Rural round-up

October 12, 2015

SFF challengers challenged – Neal Wallace:

Those backing an alternative capital underwrite for Silver Fern Farms have been accused by the company’s board of playing a dangerous and irresponsible game.

Chairman Rob Hewett said the board had not been provided with any details on the proposal in which a group of agribusiness leaders have allegedly agreed to underwrite a rights issue of up to $100 million of new capital for SFF.

“The board has not received a proposal. We do not know any details, we do not know who the mystery underwriters are, nor who the supposed bank is. . . .

Dangerous game to stare down bankers, warns SFF chairman – Jonathan Underhill:

(BusinessDesk) – Silver Fern Farms chairman Rob Hewett says the company’s banking syndicate has become tired of its relationship and it would be “a dangerous game” to test lender support in the event farmer-shareholders don’t support selling a half stake to Shanghai Maling Aquarius this week.

Hewitt was responding to calls from shareholders opposed to the deal to look at alternative funding, which could keep New Zealand’s biggest meat company in local hands. The cooperative that now owns SFF would be showered in cash if the Chinese deal goes ahead. As well as $261 million that would be injected into the business, leaving it debt free with funds to upgrade plant and pursue global growth ambitions, the farmers will get a dividend of 30 cents a share, or $35 million, and the cooperative’s board would get $7 million for its costs – enough to keep it going for seven years at current rates. . . 

 

New action plan to attract the workforce dairy farmers need:

Attracting the skilled dairy workforce that farmers need to run their businesses is the goal of a new joint workplace action plan launched with the Minister for Primary Industries in Canterbury today by Federated Farmers and DairyNZ.

DairyNZ chairman John Luxton says one of the aims of the industry’s 10-year strategy is to see 90 percent of dairy farm businesses having quality work environments by 2020.

“We have put actions and commitments in this new plan to ensure we achieve that part of the strategy. We are competing with all the other career opportunities on offer across the globe. We’re not always the most attractive choice for many young people these days and we need to be if we want to develop and retain the workforce we need,” he says. . . 

Free lease for pub with no proprietor – Rhys Chamberlain:

Are you looking for an opportunity, a change, a slower way of life?

Then the Macraes community needs you.

Stanley’s Hotel, a registered historic place, is without a proprietor and the Macraes Community Trust is on the hunt for the community’s next publican.

Trust member Mat O’Connell is keen to get someone signed up to keep the pub open after failing to attract a lessee over the past year. . . 

A2’s successful capital-raising raises $40m for growth – Dene Mackenzie:

The management of A2 Corporation could now focus on delivering growth following the successful capital-raising announced yesterday, Craigs Investment Partners broker Peter McIntyre said.

A2, which markets milk with a protein variant said to have health benefits, raised $40 million in a discounted share placement to help fund working capital in its burgeoning infant formula business.

The Auckland firm sold 58.8 million shares at 68c apiece in the placement, which was over-subscribed. . . 

Changed lives taking new turn – Stephen Bell:

Five years after their lives were irrevocably changed Jo and Bryan Guy are stepping back from farming, ending nearly a century of family involvement in daily milk supply.

“Someone in the family has been responsible for milking the cows every day,” Bryan says.

It started when Cecil and Mary Guy began dairying in Feilding after World War I.

They milked 20 cows year-round to supply milk at the farmgate for local residents.

In 1954 their son Grahame and his wife Winifred bought the farm and continued to milk every day, supplying town milk with fresh liquid for bottling. . . 

From a single vineyard grew a family dynasty – Russell Blackstock:

For 100 years, the Babich family have stayed true to the ideals of their patriarch.

David Babich has a view from his office window to die for. Twenty minutes after battling through traffic from his home in Auckland’s bustling suburb of Pt Chevalier, he is relaxing at his desk at his family firm in a lush city oasis.

The 47-year-old is general manager of Babich Wines, one of New Zealand’s oldest family-owned wineries.

Today he is raising a glass to the company being in business for 100 years. . . 

Bangladeshi scientists ready for trial of world’s first ‘Golden Rice’ – Reaz Ahmad:

Bangladeshi rice scientists are all set to conduct field tests of the world’s first vitamin A-enriched rice, popularly known as Golden Rice, before taking the variety to production phase.

The success in vitamin A-rich rice comes in quick succession of the world’s first three zinc-rich rice varieties that Bangladesh released over the last couple of years.

Upon completing a successful trial of the genetically engineered Golden Rice in its transgenic screen house, Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) is now taking the variety — GR-2 E BRRI dhan29 — to confined field trials in the coming Boro season this November. . . .


Grace in adversity

September 14, 2012

The murder of a loved husband, father, son and brother is more than enough for any family.

Having his brother-in-law charged with the crime and the family’s private business made public in the court case would have compounded matters.

Throughout the trial and in its aftermath, the grace shown by the Guy family in their adversity was inspiring.

Scott Guy’s brother-in-law Ewen Macdonald  was acquitted of the murder but admitted other crimes for which he was sentenced today.

The family’s grace shows again in their statement:

Today is yet another reminder of how one person’s actions have affected everyone in our family. The sentencing today does not give us closure or satisfaction. It is simply a reminder that there are consequences for the decisions that Ewen made

One consequence is that Ewen is no longer part of our day to day lives. He has lost our trust and has hurt us deeply and shaken the values which our family hold dear.  However the turmoil we have been through has brought our immediate family closer together, and it is our future that we now focus on.

Our family is now challenged with building a new life. We are determined to build a future not on anger or revenge, not on resentment or sorrow. We must build a future for our children and grandchildren on love and compassion, on truth and faith.

We can only reiterate our heartfelt thanks to all New Zealanders for the support and caring you have shown our family, which continues to give us strength and courage.

It takes a very big heart to show grace when anger and bitterness would be so much easier.


Life imitating soap

July 4, 2012

We were on the other side of the world for most of June but even from there I got a sense that Ewen Macdonald’s trial for Scott Guy’s murder was being treated like a soap opera.

Losing a husband, father, son and brother is more than enough for any family. To lose him to murder made it worse and having a family member on trial for it  compounded the tragedy.

On top of all that the family had their personal business displayed in court to a packed gallery and relayed to the world through the media.

It was life imitating soap but these people aren’t actors, they are real, human beings facing a real and on-going tragedy.

My knowledge of media law is very rusty but some of the commentary and comments I read and heard seemed to be sailing very close to prejudicing a fair trial.

Many certainly showed little regard for the people whose lives had been torn apart by the murder and its aftermath.

In spite of the dignity with which Bryan Guy, father of the victim and father-in-law of the accused, faced the media and his plea for privacy now it is unlikely they will get it.

This isn’t a script with a happy ending and the media is almost certain to write more episodes, with or without the co-operation of the major players.


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