Keeping sheep out of the sunset – Paul Burt:
With more than 30 years of sheep farming behind him, Paul Burt hopes to see a halt in the decline of the industry.
When you stick at something long enough you witness a world of change. In 1988 farms were relatively cheap (ridiculously so in hindsight) but with interest rates at 20% my brother and I didn’t have enough capital to make the risk worth taking.
Lamb prices were depressed but we saw an opportunity in a big lease block and tendered for it on the basis of an all-wool, low-input policy. Shearing costs were 10% of the value of a full fleece. We made the shortlist but eventually missed out. The ROR was potentially very good but it’s crystal ball gazing to guess where a successful bid might have taken us.
It wasn’t too many years after that I attended a presentation about the economic potential for keratin powder made by reducing wool fibre to it’s base components. It was a surprise to see in last weeks’ press, the process being reclaimed as a breakthrough. . .
North Otago farmer positive about region – Sally Rae:
North Otago Sustainable Land Management’s long-serving chairman Peter Mitchell recently stood down from the position. He talks to rural editor Sally Rae about why he is so passionate about farming in the district.
For 150 years, North Otago has provided opportunities for the Mitchell family with their farming business.
The current generation actively farming Rosedale, near Weston, are Peter and Sandra Mitchell, who were joined several years ago by Henry, one of their two sixth-generation sons.
“We’ve had a wonderful run really when you look back on it, on the farming side of things, a lot of family involvement,” Peter Mitchell said. . .
Finding the winners – Rebecca Greaves:
Analysing data to find the winners, whether it’s selecting sires or identifying trends, appeals to Emma Pettigrew’s competitive side.
She’s relishing her new role as research and development manager at Wairarapa sheep stud, Wairere, where she has been working since October last year.
Her role is primarily data analysis and administration, but she can be called on to help out on farm at busy times, which suits her just fine.
Stud breeding has always been part of life for Emma, 28, who grew up on farms in the Pohangina Valley and Kimbolton, in the Manawatu. . .
From honeymoon to dairy farming – Valu Maka:
Dairy Women’s Network member Lauren Badcock traded a career in law for greener pastures.
Alongside husband Ollie, the pair moved to New Zealand from the United Kingdom in 2018.
‘‘We gave up our jobs in the UK and came to New Zealand for our honeymoon and we didn’t go back home.
‘‘I got a job with Ollie on the farm and I haven’t really looked back.’’ . .
Connected Farms New Zealand Launch Innovative ZOLEO Device to Address Lone-Worker Safety Concerns.
In 2020, there were 22,796 farm-related injury claims accepted by ACC. That’s over 60 incidents a day, taking a huge toll on farms, families, and the rural community whenever a farm worker is hurt on the job. Today, Connected Farms New Zealand is launching ZOLEO Satellite Communicator, a farm safety device designed to transform the way rural communities approach on-farm connectivity and safety. Now, tens of thousands of NZ farmers across all farm types can remain accessible, connected, and safe regardless of how isolated they are, with the ZOLEO device.
Operating on the Iridium network, ZOLEO Satellite Communicator facilitates 2-way communication from anywhere including the highest, remotest high-country station. This multi-award winning product is easy and intuitive to use with a familiar messaging experience when integrated with smartphones, improving remote communications simply and effectively. This allows farmers and lone-workers to check-in to let others know they’re ok, or get help quickly and easily, even outside of mobile phone range. . .
Entries are now open and excitement is high for the refreshed 2022 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards (NZDIA) programme, which gives New Zealand dairy farmers the opportunity to challenge themselves, earn a regional or national title and to share in substantial regional and national prize pools.
All three categories have been refreshed and revamped, after months of consultation, feedback and discussion.
Entries can be made via www.dairyindustryawards.co.nz with full details of the changes available there also.
NZDIA General Manager Robin Congdon says it’s very important that the Awards programme remains relevant and that issues raised in feedback were addressed. . .