Early mornings shear joy – Sally Rae:
It was shearing time on the Strachan family’s sheep and beef farm at Awamoko, in North Otago, and Sid was helping pen up when he was not busy shearing at his own stand.
He had been there since 7am and, by late morning, he reckoned his tally was about 8200 — which might have been a slight exaggeration, but there was no doubting his infectious enthusiasm and work ethic.
Sid might only be 6 years old but he has been interested in shearing from an even younger age and spends a full day in the woolshed whenever he can.
He had two very clear ambitions: to buy North Otago shearing contractor Phil Cleland’s business — “he said I can do it when I’m 13” — and to win the Golden Shears. . .
Wool revival coming – Annette Scott:
South Island farmer Kate Acland says the Government’s report on the wool industry is a chance for the sector to come together and realise its potential.
The Vision and Action for the wool sector put together by the Government-appointed wool industry Project Action Group suggests New Zealand is on the cusp of a natural fibre renaissance being led by more environmentally and socially conscious consumers.
A new approach is needed to seize the opportunity and turn things around.
The report recommends the appointment of an executive officer and establishment of a wool sector governance group to oversee development of an investment case. . .
A Fonterra of wool is necessary – Annette Scott:
The wool industry needs a real plan to be profitable and the Government’s vision and action report for wool has failed to deliver, according to some industry leaders.
While the report is a step in the right direction a concrete plan is needed to lift the industry from its doldrums, National Council of New Zealand Wool Interests chairman Craig Smith said.
“It’s a report that tells us what we know, the wool industry in general is in a really bad place.
“What needs to happen very quickly now is another report with a clearly defined strategy then we can put some structure around that strategy,” Smith said. . .
Nappies in plan to revive wool – Colin Williscroft:
Using New Zealand strong wool to produce biodegradable disposal nappies for a multi-billion dollar global market is gaining traction as a new avenue for farmers desperate to find new places to sell their product, with multinational companies showing interest in NZ technology.
As part of the recent launch of the strong wool sector’s plan for the future Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said Wellington-based company Woolchemy will get $80,000 from the Ministry for Primary Industry’s Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures Fund.
Woolchemy co-founder and chief executive Derelee Potroz-Smith says the money will pay for a commercial trial of technology that enables wool to replace petroleum-derived textiles in consumer hygiene products, adding significant value to the raw material produced by NZ strong wool farmers. . .
Still work to be done after diagnosis – Alice Scott:
Like many typical Otago blokes, Scott Clearwater (41) shrugged off his headaches, too busy on his Goodwood sheep and beef farm to see a doctor.
But as Covid-19 cases petered and the country went into Level 2, Mr Clearwater’s headaches got worse.
“He was writhing around on the floor one night and that’s when I said, ‘Enough’s enough, you need to get to a doctor’,” his wife, Joy Clearwater, said.
Since that May 29 GP visit, the family’s life has been turned upside down. . .
Socially acceptable cows of the future could be within reach – Hannah Powe:
As animal health and husbandry becomes a hot topic in the agriculture industry, DairyBio research scientists have identified the traits needed to breed the socially acceptable cow of the future.
During the Genetics Australia 2020 Virtual Series, Agriculture Victoria principal research scientist and leader of DairyBio, Professor Jennie Pryce said there were five keys areas needed to breed the socially acceptable cow.
“They need to be resource efficient, have a low environmental footprint and low methane emissions, and traits consistent with high standards of animal welfare such as good health and fertility (polled and longevity),” Prof Pryce said. . .