Sugden, British comedic actress, was born  (d. 2009).

1924 Don Knotts, American actor, was born (d. 2006).

1925  Scopes Trial: high school biology teacher John T. Scopes was found guilty of teaching evolution in class and fined $100.

1925  Sir Malcolm Campbell became the first man to break the 150 mph (241 km/h) land barrier at Pendine Sands in Wales. He drove a Sunbeam to a two-way average of 150.33 mph (242 km/h).

1944 World War II: Battle of Guam – American troops land on Guam starting the battle.

1944  Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg and fellow conspirators were executed in Berlin, Germany for the July 20 plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler.

1946 Barry Whitwam, British musician (Herman’s Hermits), was born.

1948 Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam), English singer/songwriter, was born.

1948 Garry Trudeau, American cartoonist, was born.

1949 Hirini Melbourne, New Zealand musician and composer, was born (d 2003).

1949  The United States Senate ratified the North Atlantic Treaty.

1951 Robin Williams, American comedian/actor. was born (d. 2014).

1953 Jeff Fatt, Chinese-Australian actor was born.

1954  First Indochina War: The Geneva Conference partitioned Vietnam into North Vietnam and South Vietnam.

1955 Howie Epstein, American musician (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers), was born (d. 2003).

1956 Michael Connelly, American author, was born.

1959 Elijah Jerry “Pumpsie” Green became the first African-American to play for the Boston Red Sox, the last team to integrate.

1961 Jim Martin, American musician (Faith No More), was born.

1961  Mercury-Redstone 4 Mission – Gus Grissom piloting Liberty Bell 7 became the second American to go into space (in a suborbital mission).

1964  Singapore Race Riot – every year since then, Racial Harmony Day is celebrated on this day.

1966 Sarah Waters, British novelist, was born.

1969  Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin became the first men to walk on the Moon, during the Apollo 11 mission.

1970  After 11 years of construction, the Aswan High Dam in Egypt was completed.

1972  Bloody Friday bombing by the Provisional Irish Republican Army around Belfast, Northern Ireland – 22 bomb explosions, 9 people killed and 130 people seriously injured.

1973 In the Lillehammer affair in Norway, Israeli Mossad agents killed a waiter whom they mistakenly thought was involved in 1972′s Munich Olympics Massacre.

1976 Christopher Ewart-Biggs British ambassador to the Republic of Ireland was assassinated by the Provisional IRA.

1977  The start of a four day long Libyan–Egyptian War.

1983 The world’s lowest temperature was recorded at Vostok Station, Antarctica at −89.2°C (−129°F).

1994  Tony Blair was declared the winner of the leadership election of the British Labour Party, paving the way for him to become Prime Minister in 1997.

1995 Third Taiwan Strait Crisis: The People’s Liberation Army began firing missiles into the waters north of Taiwan.

1997  The fully restored USS Constitution (aka “Old Ironsides”) celebrates her 200th birthday by setting sail for the first time in 116 years.

2004 The United Kingdom government published Delivering Security in a Changing World, a paper detailing wide-ranging reform of the country’s armed forces.

2005  Four terrorist bombings in London – all four bombs failed to detonate.

2008  Bosnian-Serb war criminal Radovan Karadžić was arrested in Serbia and indicted by the UN’s ICTY tribunal.

2011 – NASA’s Space Shuttle programme ended with the landing of Space Shuttle Atlantis on mission STS-135.

2012 – Erden Eruç completed the first solo human-powered circumnavigation of the world.

2013 – Philippe of Belgium became King of the Belgians

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


Word of the day

July 17, 2019

Foister – one who foists; a pickpocket; rogue; cheat; palmer of dice; falsifier.


%d bloggers like this: