Rural round-up

July 15, 2017

Wool needs red carpet treatment – Neal Wallace:

Wool growers need to put their hands in their pockets to fund the education of marketers and retailers on the merits of carpet wool, an industry veteran says.

Richard Bloemendal, a director of Tech ‘N’ Color, has worked in the New Zealand textile industry since 1980. He said key people in the retail chain today were ignorant of the merits of wool.

He was commenting on news that thousands of bales of short, strong crossbred wool were being placed in storage since the price collapsed because of a lack of demand from yarn manufacturers. . .

Young blood comes in from the cold –  Neal Wallace:

As the country shivered this week through its coldest period of winter so far, 28-year-old Nigel Woodhead conceded the timing wasn’t great.

For the past nine months or so the newly-crowned FMG Young Farmer of the Year confessed to most days making sure his stock was shifted, healthy and fed before returning home to study and prepare for the annual contest.

Now, as the mercury plummets, he has no such excuse. . .

Footrot result a boost for merino – Annette Scott:

A scientific breakthrough has put Kiwi farmers a step closer to breeding footrot-resistant flocks and increasing production of premium Merinos.

Scientists from the NZ Merino Company broke new ground using DNA sampling to accurately predict how resilient a sheep’s progeny would be to footrot.

The breakthrough was the result of four years research and studies using the world’s largest single-site central progeny test. . .

Stink Bug Agreement signed:

 The Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is one of the biggest threats facing New Zealand’s horticultural sector. It threatens the livelihoods of primary sector producers, and would impact on the quality of life of all New Zealanders if ever able to establish here.

An agreement to reduce the damaging impact of BMSB incursion was signed today by a number of horticultural sector groups and Government at the Horticulture NZ Conference in Tauranga. . .

Letters to a Young Farmer– Danielle Nierenberg:

Today, Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture released Letters to a Young Farmer,  a book which compiles insight from some of the most influential farmers, writers, and leaders in the food system in an anthology of essays and letters.

The United States is on the cusp of the largest retirement of farmers in U.S. history, with more farmers over the age of 75 than between the ages of 35 and 44. Letters to a Young Farmer aims to help beginning farmers succeed through advice and encouragement, while inspiring all who work in or care about the food system. Among the 36 contributors to the book are thought leaders Barbara Kingsolver, Bill McKibben, Michael Pollan, Dan Barber, Temple Grandin, Wendell Berry, Rick Bayless, and Marion Nestle. I was honored to contribute to the book as well! . . 

Barbara Kingsolver Cheers on Young Farmers:

Letters to a Young Farmer is full of good counsel for the next generation from the likes of Wendell Berry, Michael Pollan, and the noted novelist Barbara Kingsolver.

Dear young farmer,

Let me speak to you as a familiar, because of all the years I’ve cherished members of your tribe. Of course, I also know you’re only yourself, just as I remember the uniqueness of every intern, WWOOFer, and summer weed-puller who has spent a season or two on our family’s farm. Some preferred to work without shoes. Some were captivated by the science of soils, botany, and pest management. Some listened to their iPods, or meditated, or even sang as they hoed and weeded, while others found no music among the bean bee­tles. A few confessed to finding this work too hard, but many have gone on to manage other farms or buy places of their own. In these exceptional souls I invest my hopes.

I don’t need to tell you what there is to love in this life; you’ve chosen it. Maybe you’ve even had to defend that choice already against family or academic advisers who don’t see the future in farming. . . 


Rural round-up

January 8, 2015

Farmer furious cows shot with arrows :

A Kaiaua farmer is calling for more to be done to protect animals in rural environments after three of his cattle were shot with a bow and arrow.

David Olsen, who farms a 600 hectare block at the southern end of the Hunua Ranges, southeast of Auckland,  has been on high alert after his wife spotted an injured cow when taking their dog for a walk on Sunday morning.

On initial inspection, Olsen could not see what was bothering the wounded beast but when he returned later in the afternoon, he realised the seriousness of the situation.

“I saw an animal with three arrows in it and one with one,” he said.

“I looked for the other one I saw in the morning and it was dead so I immediately came back and called the vet and the police.” . . .

Back into the swing – Jenna Cairney:

WHEN Emily Bowman runs her five-kilometre route on the family farm near Barraba, sometimes she feels so energetic, she’ll jump the gate and laugh.

She laughs because she’ll remember when she’d put on her runners and exercise gear in the morning and refuse to take it off until she worked out.

She remembers when her baby boy Oliver would go for a sleep, she’d put her two little girls on a picnic blanket with some morning tea and toys.

She would listen to the baby monitor, then sprint up the hill at “Tarpoly”, sprint back down, check the girls and the monitor again, and repeat. . .

Rural women’s champion honoured  – Anna Williams:

A Marlborough woman who moved to Blenheim when she was 17 for a job at the Marlborough Express has been made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Liz Evans has been recognised for services to rural women in the New Year Honours List.

She is one of two Marlborough honours recipients this year, joining fellow Marlburian Ted Collins, of Spring Creek, who received a Queen’s Service Medal.

Evans, who is a national life member of Rural Women New Zealand, was the national president of the organisation from May 2011 to November 2013. . .

Rural Women congratulates Liz Evans ONZM on her Queen’s New Year’s Honour:

Rural Women New Zealand members are thrilled that Liz Evans, our former national president and a national life member, has been recognised for her services to rural women in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list, having been made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM).

Liz Evans served as Rural Women® national president from 2011 to 2013, and was Marlborough provincial secretary for 10 years. She was also the administrator for the Marlborough Provincial Federated Farmers from 2003 to 2011.

Mrs Evans says she sees the award as both a personal recognition, and recognition of Rural Women New Zealand as an organisation. . . .

Swimming cow saves farmer’s life:

The area north of Wellington was affected badly when floods hit the country in 2004.

A burst of cold air blowing in from the Antarctic ice shelf combined with moist air from a weak tropical low in the north, producing wind and rain on a scale seen only about once every 10 years, with wind speeds peaking at 104kmh.

Hundreds of North Islanders were forced to evacuate their homes, and insurers estimated the cost of damage at $40 million.

Kim Riley was out early in the morning on her dairy farm in Woodville, trying to head off half her herd, which were moving in the direction of the floodwaters, when she was swept away by the current herself. . . .

What the Heck? Killer cows culled – Victoria Ward,

A UK FARMER has been forced to cut down Britain’s only herd of ­Nazi-engineered cows because they were too aggressive and tried to kill his staff.

Derek Gow imported more than a dozen Heck super cows to his west Devon farm in 2009. It was the first time the creatures had set foot on British soil since the Bronze Age.

But the farmer has now been forced to destroy seven of the cows due to their ­ferocious nature. The meat was turned into sausages which Mr Gow said were “very tasty” and a bit like venison. . .

 

Nominations in for Silver Fern Farms’ Director Elections:

Three nominations have been received for the two available positions on the Silver Fern Farms’ Board of Directors.

Rob Hewett and Herstall Ulrich retire by rotation at the Company’s 2014 Annual Meeting which is to be held in Dunedin on Wednesday 18 February 2015. Rob Hewett and Herstall Ulrich have advised they will stand for re-election.
The candidates for election are:

– Fiona Hancox
– Rob Hewett
– Herstall Ulrich . .

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"In 2015, I hope the world will finally begin to understand that the environment and family farmers are not obstacles to sustainable growth, but preconditions for it." - Danielle Nierenberg in Edible Manhattan


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