Rural round-up

April 27, 2019

Versatile farmer up for major honour – Sally Rae:

Southland dairy farmer Emma Hammond is a finalist in this year’s Dairy Woman of the Year awards.

Before embarking on a dairy farming career, Mrs Hammond and husband Peter farmed sheep, and she worked in the technical, compliance and quality assurance area of the meat industry.

In 2008, they converted the East Limehills property to dairy and now run it as an equity partnership milking 475 cows, while wintering the cows and grazing the young stock on their home farm at Winton. . . 

No ‘major’ changes to DIRA – Nigel Malthus:

There will be no major changes to the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act (DIRA), says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor.

“It’s not broken,” he told a DairyNZ Farmers’ Forum in Timaru last week. “[But] there are some things that need to be tweaked.”

He said that the DIRA review needed to protect the position of dairy farmers. . . 

Hold those round you to your values – Julia Jones:

You should hold those around you accountable for their behaviour as you move towards making only values-based choices for your farming business, writes Julia Jones.

When choosing those who supply services or products to you or those to whom you supply your incredible produce, don’t focus on price – focus on picking those who best match your values.

Farming is shifting and evolving so fast, and every day you are working hard to make sure that your business is good for the environment, your family, your profitability, your health and your community. . . 

Farm gas cuts have substance – RIchard Rennie:

Greenhouse gas reduction has been added to the plethora of environmental expectations on the dairy sector in recent years. A DairyNZ demonstration day at St Peters’ School’s Owl Farm near Cambridge proved to farmers how it is possible to successfully reduce nutrient loss and gas emissions, often hand in hand. Richard Rennie went along to learn more.

TAKING an average Waikato dairy unit and reducing its nutrient footprint is an initial goal for DairyNZ researchers working with staff and directors of Owl Farm. 

The farm is one of 12 in the Partnership Farm Project, part of the industry’s effort to lower its nutrient and greenhouse gas footprint. . .

Revamp for regions’ pest control – Annette Scott:

A new biosecurity plan for pest management in Canterbury will better help landowners deal with future biosecurity threats, Environment Canterbury councillor Tom Lambie says.

The regional council identified an opportunity to review its biosecurity plan and pest management strategies under the Government’s biosecurity law changes.

The timing of the pest management review aligned with the adoption of the new Canterbury Regional Pest Management Plan and changes to the rating mechanisms for biosecurity funding. . .

‘You get what you pay for’ – Paul Shoker, NSW Farmers – Daniel Pedersen:

PROCESSORS aren’t paying dairy farmers enough for their milk and as a result dairy farmers are cutting back on cow numbers, reducing their feed bills and irrigating less.

It’s a simple equation that NSW Farmers board member Paul Shoker believes needs interrogation by a federal “special commission of inquiry”.

“We don’t need a royal commission because its terms of reference would be too broad, we need an investigation into how retailers deal with farmers and suppliers to determine that relationship’s true impact on the market,” he said. . .

 


New Year honours

December 31, 2013

Two dames and four knights have been created in the New Year honours.

Trelise Cooper has been honoured for services to fashion.

Alison Paterson has been honoured for services to business which includes significant service to agriculture.

She is chair of Crown Irrigation Investment and Farm IQ,  Stevenson Agriculture and New Zealand Formulary, which is developing markets for furnishing fabric made from wool and rice. She was a director of 
She is a director of Landcorp Farming, and PGG Wrightson.

The new knights are:

Dr Noble Curtis, of Rotorua for services to Māori education;  Archbishop David Moxon, of Rome for services to the Anglican Church, Bob Parker, for services to local body affairs and the community and Peter Vela, ONZM, for services to the thoroughbred industry.

The first link takes you to the full list at the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet’s website.

Southern and rural people honoured include:

CNZM:

Former Southland mayor Frano Cardno who is profiled in the ODT.

ONZM

John Coles, former Waimate mayor.

Tom Lambie,  a pioneering organic farmer, former president of Federated Farmers, representedboard member of Trade Liberalisation Network,  New Zealand on the International Federation of Agricultural Producers, former chair of the Landcare Trust, and is Chancellor of Lincoln University and an ECan commissioner.

MNZM

Former Waitaki mayor Alex Familton.

QSO

Former Oamaru police officer and current scout leader Derek Beveridge.

Former Waitaki mayor Alan McLay.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Good call on ECan commissioners

April 22, 2010

Environment and Local Body Ministers Nick Smith and Rodney Hide have named the six commissioners tasked with overseeing Environment Canterbury and fixing the region’s pressing water issues.

Deputy to chair Dame Margaret Bazley is David Caygill, who has experience in local and central government, the legal profession and chairs several organisations including the Electricity Commission.

Biographies of the remaining commissioners, David Bedford, Donald Couch, Tom Lambie Professor Peter Skelton and Rex Williams are at the link above.

I am delighted that Tom Lambie is one of the commissioners. He is Lincoln University chancellor and an organic farmer who gained a lot of respect when he chaired Federated Farmers. He has personal experience of the importance of careful water management through his involvement with the Opuha Dam.

Replacing elected councillors isn’t ideal. But these appointees have a much better mix of skills and experience to deal with the crisis facing ECan and the region’s water than an election could have delivered.


Tuesday’s Answers – corrected

September 22, 2009

Monday’s questions were:

1. What were the surnames of Peter, Paul and Mary?

2. Who wrote Bums On Seats?

3. Who said: We are human beings as well as women, and our humanity must take precedence of our womanhood . . . We are New Zealanders, and therefore citizens, and whatever affects the well-being of the Commonwealth is our immediate concern.?

4. The Hakataramea is a tributary of which river?

5. Name the vice chancellors of three of New Zealand’s eight universities (the debate on whether that’s too many universities can wait for another time).

Gravedodger got two right and I’ll give him 3 for the last question because it was his answer which made me realise I had to clarify the question. He gets a bonus for extra info on question one as well.

Paul Tremewan got two right, a bonus for imagination (who’s Michael Snelgrove?) and none for the last but I’ll accept that maybe my clarification muddied the waters).

Paul M gest one and a bonus because he was the only one who got Roger Hall.

No-one got Kate Sheppherd – even though Saturday was the anniversary of women’s suffrage in NZ.

Tuesday’s answers follow the break.

CORRECTION:

Cctrfred has corrected me – The Chancellor at the University of Canterbury chairs the Council and it is Rex Williams. Rodd Carr is Vice-Chancellor and appears to be CEO. I’ve done a quick check and think the others are correct, but feel free to put me right if I’m wrong.

If anyone can explain why some universities appear to call the council chair Chancellor and othes call him (their are no hers at the moment) Vice Chancellor, please do.

While I’m correcting myself, Paul Tremewan gets another point. Michael Snelgrove didn’t write Roger Hall’s autobiography (had he done so of course it wouldn’t be an autobiography) to which I was referring, but  he did write a play by the same name.

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AgResearch and Lincoln University plan merger

March 10, 2009

Ag Research and Lincoln University are looking at a merger.

The proposal is to create a world-class, land-based University supporting research, education and extension that is focused on New Zealand’s vital primary industries.

“This would create an internationally outstanding entity, which would rank in the world’s top five of its type,” said Tom Lambie, Chancellor of Lincoln University.

“New Zealand needs to lift its rate of productivity growth and the obvious place to start is with the land-based industries. Through the creation of a world-class, internationally ranked, 21st century land-based University, the performance of New Zealand’s land-based industries will be enhanced substantially,” said Mr Lambie.

AgResearch Chairman Sam Robinson says when AgResearch was formed it brought together animal sciences from the Ministry of Agriculture and plant sciences from the DSIR which allowed, for the first time, the development of a coherent scientific view of how a farm operates.

“This merger will go that one vital step further and translate all that knowledge and technology that our scientists produce into coherent education and training for immediate industry benefit along the entire value chain. AgResearch has more scientists than any other government-owned research organisation in New Zealand and merging with Lincoln University will provide a more stable base for New Zealand’s most important research and development, and enhance teaching activity,” said Mr Robinson.

A fact sheet on the proposal is here.

The merger profile is here and lists expected benefits from the merger including critical mass and concentration of expertise, new opportunities for research, better integration of research, combine education and research in a way separate organisations can’t, increased revenue, raise the profile of the sophistication of land-based industries as a career, enhanced ability to recurit staff and students, produce more relevantly-educated graduates, greater funding stability and security of revenue and a much stronger voice for the land-based industries.

Closer investigation may unearth some fish hooks, but at first glance this sounds like a sensible merger of people and resources which will benefit agricultural research.

Anything which leads to improvements in farming practices and productivity is to be encouraged for its own sake and because it will be good for the environment and the economy too.

Stronger links between farming, science and the university should be good for all of them.


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