Merino passion recognised – Sally Rae:
A Central Otago farming family recently received recognition for the quality of its merino wool. Business and rural editor Sally Rae visits Matangi Station.
At Matangi Station, the Sanders family are firm believers in the adage that there are only two types of sheep in the world – merinos and others.
Four generations have pursued a passion for the breed and that looks set to continue with the fifth generation – Todd – already exhibiting a love of animals and the lifestyle the Central Otago high country property affords.
The family’s pride in producing high-quality fine wool was rewarded recently when Matangi was presented with Reda Group’s Marque of Excellence 2018-19 – or top supplier in New Zealand – at a function at Lake Hayes. . .
Prices go crazy – Annette Scott:
Red meat prices, buoyed by demand for protein, are sailing in uncharted waters with wethers fetching $373 a head at Coalgate on Thursday, Hazlett livestock general manager Ed Marfell says.
Despite the season tracking behind in both grass and lamb growth, stock are fetching record prices.
“It was a slow start but the way the season is unfolding now it is difficult to say where it might be headed. . .
School leavers should consider horticulture as a career filled with variety, relevance and opportunities to see the world.
‘Horticulture has a massive range of careers to choose from,’ says Erin Simpson, Head of Capability Development at NZ Apples and Pears. ‘It’s not about picking bags and ladders anymore.
‘The horticulture sector is expecting growth of nearly 4% this year on top of massive growth last year. This growth is creating fantastic opportunities for school leavers wanting to work in a sector that can take them places and pay them well.’
Erin is part of the Horticulture Capability Group (HCG), which was promoting the industry at this year’s Careers and Transition Education Association (CATE) Conference. . .
NZQA needs to front up to concern that has been created by questions in their exams painting a one-sided picture of New Zealand’s farmers, National’s Agriculture spokesperson Todd Muller says.
“Students who sat their NCEA level three English exam were tasked with a question that described waterways as being ravaged by farmers and spoke of a ‘town vs country’ divide.
“There needs to be some balance in how our education system portrays farmers. We have the most sustainable farmers in the world but this rarely gets mentioned.
“Coupled with our national museum Te Papa advising our children they should be giving up meat and dairy for the sake of the environment, there is a concern our kids are being convinced that farming drives environmental degradation. . .
Internet connectivity and technology are playing a vital role in the growth of Ashburton-based Plains Irrigators, which has grown from a local business into a large South Island enterprise employing around 40 staff.
The company started in the 1990s with the beginning of centre pivot irrigation. It designs, installs and services pivot and lateral irrigators, and retrofits existing systems.
Manager Dan Stephens describes internet connectivity as crucial to the company’s growth. . .
The farmers who started out with student debt and big dreams – Charley Adams:
When Lewis Steer was 16, his parents gave him three sheep as a reward for doing well in his GCSEs.
It was an unusual present but Lewis and his girlfriend Flora Searson had an unusual goal – despite coming from non-farming families, they dreamed of running their own farm.
Now in their mid-20s, that’s something they’re doing, rearing three flocks of rare-breed sheep on rented land in Dartmoor, Devon.
They explain what it’s been like breaking into an industry that’s often associated with a suspicion of outsiders. . .