‘Tragic start’ to 2020: Six deaths on NZ farms in six days – Eleisha Foon:
Six people have died in workplace incidents on New Zealand farms in six days this year
The latest death came today when one person died in a quad bike crash on a Wharepuhunga farm, south of Cambridge.
Another death earlier this week included a 67-year-old man who died when the tractor he was driving rolled down a bank at the Goldfields Mining Centre near Cromwell on Wednesday. . .
Farmers take the lead – Sandra Taylor:
Two Rangitikei farmers are driving a bottoms-up approach to improving water quality in their region by encouraging and empowering farmers and their communities to work collectively to address water quality issues.
Roger Dalrymple, who farms Waitatapia Station, a large-scale mixed cropping operation near Bulls and Taihape sheep and beef farmer Mark Chrystall, were instrumental in setting up the Rangitikei Rivers Catchment Collective (RRCC) two years ago. This group acts as an umbrella organisation for community catchment groups based around three major river systems in the region. Collectively these groups involve at least 250 farmers and numerous other community stakeholders.
Roger, who like Mark is a passionate environmentalist, says over the past 100 years, everything about environmental management has been driven from the top down and it is a model that has failed. . .
Trade Secrets makes its predictions for 2020 – Alan Beattie :
Happy new year and all that. Now, where we were? Ah yes, indefinite global trade tension and Brexit.
Making predictions is the done thing around this time of year, and we’re not unknown for sticking our necks out. So in today’s newsletter we give you ours (or at least this particular writer’s) for events in the trade world.
We plead in mitigation that predicting trade politics, particularly the timing of events, is difficult at the best of times given the interminable bureaucratic processes involved. And these days we have Donald Trump and Boris Johnson, possessing respectively no consistent decision-making criteria at all and a genius for unacknowledged U-turns. Also, Iran. Sometimes it feels like you might as well be betting on raindrops running down a window. Be kind to us if some of these forecasts turn out wrong. Our chart of the day looks at something which definitely did happen, namely the slump in trade between South Korea and Japan last year. . .
Students push rural health work – Colin Williscroft:
Nursing students joined medical students late last year on a tour designed to promote rural health careers to pupils in rural schools.
Third-year Wellington nursing students Rachael Rowe, Lagisi Wirangi, Katrin Scott, Laura Winter and Mickey Walker took part in a five-day trip through Wairarapa and Central Hawke’s Bay to Napier and back to encourage country children to consider medical and health careers.
It was the first time nursing students took part in the tour, Whitireia Polytech nursing programme manager Leanne Pool said.
“It was a fantastic opportunity for our students to promote nursing as a career choice to young people.” . .
Reading to Reporoa – Sophie Barnes:
When Alexandra Lond began studying English Literature in 2012, the thought that, seven years later she’d be in Reporoa, New Zealand, managing an 800-cow herd would never have crossed her mind.
English woman Alex’s route into farming began while studying at Reading University. She befriended agricultural students during hockey practice, after hearing all the farming chatter “made me want to know more.”
A friend put her in touch with Sally Manford, of Hinxdon Farm, in Kent, and volunteered her way into a job.
“I spent two months shadowing the milker, working for free, before heading to my day job in town,” she says. . .
Sticky wicket for honey producers – Richard Rennie:
Honey producers face a season of lean returns as prices plunge to well below break-even, leaving some having to decide if this year’s crop is even worth harvesting.
Beekeeping Incorporated president Jane Lorimer said prices for bulk honey have dropped to $3.50 to $4 a kilo, well down on the $6-$7 a kilo needed to break even on production costs.
Lorimer, a Waikato producer, said she has been lucky also having income generated through kiwifruit pollination, which will be a valuable side income. . .
DairyNZ will hold a series of farmer meetings over the next two months to help participants better understand what is driving changes in the sector and how to respond.
The Farmers Forum 2020 programme kicks off in Northland on February 18. Events will follow in Waikato, Southland, Taranaki and Canterbury.
The events are free DairyNZ levy players and their staff. DairyNZ says farmers will get updated on regional and national policy development, latest science and an overview of the industry body’s activities. . .
Leading livestock photographer Ben Simpson shares his favourite photos – Lucy Kinbacher:
Have you ever seen a bull dance?
If you’ve got a paddock of stud sires, chances are you have. But it isn’t until you look behind the lens of Ben Simpson’s camera that you truly notice the ballroom spectacular taking place.
Dancing with Bulls is one of the many moments captured by this globally recognised photographer that the average human would probably fail to see.
When Ben was encouraged by a mate to buy his first Pentax camera while living in America, little did he know it would shape the rest of his life. . .