Talking key on young farmers’ road home – Alice Scott:
The pressures of the modern world are taking their toll on the mental state of the country’s young people. Alice Scott talks to a young rural lad who has been through it and come out the other side.
Ticking along in his tractor at 11kmh, Harry Railton is drilling the last of the 100ha of oats for the next season, the ryecorn paddocks are up next and then that will be him for the season, as far as tractor work goes.
We establish that his location, in Tekapo, is somewhat outside the Southern Rural Life delivery zone, but, he agrees, it doesn’t matter; battling one’s own inner demons is a universal issue and one that is becoming more important to talk about as the modern world becomes just too much to take for some . .
National and Freshwater November 2019 – Elbow Deep:
I was less than enthusiastic at the thought of attending National MP Todd Muller’s water meeting in Ashburton last month. This wasn’t through any fault of Muller, National’s spokesperson for agriculture, but rather his party’s approach to the raft of challenges farmers are currently facing.
National’s proxies have been advocating for public protest both openly on social media and behind closed doors with industry groups. Protest was a disaster for farmers at the last election and, no matter how good it may have been for the National Party, I still don’t see it as a constructive or useful tool.
Another reason for my antipathy was the recent policy announcement coming from the National Party leaders; the dog whistling has been so loud my Labradors are in a constant state of confusion. Even if there was evidence unvaccinated children of solo mums had caused the measles outbreak in Auckland, and there isn’t, cutting the benefits of those parents still wouldn’t have prevented it. . . .
Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on – Grant Jacobs:
Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.
Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to better agriculture?
We all want safe food, and the environment and climate change are important issues to tackle. New varieties can contribute, including those developed using GM. . . .
Two years ago, Lawrence farmers Julie and Murray Hellewell decided to seize the day and find their own answer to the dire state of New Zealand’s strong wool industry.
”We just got sick of seeing people not wearing wool. Everyone is going on about doing something about the state of the wool industry but no-one ever actually does anything. We just decided we might as well have a go ourselves,” Mr Hellewell said.
The Hellewells teamed up with wool buyer John Milne of Balclutha’s Ken Milne Wools to establish contacts in the wool sector. All of the fleece is from the Hellewell’s Perendale lamb flock; at 30 microns, the lamb fleece is used for the outer shell of the jersey and lined inside with New Zealand merino wool which is supplied through the knitwear factory. . . .
Dairy sheep open day draws huge crowd– Mark Daniel:
300 plus rurals turned up at the fifth annual Spring Sheep Co open day at Matangi near Hamilton.
The high turnout was little surprise with New Zealand’s bovine dairy industry under the pump. Pushing the message ‘Discover New Zealand’s Gentlest Milk’, building on advantages for those struggling to digest cow milk, the presenters talked the audience through Spring Sheep’s journey so far.
That journey centred around bringing together aspects like the NZ production environment, building a scaleable supply chain, understanding the needs of consumers and new product development. . .
Red meat is the ‘most perfect food’ for humans, closely followed by milk, according to a leading nutrition expert.
Professor Robert Pickard, emeritus professor of neurobiology at Cardiff University, said the agricultural industry had been ‘the butt of an enormous journalistic effort to sell copy by producing totally indefensible headlines’ about red meat causing cancer.
Prof Pickard also hit out at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) report which claimed processed meats ‘definitely’ cause cancer and lean red meat ‘probably’ causes cancer. . .