Rural round-up

December 1, 2017

Essential to keep close watch on alternative products – Allan Barber:

This is the year when plant based alternatives to dairy and meat have suddenly started to pose a more serious threat to the traditional animal based products on which New Zealand farmers, and our economy as a whole, depend. There is no danger these alternatives will suddenly take over the world, leaving dairy and sheep and beef farmers wondering what to do with their stranded assets. But, to prevent being taken unpleasantly by surprise, it will be necessary for the dairy and red meat sectors to keep a close watch on these competitors and track their progress with global consumers.

Perfect Day is a San Francisco based start-up company which has developed what it claims is a ‘cow-free milk’ that tastes like the real thing because it contains casein and whey produced by inserting a cow’s DNA into a particular strain of yeast and mixed with plant based nutrients and fats. The result is a lactose free milk alternative which uses 65% less energy, generates 84% less greenhouse gas emissions, requires 91% less land and 98% less water. . . 

How can we make dairy sustainable – Keith Woodford:

The big challenge for New Zealand dairy is how it can become sustainable in the coming decades. This sustainability includes both financial and environmental sustainability. And it needs to occur in the context of both scepticism and some antipathy from within the urban community.

One of the challenges for our new Government is to come to terms with the extent to which dairy and indeed the broader pastoral industries provide a key pillar that underpins the export economy. Without a vibrant export economy, there is no practical way we can address poverty and inequality within Zealand.   However, that is not the way that many New Zealanders currently see it.  And therein lies the challenge.

I live in an urban community, and my assessment is that most urban people think we do have too many cows.  When I ask what alternatives they recommend, the responses are typically naïve. . . 

Cutting down on cow burps to ease climate change – Eloise Gibson:

In a cream-colored metal barn two hours north of Wellington, New Zealand, a black-and-white dairy cow stands in what looks like an oversize fish tank. Through the transparent Plexiglas walls, she can see three other cows in adjacent identical cubicles munching their food in companionable silence. Tubes sprout from the tops of the boxes, exchanging fresh air for the stale stuff inside. The cows, their owners say, could help slow climate change.

Livestock has directly caused about one-quarter of Earth’s warming in the industrial age, and scientists from the U.S. departments of agriculture and energy say bigger, more resource-heavy cattle are accelerating the problem. Contrary to popular belief, cows contribute to global warming mostly through their burps, not their flatulence. So about a dozen scientists here at AgResearch Grasslands, a government-owned facility, are trying to develop a vaccine to stop those burps. “This is not a standard vaccine,” says Peter Janssen, the anti-burp program’s principal research scientist. “It’s proving to be an elusive little genie to get out of the bottle.” . . 

Beef + Lamb New Zealand elected onto Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef board of directors:

Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) has been elected on to the Board of Directors of the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) for a two-year term.

The GRSB is a global initiative developed to advance continuous improvement in sustainability of the global beef value chain through leadership, science, engagement and collaboration.

“This is about B+LNZ on behalf of New Zealand beef farmers and the wider industry stepping up into a global leadership role,” says CEO Sam McIvor. “It is also recognition of the high st anding of New Zealand and our beef farmers when it comes to sustainability globally. . . 

Enhancing native biodiversity in agroecosystems:

Project 3.3

Leaders: Professor David Norton (University of Canterbury) and Associate Professor Hannah Buckley (Auckland University of Technology)

Mission Statement

This project aims to rebuild structure and enhance ecological function of native biodiversity on sheep and beef farms in Aotearoa New Zealand. By working with universities, research institutes, regional councils, iwi and farming communities across the country we will gain a well-rounded view of social and cultural attitudes towards biodiversity in agroecosystems. We will fill gaps in the current knowledge regarding how biodiversity contributes to ecological processes, economic outcomes and human well-being across these farming landscapes. By doing so we will learn how to manage biodiversity in agroecosystems in a way that results in gains for both farming and nature conservation.

Summary

Sheep and beef farms make up nearly 40% of New Zealand’s landscape and play a vital role in our economy. We know that native biodiversity can help agroecosystem resilience, but we don’t know what is required to create and support changes in how this biodiversity is regarded, protected and managed in agricultural landscapes. Given that these farms usually occur in the lowlands in New Zealand – where there is the least native biodiversity remaining – they might be the only opportunity we have to sustain some of our taonga (treasured) species. . . 

NZ Dairy Industry Awards not just about winning:

The first solo female to win the Dairy Manager of the Year category in the 2017 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards believes her win proves that women are capable of being successful in senior roles within the dairy industry.

29-year-old Manawatu Farm Manager Hayley Hoogendyk says her success also shows that the dairy industry is a fast-changing environment that is always looking for the best result.

“One of the hurdles for women years ago was that farming required brawn and skills that supposedly only males possess. It is now obvious that there are a huge amount of aspects involved in dairy farming, some of which your ‘typical female’ is better at than most males,” says Hayley. . . 

 

From potato eaters to world leaders in agriculture – Priti Kumar & Fokke Fennema:

Van Gogh’s famous painting of Potato Eaters depicts a family of poor peasants seated around a dinner table eating their staple fare. The artist confessed that this work is deeply reflective of the hard work that Dutch peasants have to do to earn a bare meal. Van Gogh frequently painted the harvest and often compared the season to his own art, and how he would someday reap all that he had put into it. 

Since those difficult times in the late 1800s, the tiny country of the Netherlands (pop: 17 mill; about the size of Haryana state in India) has come a long way. Matching sheer ingenuity with technological prowess, the Netherlands today is one of the world’s most agriculturally productive countries, feeding people across the globe from its meager land area. Indeed, this small nation is now the world’s second-largest exporter of agri-food products including vegetables, fruits, potatoes, meat, milk and eggs; some 6% of world trade in fruits and 16% in vegetables comes from the Netherlands.

But how exactly did they do this? In October 2017, we went to find out. Our team – of World Bank and Indian government officials working on agribusiness, rural transformation and watershed development projects – sought to learn from Dutch experience and identify opportunities for future collaboration. We met farmer cooperatives, private companies, growers’ associations, academia, social enterprises, and government agencies, and gained fascinating insights. . . 

 


Argentina 0 – Netherlands 0

July 10, 2014

At the end of extra time Argentina and the Netherlands are locked 0 – 0.

This, the second World Cup semi final, will now be decided by a penalty shoot-out.

I know almost nothing about football but I’m on the edge of my seat.


Kiwi cricketer Dutch Player of Year

January 2, 2012

Kiwi cricketer, Peter Borren, has won CricketEurope’s Dutch Player of the Year poll.

Borren, who was beaten into second place by Henk-Jan Mol in last year’s poll, had another outstanding season in 2011, captaining VRA to their second double of championship and Twenty20 Cup in consecutive years.

Although his preparation for the World Cup was disrupted by a nagging injury he produced several memorable innings, especially his 82-ball 84 in the final game against Ireland. Unable to bowl in the first three matches, he turned in a fine spell with the ball against India, and his captaincy under great pressure was inspirational on the field and dignified off it.

If the results in the World Cup were disappointing the same cannot be said of the CB40 League, where Borren led his side to five victories and a tie in their eleven completed matches. The captain contributed 268 runs, second only to Wesley Barresi, at an average of 29.77, and claimed 12 wickets at 28.00. His 37-ball 56 not out against Derbyshire at Derby and, even more outstanding, 33-ball 71 not out (including five fours and six sixes) against Kent in Rotterdam played a key part in those two wins.

He played for Canterbury and New Zealand under-19 teams before choosing to play for the Netherlands.

You can read more about his career here.


España 0 – Holanda 0 UPDATE: España 1 – Holanda 0

July 12, 2010

Glimpses of World Cup games have confirmed my conviction that you have to know a lot more about sport than I do to appreciate a game in which the fulltime score is a nil-all draw and the best performances are the Hollywoods.

Update with two mintues to go : Spain got a goal: Spain 1 – Netherlands 0.

Update: España ha ganado la Copa del Mundo.

El País, Spain’s major newspaper, says:

Directo: España campeona del mundo

El 11 de julio es ya un día histórico en el deporte nacional. España ha ganado su primer Mundial. Un golazo de Iniesta a cuatro minutos del final la prórroga ha dado la victoria. Ha sido una final agónica, con oportunidades por ambos bandos y jugada con mucha dureza por Holanda.

Spain world champion

The 11 of July is already a historic day in national sport. Spain has won its first World Cup.  A goal by Iniesta four minutes from the final extension has givent he victory. It has been an agonising final with opportunities for both teams and played with much toughness by the Netherlands.


Relatively better isn’t the same as good

November 19, 2009

New Zealand tops Transparency International’s 2009 corruption perception index.

The others in the top 10 are: Denmark, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Finland, Netherlands and Australia, Canada and Iceland which are 8th equal.

The countries at the bottom are: Chad, Iraq, Sudan, Myanmar, Afghanistan and Somalia.

Corruption is a form of oppression and this map shows how widespread it is:

While it’s good to be relatively good, what really matters is not how good we are perceived to be relative to anyone else but how good we are fullstop.

A score of 9.4 does mean we’re perceived to be pretty good.

That makes it more likely that other countries and other people will trust us and our institutions.

But we need to be vigilant to ensure that reality matches the perception.

Hat tip: Poneke.


October 28 in history

October 28, 2009

On October 28:

1510 Francis Borgia, Spanish duke and Jesuit priest was born.

Saint Francis Borgia. He is depicted performing an exorcism in this painting by Francisco Goya.

1538 The first university n the New World, the Universidad Santo Tomás de Aquino in the Dominican Republic, was established.

1664 The Duke of York and Albany’s Maritime Regiment of Foot, later to be known as the Royal Marines, was established.

RoyalMarineBadge.png

1697 Canaletto, Italian artist, was born.

1846 Georges Auguste Escoffier, French chef, was born.

1848 The first railway in Spain – between Barcelona and Mataró – wass opened

1886 President Grover Cleveland dedicated the Statue of Liberty.

The Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor

1890 New Zealand’s first Labour Day celebrations took place.

1893 Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, Pathétique, received its premiere performance in St. Petersburg.

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky by Nikolay Kuznetsov, 1893
1903 Evelyn Waugh, English writer, was born.
1914 Jonas Salk, American biologist and physician, was born.
1918 Czechoslovakia was granted independence from Austria-Hungary.
Flag Coat of arms

1927 Dame Cleo Laine, English singer. was born.

1929 Joan Plowright, English actress was born.

1941 Hank Marvin,lead guitarist for The SHadows, was born.

1942 The Alaska Highway (Alcan Highway) was completed through Canada to Fairbanks, Alaska.

1946 Australian politician, former leader of the Liberal Party, John Hewson, was born.

1948 – Swiss chemist Paul Müller was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery of the insecticidal properties of DDT.

1954 The modern Kingdom of the Netherlands was re-founded as a federal monarchy.

1955 Bill Gates, American software executive, was born.

1960 Landon Curt Noll, Astronomer, Cryptographer and Mathematician: youngest to hold the world record for the largest known prime 3 times, was born.

 

1965 Nostra Aetate, the “Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions” of the Second Vatican Council, is promulgated by Pope Paul VI; it absolves the Jews of the alleged killing of Jesus, reversing Innocent III’s 760 year-old declaration.

1967 Julia Roberts, American actress, was born.

1970 Gary Gabelich set a land speed record in a rocket-powered automobile called the Blue Flame, fueled with natural gas.

1970 Britain launched its first (and so far, only) satellite, Prospero, into low Earth orbit atop a Black Arrow carrier rocket.

Prospero X-3 model.jpg

1982 Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) won elections, leading to first Socialist government in Spain after death of Franco.  Felipe Gonzalez became Prime Minister-elect.

2007 Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner became the first woman elected President of Argentina.

Sourced from NZ History Online and Wikipedia.


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