Growing new farmers – Gianina Schwanecke:
Four months into the Wairarapa pilot of the Growing Future Farmers programme, GIANINA SCHWANECKE speaks to those involved about how it has been going.
Interim GFF general manager Tamsin Jex-Blake said many students had expressed interest in the Wairarapa pilot late last year and six students were partnered with farmers.
The sheep and beef focused training programme officially kicked off in February this year, and she was happy with how it had progressed so far.
She said the programme helped provide students with opportunities to learn practical farming skills from those experienced in the industry and would go a long way to helping with the skills shortage. . .
Food can fuel NZ recovery – Ross Verry:
As the gates of lockdown open onto a changed landscape it’s time to take stock; to look at what we have, where our strengths lie and where the opportunities are.
There has to be a silver lining and, with the right innovation and systems in place, New Zealand could emerge shining brightly.
Having worked for both the industry and the financial systems that support it, in times of peaks and troughs, I can say that as we stand on the start line of the race ahead, we have to remember New Zealand is a world class producer of food – leaders in quality, productivity and efficiency.
We have a population of less than 5 million yet we produce enough to feed many more. Our supply is important to the world. Our kiwifruit, cherries and hops are revered and exported at premium prices and, although these items may fall into the luxury category, we excel in staple goods too. . .
With large numbers of people losing their jobs because of Covid-19, Dairy NZ has launched a publicity campaign to encourage people to consider changing careers and getting into dairy farming.
On 8 June, it is running a “farm-ready” entry-level training course which is free for those serious about working on dairy farms.
Enquiries have already come in from people who have lost their jobs. They include a former fly-fishing guide, someone in film and television, another in banking and finance, a couple of commercial pilots, a biologist, a welder and people from construction and forestry. . .
Awards co-ordinator bids adieu – Yvonne O’Hara:
Outgoing Southland Ballance Farm Environment Awards regional co-ordinator Tracie Donelley has always been impressed by how dedicated and passionate the entrants are about their farms.
‘‘I would like to invite urban people to come to the awards so they can see how much effort these farmers put into their land,’’ Ms Donelley, who has been in the position for nearly seven years, said.
‘‘I have been continually amazed by amount of time and money the farmers put in their farms with no immediate payback, and by how much they care for their land and their stock.’’ . .
The owner of a cow that pulled an audacious Houdini act to escape a trip to a Southland abbatoir is asking for the public’s help to get her back.
Stock agent Terry Cairns put an ad in the Southland Times seeking sightings of a “solid black Heifer” described as being “mildly agitated”.
“Her mates that I sold were $800 each, so while it’s not a fortune, it’s significant and it’s a hell lot of steak and hamburgers and stuff gone west if I can’t find her.” . .
Root canals and GMOs – Uptown Girl:
Last week I went to the dentist and was surprised with an unexpected root canal. Nice, right?
The dentist explained the entire process and said that root canals have come along way with modern technology and were safe, and fairly pain free.
I shocked him and said, “Doc, I appreciate the offer but would you mind doing the procedure the same way it was done in the 50’s?”
OK, I didn’t actually say that. (Everyone knows you can’t actually talk to the dentist because they only talk to you with their tools in your mouth.)
I just nodded and embraced the modern advancements that made the process nearly pain free.
As crazy as that request sounds- for a patient to request a dentist revert back to practices from decades ago – it’s the same request that is thrown at farm families all the time. . .