Rural round-up

June 15, 2013

Field Days opinion poll reveals effects of the drought is seen as biggest challenge for agricultural industry:

An opinion poll of visitors to the annual Agricultural Field Days 2013 shows that 54% of respondents believe the effects of the nationwide drought are the biggest challenge facing New Zealand’s agricultural industry this year.

The Aggreko Thought Generator poll was conducted during the first three days of Field Days event. Visitors completed an iPad questionnaire hosted by Aggreko, the world leader in the supply of temporary power and temperature control solutions. The poll aimed to gauge industry sentiment around a number of topical issues. . .

Key notes: supporting rural communities:

New Zealand’s primary industries have been in the spotlight this week, with the annual Fieldays taking place at Mystery Creek near Hamilton.  I’m enjoying talking to farmers, exhibitors, and members of the public at the event today.

Fieldays is an opportunity for us to reflect on the importance of our rural communities.  Agriculture and the wider primary sector are the backbone of New Zealand’s economy.  When it succeeds, New Zealand succeeds.

National’s economic plan has real benefits for the primary sector. When we cut the company tax rate to 28 cents in the dollar in 2010, we knew this would make life easier for New Zealand businesses, including farmers. And it has. . . .

Bloody Friday – Offsetting Behaviour:

Saturday mornings, I cook pancakes. While cooking pancakes, I listen to Duncan Smith and Susan Murray’s Country Life programme on Radio New Zealand (as do all good Kiwis). It’s often a wonderful celebration of rural entrepreneurship.

I had never heard of Bloody Friday. And so I last week learned something new.

Friday, 9 June, 1978: 300 farmers released 1300 ewes onto the streets of Invercargill, herded them through the streets, then slaughtered them right there to the surprise of onlookers.

The Meatworkers’ Union had made it impossible for the farmers to get their stock to slaughter. Sheep were starving in the paddocks because the feed had run out; the farmers had planned on getting their stock to market rather earlier. . .

Bloody Friday farmers praised for bravery -Terri Russell:

 Hundreds of Southland farmers involved in the 1978 “Bloody Friday” protest were praised for their bravery at the weekend.

About 200 people gathered at the Invercargill Workingmen’s Club for the 35th anniversary of the protest, when farmers ran 1300 ewes down Dee St before slaughtering them on a Victoria Ave section.

Farmers were frustrated by industrial chaos across the meat industry, exacerbated by the worst drought much of the province had seen since 1956.

Protest leader Syd Slee said there were about 200 people at the reunion and half were involved in the protest. “We’re very proud looking back on the protest,” he said. . . .

New Leadership for Young Farmers:

Cole Groves has been voted the new Chairman for New Zealand Young Farmers. Mr Groves takes the helm after Paul Olsen who stepped down from his two-year term.

“It’s a fantastic group of people”, Mr Groves said. “It’s a big honour”.

Mr Groves previously served on the board as an elected member for two years, and he views his new appointment as an opportunity to give back to an organisation that has given him plenty.

“I’ve gotten so much out of my involvement with Young Farmers; from self-development to growing my business contacts”, commented Mr Groves. . .

Wools of NZ appoints new CEO:

Wools of New Zealand Limited is pleased to announce the appointment of Ross Townshend as its new Chief Executive Officer. The appointment follows the successful capitalisation of Wools of New Zealand completed in March of this year and is in line with the company’s strategy of putting the necessary people and processes in place to effectively run a 100% grower-owned sales and marketing company.

Mark Shadbolt, Chairman of Wools of New Zealand, said that after a rigorous selection process spanning several months the Board was delighted that Townshend, a Waikato sheep farmer and a shareholder of Wools of New Zealand, had accepted the role. . . .

Bioenergy association  statement – Woodscape:

Bioenergy Association is encouraged by the wood processing sector identification of the value of business opportunities from biofuels.

Recent research undertaken for the forestry and wood processing sector has identified that some emerging biofuel technologies can provide attractive additional revenue streams for existing businesses.

Speaking today, Mr Brian Cox, Executive Officer of the Bioenergy Association of New Zealand (BANZ) said that “BANZ welcomes the release of the Woodco research project (WoodScape) which evaluates a number of possible investment opportunities for the wood processing sector. The report shows that the emerging technologies for producing transport biofuels can be financially attractive as new enterprises. However these would be even more attractive as bolt-ons to existing business which already have the infrastructure and technical capabilities to extend into these new products.” . . .

Industry Happy to Talk About Sharing the Otago-Southland Paua Fishery:

The Otago Southland paua industry says it wants to make the most of the next few months to try to reach agreement with recreational and customary paua divers over shared access for areas of the coastline.

The Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy, has announced that consultation on commercial access would continue for areas that previously had been closed because of a health risk. . .

Release of new fish stock assessment:

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has released the latest comprehensive scientific assessment of the status of New Zealand’s fisheries.

“The 2013 plenary report provides us with valuable, peer-reviewed scientific information on the status of our fish stocks and fisheries” says Dr Pamela Mace, Principal Advisor Fisheries Science for MPI.

“Many of the assessments indicate there is scope for increases in current catch limits. Hoki is the “star” performer. A few short years ago, there was concern that the western stock had become depleted. Science has driven strong and decisive management action and ensured the full restoration of hoki New Zealand-wide, even surpassing management benchmarks.” . . .


‘Bloody Friday’ reunion

May 22, 2013

The 35th anniversary of ‘Bloody Friday’ when farmers killed sheep in Invercargill will be celebrated on June 8th.

In what must be the most unusual demonstration New Zealand has witnessed, about 300 farmers released 1300-1400 starving old ewes into Dee Street on Friday, June 9, 1978, a day now known as “Bloody Friday”. They drove them through the city to an out-of-the-way section in Victoria Ave and there, they slaughtered them humanely. The carcasses were taken to the abattoirs at West Plains and rendered down for fertiliser.

Repercussions from this day resonated into the following year and longer; particularly those directed at the two leaders of the demonstration – Syd Slee and Owen Buckingham, farmers from Blackmount and Te Anau respectively.

The purpose of the protest was to draw the country’s attention to Southland farmers’ total frustration over the state of their old sheep starving to death at a rate of 1000 a day because of industrial chaos across the meat industry, exacerbated by the effects of the worst drought experienced in many parts of the province since 1956.

During the first half of 1978 there were only nine days on which all four of the Southland freezing works were operating at the same time. In total, there had been 116 recorded stoppages in the first five months of 1978 resulting in Southland’s kill being about 700,000 behind that of the previous season, with one million head of stock still waiting to be killed and the season due to finish.

The loss of wages to the freezing workers through these stoppages was estimated as being between two and a half to three million dollars and the loss to the community and the export trade was inestimable. Among the significant costs was the time and cartage taking stock back to the farms because there was no killing on that particular day. . .

Southland wasn’t the only place which suffered from frequent strikes by freezing workers.

My father was a carpenter at the works at Pukeuri. Maintenance staff didn’t have to stop work but killing was often held up while freezing workers struck.

There was little irrigation in North Otago then and it wasn’t just financial losses but stock health which was compromised by repeated strikes.

. . .In preparation for the reunion, the original account of the protest Bloody Friday: An account of the Southland Farmer’s Protest (published in 1979) has been revised significantly by June Slee, the author of the original book. The new edition, Bloody Friday Revisited: Recollections of the 1978 Southland Farmers’ Protest includes memories of the day and its protracted aftermath, gathered from farmers who took part in the protest as well as others who witnessed it from the streets. . .

The meat industry is facing challenging times today, but at least farmers and freezing companies don’t have to worry about industrial relations as they did a few decades ago.

You can follow the link above for more details on the reunion and book.


October 24 in history

October 24, 2009

On October 24:

1260 Chartres Cathedral was dedicated.

Cathedral of Chartres

1857 Sheffield F.C., the world’s first football club, was founded.

logo

1861 The First Transcontinental Telegraph line across the United States was completed, spelling the end for the 18-month-old Pony Express.

 

Wood engraving depiction of the construction of the first Transcontinental Telegraph, with a Pony Express rider passing.

1882 English actress Dame Sybil Thorndike was born.

1892 Goodison Park, the world’s first association football specific stadium was opened.

1901 – Annie Edson Taylor became the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

1913 Union members and non-unionised workers clashed on Wellington wharves.

1919 South Island explorer Donald Sutherland died.

1929 “Black Thursday” stock market crash on the New York Stock Exchange.

Crowd gathering on Wall Street after the 1929 crash
 
1930 Sultan Ahmad Shah, King of Malaysia was born.
1936 Bill Wyman, English musician from The Rolling Stones, was born.
1944 New Zealand born film director Martin Campbell was born.
1945 The United Nations was founded.
1954 Autralian politician Malcolm Turnbull was born.
1964 Northern Rhodesia gained independence from the United Kingdom and became the Republic of Zambia.

 

 

1973 Jeff Wilson, New Zealand rugby player and cricketer, was born.
1980  The Polish government legalised Solidarity trade union.
Astilleros de Gdansk.jpg
2003 Concorde made its last commercial flight.
2008 “Bloody Friday” on which many of the world’s stock exchanges experienced the worst declines in their history, with drops of around 10% in most indices.
 
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

July 21 in history

July 21, 2009

On July 21:

1865 Governor George Grey oversaw the capture of Pai Marire Pa at Weraroa.

1920 Violinist Isaac Stern was born.

1969: Neil Armstong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men to walk on the moon.

1972 The Bloody Friday bombings by the IRA took place in Belfast.


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