Rural round-up

March 7, 2019

Miles Hurell says Fonterra top job was never a done-deal :

The Country’s Jamie Mackay always thought Miles Hurrell would be a shoo-in for Fonterra’s chief executive position but the man himself says it was never a done deal.

“Far from it. They gave me an opportunity to see what we could do in that six months [as interim CEO] and clearly it’s worked. The board have liked what they’ve seen,” said Hurrell.

Fonterra’s new chief executive told Mackay he is well aware that he has a big job ahead of him. . . 

Years of work ahead to eradicate M. bovis, programme director says  – Brianna McIlraith:

More than 80,000 cows have been culled around the country as part of the effort to stop the spread of the Mycoplasma bovis disease, but eradication is still a long way off, the man in charge of the programme says.

Geoff Gwyn said another two years of ‘heavy lifting’ lay ahead before the Ministry for Primary Industries was confidently on top of the bacterial disease, and experts had advised that eradication could take between five and 10 years. . .

Potentialseen in double-muscled Beltx sheep breed – Sally Rae:

A Southland farming family has invested significantly in the Beltex sheep breed, believing it will be of ”major benefit” to the New Zealand sheep industry.

Brent and Ann-Maree Robinson, and son Michael, who farm at Glenham, near Wyndham, last year paid $12,000 for a ram lamb at the inaugural Beltex sale in Canterbury.

Last week, they bought the second top-priced ram lamb for $21,000 at this year’s sale at Mt Somers, a 2-tooth ram for $11,500 and some Beltex ewes to help build their breeding programme. . . 

Woman claims inaugural female shearing crown – Ellen O’Dwyer:

Emily Welch still remembers the time a fellow male competitor refused to shake her hand for out-shearing him.

That was in 2007, when Welch came second in the senior finals at the Golden Shears.

Now the Waikato shearer is the first to have her name etched on the women-only trophy after taking first place in the inaugural event at this year’s Golden Shears competition in Masterton. . . 

Community rallies to support Cambridge wetlands project :

A Cambridge school’s planting project not only assisted local farmers’ environmental efforts, but also attracted plants and sustenance from local businesses.

As part of an environmental initiative between DairyNZ’s education programme and the Student Volunteer Army, 26 rural schools were matched recently with 26 farmers to carry out riparian planting projects around the country.

Two farmers taking part were sharemilkers Stu and Leah Gillanders, who teamed up with a class from Cambridge Middle School to plant a wetland on Merv and Marion Hunt’s Karapiro farm. . .

Dannevirke TeenAg award winner’s passion for Hereford  cattle :

Dannevirke teenager Niamh Barnett knows first-hand how nerve-racking bidding at a livestock auction can be.

The 17-year-old bought some Hereford cows at the Woodlynd Polled Herefords dispersal sale in Gisborne in February 2018.

“I went with a price I was prepared to pay for each animal. I just hoped I didn’t get outbid,” she laughed. . . 


The youth of today

July 21, 2013

The youth of today is a phrase often employed by older people in sorrow or anger.

But stereotyping a whole generation is stupid and there’s no better proof of the good young people can, and do, do than the man who mobilised the Student Volunteer Army after the Christchurch earthquakes, Sam Johnson.

He was interviewed by Susan Wood on Q & A this morning.

It’s worth listening to/reading in full, but here’s a couple of quotes to give you the flavour of what he said:

. . . The response that students gave to Christchurch is phenomenal, and it only was thanks to a really strong team of people who all were able to bring their individual skills to something.  . . .  just like young people right around New Zealand – all specialising in different areas, focusing on what they’re good at, being willing to be wrong, being willing to ask for help and fundamentally believing that change is possible, that you can look at things in a different way, no matter what level of society you’re on.  It’s our philosophy – the skill of the unskilled.  I sit at a lot of conferences, and I’m the only one without a PhD, but we say, ‘What about this idea?  What about this idea?  Where are we going?  Are we fundamentally doing things that are right and taking our country and world in a good direction?’ . . .

And:

SAM              And of all the different disciplines, why can’t— if you’re learning something, why aren’t you out there doing it and actually learning exactly how the world operates, how the community operates?  And that was the fun thing.  You know, Christchurch is still in a position that it’s hard there for a lot of people, but it’s also— the group of people that I am with every day through Volunteer Army Foundation, the Ministry of Awesome, we are— we love Christchurch, and you couldn’t pay us to move anywhere else, because of the innovation, the excitement.  You know, population numbers are up in Christchurch, and we are going to be a— it’s a strong place to be.

SUSAN          How are you going to keep this enthusiasm?  You know, if you could bottle it…?  I mean, it’s infectious.  I can feel it.  The panel are laughing.  They can feel it too.  How do you keep it, though?         

SAM               I focus on doing things that I love.  I focus on surrounding myself with people much more intelligent than myself and people who can really make things happen, building strong teams.  I think that’s the philosophy we take in Christchurch.  We specialise in different areas with what we’re good at and focus on that.

This example of the youth of today makes me confident the future is in good hands.

The transcript is here.


We will remember them

April 25, 2012

The Maheno war memorial  records the names of 42 men who died in WWI, a plaque at the entrance to the reserve records the names of those who died in WWII.

Each Anzac Day people gather at this and other similar memorials around the country to remember.

At this morning’s service about 40 people from young children to the elderly came.

One young woman paid tribute to her grandfather, a returned service man who was there.

I’d been asked to give the address. I said:

On Anzac Day we remember and revere heroes and  acts of extraordinary bravery.

Today we also remember and pay tribute to the ordinary people who answered the call, who served and sacrificed, overseas and at home.

One of those was a young Scot who came to New Zealand to work in the Haka Valley during the depression.

He joined the Otago Mounted Rifles as a territorial. When war broke out the following year he enlisted with the 20th Battalion and served with them in Egypt and Italy. 

He was badly burnt when a tank exploded and spent a fortnight in a saline bath. He was also taken prisoner but managed to escape and find his way back to allied troops. He was one of the soldiers described by Battalion commander Jim Burrows as those magnificent men after the break out from Minquar Qaim.

He didn’t talk much about what the war was like – but a photo illustrates it: It shows him with four others from a company of 120 who started the battle of Ruweisat Ridge. These five were the only ones left for the survivor’s parade at the battle’s end.

When his active service finished after the Battle of Casino, he stayed with the New Zealand army and was posted to London as a driver.

While he was away, she was serving at home.

When war broke out she began working a night a week at casualty and also attended first aid classes.

In 1943 she was called up by the army and posted to Trentham.

The new recruits were met by a sergeant at the Wellington ferry terminal who issued their uniforms: men’s greatcoats, battle dress, rain coats and boots. They then continued by train to Trentham where they found their new homes were unlined huts some distance from the ablutions. It wasn’t unusual to wake on winter mornings to find flowers frozen in the vases.

Her duties at the camp hospital included polishing. Everything had to be ready for inspection by the matron and colonel in charge.

The volunteer aides were called on for injection parade and after receiving their own jabs were expected to look after the men receiving theirs.

These two people were my parents. When the war ended Dad returned to New Zealand to take up a rehab apprenticeship as a carpenter and Mum trained as a nurse.

Their service to their country and community continued throughout their lives through the church, a variety of voluntary organisations and in many informal ways, typical of their generation.

It is easy when headlines are so full of the ills of the world to think that younger people don’t have the same selflessness.

But last night the RSA gave the award of Anzac of the Year to the Student Volunteer Army, reminding us that the youth of today can and do put others before self.

These young men and women are of similar ages to the people we remember today. The ones who gave so much in war that we might live in peace.

We haven’t been called to serve as our parents, grandparents and great grandparents were, but we owe it to them and the future for which they fought to do what we can to make the world a better place in big ways or small.

We can’t all be heroes but we can all serve.


SVA Anzac of Year

April 24, 2012

The Student Volunteer Army has been named RSA Anzac of the Year in recognition of its significant contribution to the Christchurch community in the wake of the earthquakes.

It is the first time the award, which recognises the efforts of New Zealanders who exemplify the Anzac qualities of comradeship, compassion, courage and commitment, has been given to non-military personnel or to more than one person. . .

. . . The Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association Anzac of the Year Award was established in 2010 to recognise the spirit of Anzac evident in New Zealanders today and is awarded for a single act or for significant service to New Zealanders or the international community.

The spirit of Anzac is embodied in the 1915 story of New Zealand Gallipoli hero Private Richard Henderson and the donkey where the qualities of comradeship, compassion, courage and commitment were exemplified in his service.

The aim of the Award is to recognise the efforts and achievements of an outstanding New Zealander, or New Zealanders, who have given service in a positive, selfless and compassionate manner.

How fitting the award is going not to an individual but a group and that the people in the group are the age that many of those who served in the armed forces during the wars would have been.

 

 


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