Rural round-up

June 8, 2014

Feds top job too good to pass up – Andrea Fox:

New Federated Farmers chief executive Graham Smith is the first to admit his previous employer is upset over his quick exit from a new job, but says the federation role is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity he could not resist.

Smith will leave not-for-profit new technology company incubator Soda, where he has been chief executive for less than two months, to head the federation late next month. . .

Minister launches primary industries capability report:

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy today launched The Future capability needs for the primary industries in New Zealand – a report that forecasts the future workforce needs of the primary sector.

“The report highlights that employment in the primary industries is expected to increase by 50,000 by 2025 to reach the Government’s goal of an export double. Over half of these workers will need a Tertiary or Level 4 Qualification,” says Mr Guy.

“New Zealand has a proud tradition in the primary industries – it’s an innovative sector that requires our best and brightest across a range of skills. As international markets become more sophisticated and competitive, it is crucial New Zealand’s primary industries keep pace. . .

We’re working with primary industries to make sure they keep innovating and keep growing. http://ntnl.org.nz/1hilnZ8

High country conference discusses neighbourliness:

What it means to be a ”good neighbour” was discussed at Federated Farmers’ high country conference in Queenstown yesterday.

The conference was examining how neighbours could look after each other in regard to water and nutrient management and pest control, Federated Farmers high country chairman Chas Todhunter said.

”We need to communicate with each other to understand each other’s differences and work towards mutually acceptable outcomes,” he said. . .

Innovation pitch finalists chosen:

After two days of intensive workshops nine innovators have been chosen to pitch their ideas at the National Fieldays Innovation Den on Thursday.

The chosen innovations include LiquidStrip, a filtration system designed to efficiently separate liquid and solid from waste effluent to allow for superior disposal options; Ice Cycle, a snap milk chiller capable of chilling milk from the cow at 34C to 4C in under three seconds, and Patrick Roskram with his Gudgeon Pro 5-in-1 fencing tool that is used to quickly and accurately hang gates. . . .

 ‘Black List’ proposed for ecological invaders:

A new scheme to rank invading species according to their environmental impact has been developed by a global team of leading experts in ecology and conservation.

The scheme, described in the journal PLOS Biology and co-authored by Lincoln University Professor of Plant Biosecurity, Philip Hulme, proposes a standardised approach for ranking alien species relative to their negative environmental impact. In so doing, globally recognised ‘Black Lists’ of unwanted species can be produced. . . .

Lifting farmgate returns the solution:

AUSTRALIA’S share of the global dairy market has been slipping gradually and turning the industry around is going to be a huge challenge, Murray Goulburn chairman Phillip Tracy says.

At the same time the company is cutting jobs across Victoria.

The co-operative’s commitment to lift farmgate returns by $1 a kilogram of milksolids by 2017 was the type of price rise needed to turn the industry around, Tracy said. . .

Foreign investment’s tough wrap – Jenna Cairney:

THERE’S no “foreign takeover” of our agricultural land and while a debate on foreign investment is worthwhile, any blows have to be above the belt.

At a packed NSW Farm Writers lunch last week John Corbett, the director of the often camera-shy Qatari government’s agricultural arm Hassad, dispelled some of the foreign direct investment (FDI) misnomers, in particular via sovereign wealth and institutional funds.

Hassad was created in response to the 1997 grain shortages and now owns more than 250,000 hectares of farmland in NSW, South Australia, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia, with the aim of producing 165,000 tonnes of grain and 100,000 lambs annually. . .

 A ‘turnip’ for the canola books – Gregor Heard:

MOST broadacre croppers would say they are happy to leave turnip and cabbage crops to their horticultural cousins.

However, researchers at the Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) are using the two vegetable crops to make valuable discoveries about canola.

The relatively recently developed canola plant has a mixed heritage of both turnip and cabbage genetics. . . .


6 ideas to re-connect a generation

June 30, 2013

Being unemployed at any age is undesirable but youth unemployment is even more of a problem.

Having a job and learning the generic skills that come with doing it properly even with an unskilled job help make young people more employable.

Going from school on to a benefit rather than into further education, training or a job, make young people less employable and the longer they’re not working the more difficult it is for them to get,a nd keep, a job.

Kevin Roberts observes that young people without jobs are at risk of becoming disconnected from society and he offers six ideas to help re-connect them:

  • Partner more schools with local businesses, trade academies, and universities
  • Run career days for every age from 11 up
  • Introduce entrepreneurial skills as a subject in primary schools
  • Create start-up hubs that provide free internet access and basic business amenities for young graduates starting out
  • Cities should run competitions that challenge youth to find solutions to civic problems
  • Sing together. Singing keeps your spirits up, elevates parts of you that don’t often get to rise up. And you could be a YouTube phenomenon.

Having a job doesn’t necessarily mean working for someone else.

The Fieldays provided an opportunity for a young entrepreneur to show age isn’t a barrier to innovation:

. . . 12-year-old Patrick Roskram of Matamata, made an enthusiastic pitch to the Innovation Den panel about his invention; the fencing tool Gudgeon Pro 4in1. Patrick’s passionate speech was recognised by Dr Ray Thompson, Chair of the Angel’s Association NZ, who awarded the $1000 Best Pitch Award to the young finalist saying it was a stand-out presentation. Patrick also won a marketing pack from Vodafone’s Darren Hopper who offered time with their creative agency in Auckland. However, the icing on the cake for the young inventor was a personal invitation from Sir William Gallagher for the 12-year-old to have an internship at Gallagher’s Research and Development department during his school holidays.

Sir William Gallagher joined a surprised Patrick on stage as he finished his presentation. Sir William congratulated Patrick on his pitch, giving him a triple A for enthusiasm.

“You’ve certainly got a solution for the New Zealand market and I can see an opportunity for it. There’s some homework to do but I’m certain you can come up with a product that can go into shops.”

Patrick later said it was all “pretty awesome” and it had always been a dream of his to speak to Sir William and that he had lots of other ideas up his sleeve. . . .

It would be a safe bet that someone with this sort of initiative and ability at that age won’t be troubled by unemployment.


%d bloggers like this: