Out of pocket by hundreds of thousands – Sally Rae:
A South Otago farmer who estimates he has lost hundreds of thousands of dollars because of the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak remains concerned about the future of his main income earner.
It was not just the Van Leeuwen Dairy Group — on whose farms the disease was first detected in the Waimate district — that was affected, Ross Clark said.
“A lot of other people are hurting because of this,” Mr Clark, who farms at Glenore, 5km southwest of Milton, said yesterday while in the middle of weaning lambs on his father’s farm near Lovells Flat.
He said the main part of his income was from providing service bulls to the dairy industry, either by lease or sale.
The business, built up over the past decade, had about 600 bulls destined for properties throughout the South Island.
In June, he bought 52 calves from a property in North Otago that later tested positive for the bacterial disease. . .
Animal rights activists have been staging protests at livestock auction marts across the UK over the last couple of months.
Young farmer and student Alison Waugh, 20, has seen enough…
I, like many of my contemporaries, am proud to be part of British agriculture. Farming is the oldest way of life, and the only way we know.
Practically born wearing wellies, I grew up jumping in puddles and feeding pet lambs. My teens were spent perusing science, eyeing up the strapping great young farmers at the shows, and gaining a voracious appetite for all things agriculture. . .
Dairy farmers clean up act in response to public pressure – Pat Deavoll:
Public pressure is working and Canterbury’s dairy farmers are knuckling down and making an effort to improve the state of the waterways, says a dairy leader.
There has been a “significant shift” in the attitude of dairy farmers towards water quality over the past couple of years, said Mid Canterbury farmer Tom Mason, a member of the DairyNZ Dairy Environment Leaders Network.
“The lead up to the last election reminded anyone who was a bit reluctant in shifting their practices that they didn’t have much choice – that’s public pressure,” he said. . . .
Farming needs to cultivate a positive image – Peter Burke:
Telling the real dairy story is crucial in being able to attract the next generation of farm staff, scientists and rural professionals, says DairyNZ consulting officer Anna Arrends.
Arrends gave Wellington secondary school teachers, attending the agri-teachers’ day out, insights into the range of career opportunities in dairy science and business.
The teachers also learnt about future farm systems and the range of skills that will be needed as the dairy sector maintains and increases productivity and profitability, while meeting animal welfare and environmental expectations. . .
The increasing amount of hunted and homekill meat being offered for sale illegally over social media is causing concern in Ruapehu.
Phoebe Harrison, environmental health officer for Ruapehu District Council, referred to a recent case of a Waikato family falling gravely ill after eating wild boar.
She said the meat was suspected to be contaminated with the potentially fatal botulism toxin.
“This highlights the dangers in eating meat that had not been prepared properly. . .
When poor listening, financially phobic and wheel-loving farmers go bad – Pita Alexander:
A few weeks ago I referred to the characteristics of top New Zealand farmers, and the response to that has been both encouraging and strong.
To get some balance here, I need to refer to characteristics that people exhibit who do not survive well in business.
Towards that end, here are some less than desirable traits. All going well, you should tick very few of them. . .