Rural sports take centre stage – Paul Taylor:
Shearer David Fagan cemented his status as a true great of the sport with a thrilling victory yesterday.
Fagan (53) beat the 10 best shearers in the country to take the inaugural NZ Speed Shear Championship title, at the Hilux New Zealand Rural Games in Queenstown.
The 16 time NZ Golden Shears and five time world champion faced rival Dion King (40) in the final.
Fagan sheared two sheep in 42.26sec, ahead of King’s 44.48sec. . .
Safer farms launched today:
A six year safety programme aimed at reducing the number of deaths and serious injuries on farms is being launched today.
The programme, Safer Farms, is being launched by Work Safe New Zealand at Lincoln University today. . .
Best young farmer in the South – Paul Taylor:
Winton sharemilker Steve Henderson is the best young farmer in Otago and Southland.
Mr Henderson (28) won the regional final of the ANZ Young Farmer Contest after an exhausting day competing in the Queenstown sunshine on Saturday.
He will now represent the region at the nationals in Taupo on July 6.
”She was a pretty big day against good competition, so it feels good to go through,” Mr Henderson said. . .
Ewes wouldn’t say ‘running’ – Guy Williams:
It was billed as the Running of the Wools, but ”running” doesn’t quite sum up this sheep yarn.
• Slideshow here
It had less of the stampeding and goring of Pamplona’s Running of the Bulls, and more of the barking, eye-balling and milling around of television’s A Dog’s Show. . .
The problem of food: Scientist puts spotlight on crisis:
“Food safety and security is one of the most significant challenges humanity has ever faced. We are entering a global crisis, and the complexity of the problem demands urgent measures.”
That’s according to Lincoln University Senior Lecturer in Food Microbiology, Dr Malik Hussain, whose comments come as part of an editorial in a special edition of the journal Advances in Food Technology and Nutritional Sciences.
At the heart of the challenge lie the pressing issues of a large, rapidly growing population, deteriorating agricultural soils, falling water tables, and the need to rapidly modify production methods based on climate change.
According to Dr Hussain, while food safety and security issues are nothing new, it’s the scale and interconnectedness of the problem that makes the situation more serious now. . .
Winton entrant wins top awards – Sally Rae:
Winton deer farmer Dave Lawrence, from the Tikana stud, won the champion of champions title at the Elk and Wapiti Society of New Zealand’s annual velvet and antler competition in Wanaka.
Mr Lawrence, who enjoyed considerable success in the competition, which attracted 63 entries, won the five year section, before claiming the top award. . .
Women’s programme receives support:
A programme to help upskill women on sheep and beef farms has just received significant new backing.
The programme, Understanding Your Farming Business, is run by the Agri-Women’s Development Trust with funding from the Government and industry collaboration, the Red Meat Profit Partnership.
The trust’s executive director Lindy Nelson said it helped women to gain a better understanding of what drives a farming business and how to measure on-farm performance. . .
Charity bike ride for rural mental health issues – Dave Goosselink:
The taboo subjects of depression and suicide in the farming community are behind a South Island charity bike ride.
Twenty-seven riders are cycling from Picton to Bluff to raise awareness of mental health issues, and for Southland farmer John Dowdle, it’s a very personal issue.
As well as getting up early to bring in the cows, Mr Dowdle has been busy training for a charity ride. He’ll spend the next nine days cycling down the West Coast along with 26 other riders, raising awareness for an issue that’s not often discussed. . .
New Zealand wine goes head-to-head with Australia and England to celebrate the Cricket World Cup:
The cricket pitch is not the only place New Zealand will be competing with the two sporting behemoths, Australia and England, during the upcoming Cricket World Cup. New Zealand wine is battling it out with Australian and English wine in a series of cricket-themed blind tastings this month to celebrate the start of the competition.
To kick-off the celebrations, New Zealand sparkling wine will compete with English sparkling wine in the “Battle of the Bubbles” on 19 February in Wellington. 12 wines from each country will be tasted blind by two teams, each headed by one Wine Captain. Jane Skilton MW will captain New Zealand with moral support from cricketing legend Stephen Fleming. Wine super-star Oz Clarke will lead the English team. . .