Rural round-up

May 12, 2016

Gentle giants deliver the meat – Kate Taylor:

A Pahiatua farmer is pleased his family dairy farm is still in the family because it allows him to enjoy his passion for south devon cattle. Kate Taylor paid him a visit.

Pahiatua south devon breeder Mark Eagle talks enthusiastically about the temperament of his “gentle giants”.

We pride ourselves on breeding cattle with quiet temperaments and a decent strong, meaty carcass,” he says.

Mark and Di Eagle and their Kaimoa South Devon Stud can be found on the 230-hectare Chessfield Farm in the Mangaone Valley about 11 kilometres south east of Pahiatua. Their annual bull sale is on May 23. . .

Farmers think about the future at Federated Farmers Southland meeting – Brittany Pickett:

Primary industries production remains crucial in Southland’s future.

That was the message given to farmers at the Federated Farmers annual meeting on Wednesday at Bill Richardson Transport World.

Speakers and leaders had farmers thinking about what farming in Southland would be like within the next 10 years.

Southland Federated Farmers president Allan Baird said his desire for the future would be to have a healthy environment alongside a growth in production. . . 

Views on animal welfare heard across the country:

Close to 500 people attended six public meetings across the country, to express views on animal welfare.

MPI is currently seeking feedback on 85 proposed animal welfare regulations and took to the road as part of the five week consultation. The proposals set out tougher rules around animal management and would put new fines and infringements in place.

Director of Biosecurity and Animal Welfare Julie Collins has been pleased with the amount of feedback MPI had received to date. . . 

Solar powered pump sells to 20 countries:

A central Hawke’s Bay company has signed a deal to sell its solar powered water pump in 20 countries.

Isaacs Electrical launched its ePump last December, and strong demand nationally and internationally has led to it signing a major distribution partnership with Waikato Milking Systems.

The ePump can pump up to 20 litres of water per minute in daylight hours, and for a distance of up to 120 metres, making it ideal for use in remote locations. . . 

Waikato forum: what dairy can learn from kiwifruit crisis:

Dairy farmers facing the industry’s lowest milk price in years will this month hear lessons learnt by the kiwifruit industry when Psa struck in 2010.

“We are different industries, but we are still people. One looks after animals, one looks after plants – but we are people, we have passion, we have drive, we earn our income and live our lifestyles this way,” says Ian Greaves, kiwifruit industry representative.

The kiwifruit vine disease, Psa, devastated all Gold kiwifruit orchards across the Bay of Plenty but also affected Green, with many growers only now getting their first or second crop since it occurred. . . 

Battle for our birds 2016:

The largest pest control operation in New Zealand’s history will be launched this winter in response to a pest plague which threatens vulnerable native wildlife, Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says.

Battle for our Birds 2016 will receive $20.7 million in new operating funding for 2015/16 from this month’s Budget, helping to fight back against an expected pest population boom caused by a heavy forest seeding, or mast.

“DOC scientists have confirmed the seed fall predicted last year has eventuated,” Ms Barry says. “We must respond if we’re to protect our native birds and animals from the threat – and the funding will enable DOC to achieve this.”

This autumn around a million tonnes of beech seed will drop to the forest floor, providing a bonanza of food for rats and causing their population to boom.

“As rats increase due to the readily-available food source, so will the number of stoats which feed on rats,” Ms Barry says. “Once the seeds germinate and the food source disappears in early spring, the plague of millions of starving rats and tens of thousands of hungry stoats will turn on native wildlife, bringing disaster if we do nothing.” . . 

Welcome to New Trustee from Rural Women NZ:

This months meeting of NZ Landcare Trust’s Board of Trustees will see a new face at the table, as Fiona Gower takes over from Liz Evans as the representative for Rural Women New Zealand.

NZ Landcare Trust CEO Dr Nick Edgar said, “On behalf of Trust staff I’d like to welcome Fiona to the Board of Trustees. Fiona’s extensive knowledge of rural issues and her understanding of community involvement will be a real asset.”

Fiona is looking forward to the new role. “With the growing importance, emphasis and pressure on freshwater in New Zealand, organisations such as NZ Landcare Trust will play an increasingly important role in achieving positive outcomes for our land and water resources, and I am looking forward to being a part of that journey,” Fiona added. . .

 


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 . .

* * * * * * * * * * * *

"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


RWNZ new president

November 26, 2013

Wendy McGowan has been elected as the new national president of Rural Women New Zealand.

She succeeds Liz Evans who has held the position since 2010.

Wendy McGowan previously served a three-year term as national vice president, and has been the national councillor for Bay of Plenty/Coromandel for the last eight years, taking a special interest in land use issues, bio-security and food safety.

Wendy said, “As national president I will build on our organisation’s goals and aspirations to be dynamic, vibrant, leading, innovative and visible at all levels.

“Rural Women NZ’s interest in land, health, education and community issues need our attention and advocacy, just as they did in the 1920s.  As then, encouraging women living in rural communities to voice their concerns and support for one another is what we do well.”

Wendy announced the appointment of Kerry Maw, the Rural Women national councillor for Canterbury, as her vice president.

Looking ahead, Wendy says it is exciting to be taking a leading role in plans to celebrate the UN International Year of Family Farming in 2014.  The organisation is planning a series of events in March and April around the country to highlight the important role of family farms in provincial economic prosperity.

“It’s also an opportunity to strengthen links and understanding between rural and urban.”

The AGM was officially opened by Rural Women NZ’s patron, Her Excellency, Lady Janine Mateparae, who said her decision to take on the patron’s role was made easier by the organisation’s commitment to provide a voice for rural women and rural families.  

Prime Minister John Key also spoke at the opening ceremony and answered questions from the floor.

He said there are significant differences between our urban and rural communities and the key question is how we make sure those differences and issues are understood by everybody.  He cited broadband access, the volatility of weather that farmers must cope with and schooling in rural areas as key challenges.

Wendy McGowan and her husband Rusty farm a 260 hectare dairy support unit in Kaharoa in the Bay of Plenty.  She is also an enrolled nurse and works as a casual play specialist at Rotorua Hospital’s Children’s Unit.


5 day rural post 3 day urban

October 23, 2013

The Updated Deed of Understanding between the government and New Zealand Post has agreed to retain rural mail deliveries at five a week but urban deliveries could go down to three a week.

Communications and Information Technology Minister Amy Adams says changes were required to ensure the postal service remains viable.

Under the agreement reached between the Government and New Zealand Post, changes to the Deed will not apply until 30 June, 2015.

“Around the world postal volumes are declining. In New Zealand this is at a rate of about 8 per cent per annum,” Ms Adams says.

“It is clear that if changes are not made to the Deed, then significant and on-going government subsidisation in excess of $30 million per year may be required.

“The decision to update the Deed reflects the need to balance the immediate interests of postal users with the longer term need for greater flexibility for New Zealand Post, given the dramatic reduction in the volume of postal items over the past 11 years.

“From their peak in 2002 mail volumes have dropped considerably, with about 328 million fewer items being posted in 2013 compared to 2002.”

New Zealand Post had sought the flexibility to reduce the frequency of mail delivery for standard delivery letters to a minimum of three days per week nationwide.

However, the Government was concerned about the sustainability of rural delivery services and rural contractors in general through fewer deliver days.

“Through negotiations, I have secured agreement from New Zealand Post that it will limit any introduction of a minimum three-day delivery to only urban areas, maintaining five-day delivery in rural delivery areas.

We currently get mail six days a week unless it’s a long weekend when there’s no delivery on Saturdays and Mondays.

Newspapers will be grateful that five-day deliveries are to be maintained because in most rural areas papers are delivered with the mail. If deliveries reduced to three a week most people wouldn’t bother subscribing.

“It is important to note that three-day delivery is the minimum standard New Zealand Post must meet. This means that New Zealand Post may continue to provide a higher frequency of delivery in some non-rural areas.

“The minimum standards in the Deed only apply to basic or standard postal services. The Deed does not apply to other types of postal products or services such as express mail, courier post, parcel post or premium services such as Fast Post.”

Changes to the Deed will also require New Zealand Post to continue to maintain a retail network of at least 880 points of presence, but permit this to be comprised of self-service kiosks, well as physical postal outlets.

Of the 880 points of presence, New Zealand Post has agreed to maintain at least 240 outlets where customers can receive personal assistance from an employee or agent of New Zealand Post.

“This will give comfort to members of the public who may feel anxious at the prospect of the introduction of self-service kiosks.”

The 880 and 240 figures are unchanged from the current Deed, but the specifics in each case have been modified to meet current requirements.

The timeframe for implementing any changes will be a commercial decision for New Zealand Post, after 30 June, 2015.

Minimum service requirements for New Zealand Post are set out in the Deed of Understanding it signed with the Crown in 1998. The Deed has not been significantly reviewed since it was signed.

Federated Farmers welcomes the announcement.

“This is great news for rural people, as many businesses are still heavily reliant on a five day service,” says Bruce Wills, Federated Farmers National President.

“New Zealand Post and the Government have clearly listened to our members concerns and we are pleased that they have recognised the uniqueness of the rural business model in their Deed of Understanding.

“Whilst technology is changing the way we communicate and eventually we will see a decline in postal deliveries, we are not there yet. There are still some 86,000 rural people off-line, where rural post is a daily fixture in the running of their business and household.

“We would like to thank all parties involved for highlighting the unique situation that rural New Zealand is in when it comes to postal delivery,” concluded Mr Wills.

Rural Women NZ is also pleased:

“In our submission, which Minister Amy Adams has acknowledged, we highlighted that the rural delivery is so much more than just a mail service and anything that threatened its sustainability would have widespread unintended consequences,” says Rural Women national president, Liz Evans.

“It is a wraparound distribution service that is part of the fabric that holds rural communities together.

“Our rural delivery contractors provide a lifeline, delivering supplies, repairs and spare parts, animal health remedies, medicines, and courier parcels.

People pay for these services but it would be more expensive and less regular if the rural delivery contractors weren’t able to provide them five days a week.

“The five day service ensures people are able to run their farming enterprises and other rural businesses effectively, even from remote locations.”

Rural delivery contractors also pick up mail and parcels, meaning that it’s feasible to run a production-based business from a rural location. These businesses breathe life into rural communities, as we have seen through our Enterprising Rural Women Awards. Rural Women NZ’s plea to preserve the existing rural delivery service was also based on the limitations of other communications facilities, that urban people take for granted.

“In many rural areas there is limited or no cellphone coverage and we are still dealing with dial-up broadband connections in many cases.”

The mail service is used a lot less than it used to be and the decline is likely to continue.

That decline will be hastened by NZ Post’s reduction in service.
Mail is much slower than it used to be and people are using alternatives because of that.
We used to get killing sheets in the mail but now we can’t rely on timely deliveries we’re getting them emailed.
There will always be some things that can’t be delivered electronically but as technology improves the need for mail services will drop.

Rural round-up

October 22, 2013

SFO confirms preliminary Zespri investigation:

 (BusinessDesk) – The Serious Fraud Office has confirmed it’s looking at legislated export marketing monopolist Zespri International, though is being tight-lipped on any further details.

The white-collar crime investigator has opened a preliminary investigation, but won’t say what it’s looking at or indicating what powers the SFO has to compel Zespri to release information.

“Zespri has not been contacted by the Serious Fraud Office and has no details of the scope or substance of an investigation,” it said in an emailed statement. “Zespri will cooperate with any investigation the Serious Fraud Office may undertake.”

Kiwi Kids Lap Up Fonterra Milk for Schools:

The numbers are in – more than 1000 schools around New Zealand are now enjoying the taste of dairy every school day thanks to Fonterra’s Milk for Schools.

From Southland to Northland, the programme has moved full steam ahead rolling out in eleven regions and reached Auckland today.

Fonterra Chief Executive Officer, Theo Spierings, said over the past five months there has been significant community support for the national rollout.

“Milk is one of the most nutritious foods there is and we want to do what we can to make sure Kiwi kids grow up drinking it every day,” said Mr Spierings. . .

Fonterra investigated over creating lake of buttermilk

The Waikato Regional Council is looking into the dumping of a milk by-product near Taupo by dairy giant Fonterra.

An unknown quantity of buttermilk has been disposed into a lake for storage at an Atiamuri farm, as the dairy giant struggles to keep up with record milk production.

Waikato Regional Council spokesman Rob Dragten says the council is looking into issues around authorisation, but says there’s no immediate threat to the environment. . .

New kids on the block take out Rural Women NZ Journalism Award:

The joint winners of this year’s Rural Women NZ Journalism award are Sarah Perriam and Tony Glynn of Rural Media.

The Rural Women award was one of twelve awards for rural journalism and photography presented at the Guild of Agricultural Journalists’ annual dinner in Wellington on Friday evening.

“Our award sets out to encourage journalism that recognises the important contribution women make either to the farming sector or to rural communities,” says Rural Women NZ national president, Liz Evans. “We congratulate Sarah and Tony, who are offering a fresh approach to producing and sharing stories about rural life, through video as well as broadcast TV.”

Sarah Perriam works on the production side, while Tony Glynn directs, acts and presents programmes for Rural Media, under its Rural TV banner. Their aim is to make rural folk ‘way more famous’. . .

Farmax offers farmers the power of bespoke pasture growth forecasts:

Farmax is the first company to offer sheep, beef and dairy farmers the ability to harness the power of the industry’s newly launched Pasture Growth Forecaster database at a more detailed level.

Farmax has launched a service called My Forecast where farmers provide the address of their property to get customised short-, medium- and long-term pasture growth forecasts specific to their own farming operation.

Farmax General Manager, Gavin McEwen said “To maximise pasture usage, farmers not only require accurate measures of current pasture cover, they also need accurate forecasts. Farmax’s My Forecast service is a powerful tool for assisting with feed planning and budgeting decisions.” . . .

 Farming for the Future….NZ is not supporting Innovation by Leading Farmers – Pasture to Profit:

 Craige & Roz MacKenzie, are the Canterbury Farm Environment Award winners 2013. Very deserving winners….Congratulations.
The MacKenzie family (including daughter Jemma) are one of the most innovative, creative, Push-The-Boundaries, Farm & Research businesses I’ve ever seen. 
 
GreenvalePastures Ltd Facebook page
Andy MacFarlane (MacFarlane Rural Business) last week chaired a very successful Ballance Farm Environment Award fieldday at Greenvale Pastures farm near Methven in Canterbury, New Zealand.
 Ballance Farm Environment Awards. The Regional Winners . . .
Rotorua to host International Forest Safety Summit on 26 & 27th November:

The past 12 months has seen forestry in the media spotlight to two main reasons – both good and bad. Since the global financial crisis hit, forest products exports, led by log exports, have proven once again to be counter-cyclical. While other industries have suffered, forest production has soared to record levels. With the record high log out-turn, from both the small and large forests up and down the country, has come a tragic toll in worker deaths. Heightened awareness driven by the Pike River mine disaster has brought a change in public attitudes to workplace risks. Safety improvement is now top-of-mind for everyone in the forest industry. While serious harm accident numbers and deaths remain much higher in farming than forestry, it is the public perception of workplace risk, underpinned by an well-funded union media campaign of self-interest, that has changed a lot of attitudes towards people working in the bush.

These combined issues have resulted in a focus by the key players in the New Zealand forest industry to drive an in-depth review of forest workplace safety. . .

Leisure and adventure tourism growth spurs backpacker lodge sale:

Capitalising on the growth of tourists’ passion for eco’ tourism, the Tailor-Made-Tekapo Backpackers is on the market for sale

The opening of two major new tourist attractions and the growing popularity of deep space star-gazing are being seen by a long-time South Island tourism operator as the ideal catalyst to retire from the business.

The Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail which opened earlier this year in the Central South Island; the Tekapo Springs thermal resort, ice skating rink and snow park which opened in 2012; and Earth and Sky tours at Mt John Observatory, are jointly forecast to substantially increase visitor numbers to the Central South Island region.

The cycle trail is a 300 kilometre four-six day ride from Aoraki Mount Cook to Oamaru via the townships of Twizel, Omarama, Kurow and Lake Pukaki. . .


Rural round-up

October 10, 2013

TPP a matter of when not if says farming leader:

Having returned from the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Federated Farmers believes the logic for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is so strong and its advantages so apparent, that the absence of President Obama from negotiations will not unduly dent its progress.

“The talk at the WTO in Geneva was when the TPP will happen and not if,” says Bruce Wills, Federated Farmers President, who attended the WTO’s 2013 Public Forum where he co-presented the World Farmers Organisation’s new trade policy.

“Naturally, there was much talk about the United States Government shutdown and what that may mean if a default does take place in just nine-day’s time.

“I sense the Obama Administration is frustrated that domestic political brinkmanship means the President had to stay in Washington. The focus of his administration is building the U.S. economy by exports and that’s the focus of both Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and TPP negotiations. I must say that U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, is a handy substitute. . .

Special agricultural trade envoy hails TPP progress:

New Zealand’s special agricultural trade envoy is hailing what he sees as the progress made at the latest Trans Pacific Partnership trade talks in Bali.

But Mike Petersen agrees with the prime minister that the target of getting an agreement by the the end of the year is still going to be hard work.

John Key chaired Tuesday’s TPP meeting in the absence of the American president, says there’s plenty of political momentum among the 12 countries to get a deal.

The Agricultural Trade envoy, Hawke’s Bay farmer Mike Petersen, says getting trade reforms for agriculture was always going to be challenging, because it will take a political will in countries where there are still high levels of subsidy and tariff protection. . .

First registration of a sustainable agrichemical for the SFF minor crops project:

A new sustainable agrichemical that controls the leafroller pest on New Zealand’s blueberry crops is the first of many registered products to be released as part of the Government lead Sustainable Farming Fund.

The Minor Crops project team coordinated by Horticulture NZ announced the recent release of the insecticide ‘Prodigy™’ Trademark of the Dow Chemical Company (Dow) or an affiliated company of Dow for use on blueberries.

This is the first product to be registered as a result of the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Sustainable Farming Fund (SFF) project ‘Registration of sustainable agrichemicals for minor crops’. . .

Mental health courses for rural professionals:

The Nelson and Marlborough Public Health Service, in association with Federated Farmers, Like Minds and Rural Support Trust are hosting a seminar to help participants recognise the signs of depression.

“We are targeting rural professionals that work with farmers, so they are able to identify if a farmer is stressed, anxious, angry or sad, which are all sign signs of depression. This way they will be better placed to know how to help the farmer in question,” says Gavin O’Donnell, Federated Farmers Nelson provincial president.

“Rural professionals such as rural bankers, vets, contractors and so on are far more likely to be in a position to identify if there is a problem because they encounter farmers more frequently and in their natural environment. . .

Rural Women NZ Leads on International Year of Family Farming 2014:

Rural Women New Zealand is excited to play a key role in organising a programme of events to celebrate the UN International Year of Family Farming in 2014.

As a member of the steering committee that will liaise directly with the UN, Rural Women NZ has hosted the first meeting in Wellington to start the planning process.

Convened by Organic Systems and Adams Harman, others taking part in the meeting included DairyNZ, Horticulture New Zealand, the New Zealand Farm Forestry Association, Young Farmers, Beef+Lamb NZ, Federated Farmers and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

“Family farming has been the backbone of New Zealand’s rural economy for more than a century, and Rural Women New Zealand has led advocacy and growth for farming families and rural communities since 1925,” says Rural Women NZ’s national president, Liz Evans. . .

NZB Caulfield Championship Finale:

The New Zealand Bloodstock Spring WFA Championship at Caulfield is set to conclude this weekend with the running of the Group 1 A$400,000 Cathay Pacific Caulfield Stakes over 2000m.

With (It’s a) Dundeel (NZ) now out of contention, the Championship winner is a forgone conclusion with Atlantic Jewel (Fastnet Rock) holding an unassailable lead having won Race 2 in the Championship Series – the New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes – and placing second in the Group 1 Underwood.

The champion mare may have scared many away with Saturday’s feature race only attracting a small field of six runners, but it carries plenty of quality with the field winning a total of eight Group 1 races between them. . .


Diane Coleman – Enterprising Rural Women award winner

May 25, 2013

The Supreme Winner of the RWNZ Enterprising Rural Women Award 2013 is Diane Coleman of Treeline Native Nursery, based at Ngongotaha, near Rotorua.

She also won the Love of the Land category.

Treeline Native Nursery, which Diane started 17 years ago, grows and supplies NZ native trees, shrubs and grasses for revegetation and ornamental purposes, growing 300,000 plants a year that are sold to councils, farmers, landscapers, developers and the home gardener.

Rural Women NZ national president, Liz Evans, said Diane Coleman was chosen as the Supreme Winner out of a strong field of contenders, saying she displayed “skill, calm confidence in the progress of her business and a clear awareness of her market.”

“When demand for products slowed with the 2010 economic downturn, Diane adapted to conditions, made some innovative decisions and was able to maintain production levels.

“Added to this, the business is rural-based, employs several rural women and gives back to the community with fund-raising support.”

Other winners on the night were Jan Harper, of Bluespur Butchery in Lawrence, who won the Telecom-sponsored Help! I Need Somebody category.

As one of New Zealand’s first female butchers, Jan, who’s been in the industry since 1977, said it was a ‘dream come true’ when she opened her own business, Bluespur Butchery, in 2009. As well as selling meat to the public, a big part of the business is processing for farmers and hunters.

A very successful exporter of animal by-products from Waipukurau took away the Making it in Rural category, sponsored by Fly Buys Ltd. Angela Payne runs Agri-lab Co-Products Ltd (www.agri-lab.com). Utilising animal parts that previously may have ended up in the offal-pit, the company specialises in placenta, glands, membranes, tendons and glandulars, with 90 percent of the product exported. This is shipped all over the world as raw products for the pharmaceutical and dietary supplements markets.

Kylie Stewart of Rangitikei Farmstay was announced as the winner of the Stay, Play, Rural Award, sponsored by Access Homehealth Ltd. Her 1500 acre farm has been in the family since 1901 and Kylie has breathed new life into many of the old buildings to create attractive accommodation for up to 19 guests at a time who come from all over the world to get a taste of New Zealand rural life with farm tours, horse treks, clay bird shooting and shearing and mustering demonstrations on offer. (www.rangitikeifarmstay.co.nz).

The judging panel also decided this year to give a special Rural Women NZ Encourgement Award. This went to Lee Lamb, a young farming woman who lives in Waikaia, Southland.

As her children grew, and unable to find New Zealand farm-themed books to read to them, Lee decided to write and illustrate her own. A self-taught writer and painter, Lee was also determined to have her books printed in New Zealand. She now has four titles: On the Farm Shearing, On the Farm Autumn Muster, On the Farm Milking Time and On the Farm Harvest.

In congratulating all the winners, Liz Evans said, “Running a successful business anywhere in today’s competitive economy is not easy. It takes time, commitment, money and a passion to succeed. And, of course, you have to have the initial idea to get started.

“And, in the rural context, the start-up and ability to keep going can produce even more challenges. The logistics of running a business away from a centralised urban area can throw up hurdles such as access to prompt transport and communication – not to mention extra costs of freight and postage. All our winners have jumped those hurdles.” . . .

This is the fifth year RWNZ has run the awards.

They are a wonderful way to showcase rural businesswomen and the variety of enterprises in which they’re involved.


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