Rural round-up

24/07/2020

That’s Northland’: floods follow droughts and tests farmers’ resolve – Brad Flahive:

While most of the floodwater in Northland has receded after the weekend’s deluge, the silt it left behind is a frustrating reminder of how vulnerable farmers are to the extremes of mother nature.

After months of near-crippling drought, more than 200mm of rain fell during two storms last weekend, and now the silt-laden paddocks can’t be used for pasture at this crucial time of year.

“The cows just won’t eat it, they just walk around in the mud and make a big mess,” said farmer Nick Bishop from his dairy farm, 10 kilometres east of Dargaville. . . 

Farm interactive learning platform – Yvonne O’Hara:

Chris and Desiree Giles, of Waimumu Downs, use their property as a giant interactive learning platform for children from the 16 eastern Southland schools.

“We are in the process of putting a classroom down on the farm. Getting the kids involved is a means of bringing in their parents and getting their buy-in,” Mr Giles said.

The couple, who have two children — Danielle (9) and Andrew (7) — have a 306ha dairy property (206ha effective), which was converted in 2014.

The family bought the original property six years ago and since then had almost doubled the acreage. . . 

Lowest number of of non-compliance’s in Taranaki since 2015 – Mike Watson:

Covid-19 and Taranaki residents’ growing environmental awareness have resulted in a record number of environmental incidents reported to the Taranaki Regional Council, but also a record low for the number of actual non-compliances.

During the past 12 months, 529 cases were reported – the highest figure for five years, the council’s consents and regulatory meeting was told on Tuesday.

But the number of non-compliances during the same monitoring period was 185 – the lowest in five years.

This was partly because of more consent holders following the rules but also because of reduced monitoring during the lockdown. . .

Group to set beef’s priorities – Annette Scott:

Grant Bunting never thought he would become so passionate about sustainability but says the sustainability challenge cannot be ignored if New Zealand producers want to improve their standing on the world stage. He talked to Annette Scott.

Grant Bunting has long had a genuine interest in farming systems and practices but new and evolving industry challenges have somewhat changed his outlook.

The inaugural chairman of the recently formed New Zealand Roundtable for Sustainable Beef said the growing importance the world puts on sustainability credentials across the supply chain has changed many a view.

“I have to admit I am quite traditional in my views but these sustainability challenges can’t be ignored.  . . 

Events celebrate rural communities :

Agritech industry transformation plan leader David Downs is returning to his roots as part of Pride in our Land events being held throughout the Manawatu-Wanganui Region.

Whanganui-born Downs, a general manager at New Zealand Trade and Enterprise who is head of the Government taskforce behind the agritech plan, is guest speaker at events in Raetihi and Whanganui next Thursday and Friday, July 30 and 31.

They are part of a wider series of get-togethers that began at Mokotuku’s Black Dog Pub on July 9 and wind up at Makoura Lodge at Apiti on August 15.

Whanganui Federated Farmers president Mike Cranstone says it has been a rough start to the year for landowners dealing with the adverse weather conditions and supply chain disruptions of the past six months. . . 

Farming is a great way of life – let’s make it a safe one – Jacqui Cannon:

There’s no doubt that farming, one of Australia’s most important industries, is also one of its most dangerous.

Big open spaces, big animals, big machinery, big workload.

In the past 18 months, more than 200 Australians have died in farming accidents, tearing apart families and communities – one in six are kids under five years old.

This goes beyond tragic; it’s horrifying. But the most horrifying aspect is that it’s so readily accepted by many as “just a part of life on the land“. . .

 


Help your local cafe

07/04/2020

SOS Cafe has been set up to support cafes and other small businesses that will be struggling for survival because of the lockdown:

We are DavidJoyce and Naadei. Co-founders of SOS Cafe. 

Like everyone, we felt shocked and a bit helpless when it was announced that NZ would go into level 4 lockdown, and thought about the hundreds of cafés, small businesses etc who would suffer.

Our local businesses add so much colour and culture to our suburbs, it’s now our turn to give back.

We whipped up this website that will allow us to act as agents for businesses who don’t have the ability to take vouchers a way to do that, and to link to those that can. Many customers are loyal to their local coffee shop or restaurant / bar, and want to help. Now they can – if you used to buy a coffee and a muffin every day, then buy a voucher every day instead (or a whole lot!) and give these café’s a fighting chance.

We don’t make any money off this – in fact it’s costing us a bit to do it, and taking a fair amount of time. We are happy to do it to help out, but please bear that in mind! We also have a growing group of volunteers helping us out, which is helping.

“Years ago when I was young and foolish I set up a bar, so I know how hard it is to run a hospo business and how reliant you are on customers.” – David Downs

How you can help

SOS Cafe was set up to help these local businesses sell gift cards that you can redeem later when they re-open*. This will do a part in helping them to stay afloat during this time. 

Our directory will also help you to support those who are currently offering takeaways or pickups. 

We have expanded to other categories to help more local businesses and we need your help to suggest a local business.

Spread the word to your friends and family so that we can help as many local businesses as we can. 

All businesses will be wondering if they will survive the lockdown and recovery.

SOS is providing an avenue to support them.

There’s no guarantee the businesses will survive to enable vouchers to be redeemed, but they’ll have a better chance of doing so if those who can help them in this way do.


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