Rural round-up

February 24, 2015

Celebrating 10 years of educating up-and-coming leaders in agriculture – applications open for 2015 program:

This year marks the 10th year of Rabobank’s Farm Managers Program, with more than 300 young farmers from across New Zealand and Australia graduating from the program since its inception in 2006.

Applications are now open for up-and-coming New Zealand farmers looking to undertake the 2015 Farm Managers Program.

Fifth generation bull beef producer, Rob Simpson from ‘Heaton Park’ in the lower North Island, who completed the program last year, says he was encouraged to attend the course by his father-in-law, who was one of the first graduates of Rabobank’s Executive Development Program.

“My father-in-law got a lot out of the program, and I thought it would be a good way to move forward in my own farming business,” he said. . .

Maniototo scheme ‘lifeblood’ of area – Sally Rae:

 Irrigation in the Maniototo is the ”lifeblood” for the area it serves, says Maniototo Irrigation Company chairman Geoff Crutchley.

To mark the 30th anniversary of the scheme, a jubilee dinner is being held this Saturday, and a public picnic and gala day is being held at the Gimmerburn Domain on Sunday.

The scheme, the last of the large community irrigation schemes built by the Ministry of Works and Development, has a chequered history. . .

Shear For Life fundraiser looming –

The countdown is on for Shear For Life.

Farmers Cole Wells, from Moa Flat, and James Hill, from the Teviot Valley, plan to shear over a 24 hour period, starting on February 28, to raise money for the Cancer Society.

The event will be held at Peter Jolly’s woolshed, near the Tarras township.

Mr Wells said the event had ”come around quickly” but training had been going well. . .

Easy riding in paradise – Rebecca Ryan:

Riding from the country’s highest peak to the ocean by bike, the 301km Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail offers an unforgettable experience, writes Rebecca Ryan.

DAY 1
Aoraki/Mt Cook to Braemar Rd (34.6km)

As a light rain clears, our group of five cyclists, some meeting for the first time, gathered at the start of the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail, at the White Horse Hill Campground, 2km north of Mt Cook Village.

Our seven-day adventure starts with a 7.2km off-road trail to Mount Cook Airport.

To cycle the Alps 2 Ocean in its entirety from Mt Cook to the ocean, riders must take a two-minute helicopter flight across the Tasman River. . .

Three new Olivers operations opening soon – Lynda van Kempen:

It’s all a changing canvas, says Olivers owner David Ritchie, indicating the finishing work taking place to launch three separate ventures in the complex next month.

After six months of construction work, the picture changes daily as Olivers Restaurant, The Victoria Store Brewery and the Merchant of Clyde cafe/bakery/delicatessen take shape.

All three businesses will run independently and are expected to open in late March.

The redevelopment of the Heritage New Zealand Category 1-listed group of historic buildings in the middle of Clyde has been challenging at times, Mr Ritchie admitted. . .

 United Fresh takes the lead in food safety

New Zealand’s only pan-produce organisation, United Fresh New Zealand Incorporated, has established a new Food Safety and Traceability Committee.

United Fresh Executive Member, Dr Hans Maurer, has been appointed chairman of the committee. Also appointed to the committee are Mathew Dolan from Horticulture New Zealand, Stephen Twinn from Snap Fresh Foods and Anne-Marie Arts from The AgriChain Centre, who was also confirmed in her role as United Fresh Food Safety representative. More members will be appointed to the committee in the coming weeks.

United Fresh President David Smith says the role of the committee is to represent the interests of United Fresh members and New Zealand’s pan-produce industry. . .

 


Rural round-up

August 26, 2014

Blood and guts all poachers left behind   – Sonita Chandar:

A steaming pile of blood and guts was all that was left of a mob of newly bought pigs after poachers visited a Tararua farm.

In an incident that occurred earlier this year, a farmer told of taking his young grandchildren to show them the new pigs but instead they found a distressing sight.

”We released the pigs in a paddock right in the middle of the farm and they didn’t even last a week. . .

Night raiders caught in the act

A Tararua victim of stock rustling and poaching had his security cameras stolen after police showed photos of alleged rustlers around sporting goods shops.

The theft is just one incident of many that have recently occurred in a small community where several farmers have had stock go missing.

Farmers were willing to share their stories but did not wish to have their names published for fear of retaliation.

Frustrated at being the target of stock rustlers and trespassing hunters, a farmer and his son installed surveillance cameras in trees earlier this year. . .

Agricultural exports to Japan – Keith Woodford:

Back in 1988, Japan was our most important market for both total exports and agri-food exports. Now, some 25 years later, the share of total exports going to Japan has declined from more than 18 percent down to less than six percent. In part this is because of the phenomenal rise of China. Also, in that 25 year period our global exports have increased greatly, so a loss in percentage is not necessarily surprising. But our exports to Japan have been declining in absolute as well as percentage terms. So what went wrong?

The simple but somewhat naïve answer is that the Japanese economic boom came to an end. The Japanese economy has indeed struggled during those times, but per capita incomes have remained much higher than almost everywhere else in Asia. The exceptions are the city states of Singapore, Hong Kong and Macau. The Japanese GDP per capita is still more than five times that of the Chinese. . .

Water system a winner on Mt Watkins :

Switching to a gravity-fed water system has paid off for East Otago farmers David and Sarah Smith.

The couple are equity managers on a 1463ha property, Mt Watkins, near Waikouaiti, farming in partnership with Mr Smith’s parents Rex and Glenys.

The family purchased the original 920ha block in 2005 and bought another 510ha, which was previously leased, three years ago. . . .

A little home cookery for orphan lambs – Diane Bishop:

David Hamill has a secret weapon when it comes to mothering lambs onto ewes.

The semi-retired Southland farmer has been using the popular baking ingredient vanilla essence as a mothering on tool for almost 50 years.

Hamill rubs the essence on both the orphan lamb and the ewe and it’s doesn’t take long for the ewe to bond with the lamb and accept it as her own.

”I’ve had huge success with it,” Hamill said. . .

Rabobank Recognises the Challenge of Farm Succession:

As part of Rabobank’s focus on assisting New Zealand farmers with the challenges of succession planning, the agricultural specialist bank has announced it has strengthened its succession team with the appointment of succession planning manager Chris Haworth.

An experienced agricultural banker who has been involved in family farm succession planning, Chris will be working with rural farming families to achieve their personal, family and business goals for each generation. . .


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