Rural round-up

December 12, 2019

Keeping the faith on a family tradition – Sally Rae:

Tom O’Sullivan’s grandfather paid off his Canterbury farm with a single wool cheque during the wool boom in the early 1950s.

His father used to say that he could not buy a second-hand car with the proceeds from his wool, while in the last financial year for Tom, wool — for the first time in his family’s sheep farming history — came at a cost to his business.

But the Hawke’s Bay agribusinessman-turned-farmer remained passionate about the fibre, and is the chairman of the Campaign for Wool New Zealand Trust, wanting to be part of the solution rather than complaining behind the farm gate. . . 

Helping to bridge the rural-urban divide – Pam Tipa:

The urban rural divide is not just a New Zealand issue.

So says Courtney Davies, the New Zealand representative to the Bayer Youth Ag Summit, in Brasília, Brazil, in early November.

Davies (23) says she comes face to face with this issue daily as an educator in environmental sustainability and the oceans with the Sir Peter Blake Trust.

She is quick to try to shift misconceptions about agriculture among young people, she says. . . 

Call goes out for ‘wool renaissance’ – Sally Rae:

“It’s time for a wool renaissance.”

So says Stephen McDougall, of Studio Pacific Architecture, who has been an ambassador for the Campaign for Wool New Zealand Trust since 2011.

Wool needed to get “back on the table — or the floor” and be part of the solution of the future as a groundswell of people consciously choosing what was best for the environment.

They wanted natural products, they believed in and valued wellness, and they wanted luxury. . . 

Early runs on board for Fonterra – Hugh Stringleman:

Fonterra’s first-quarter results for the 2020 financial year show its strategy reset and operational changes have begun to deliver more consistent outcomes, it says.

In the Q1 announcements it held the full-year earnings guidance of 15c to 25c a share and added 25c to the forecast farmgate milk price, now in a narrower range of $7-$7.60/kg milksolids.

If delivered at the $7.30 mid-point, on which the advance price schedule is now based, it will be the fourth-best milk price from Fonterra. . . 

LIC flying in supplies for flood-hit farmers :

The critical spring mating period is underway on most of the country’s dairy farms, but heavy rain, slips and floodwaters have closed key roads in the South Island, making it difficult to reach a number of flood-hit farms and get the cows in-calf.

Despite the tough conditions, agritech and herd improvement co-operative LIC, the largest supplier of artificial breeding (AB) services to New Zealand’s dairy farms, is using small planes and helicopters to make sure semen straws are still delivered to farmers on time.

Around three out of four dairy cows mated to AB in New Zealand are from LIC’s bull semen. . . 

New Zealand blueberry growers anticipate another record season:

New Zealanders ate a record seven million punnets of fresh locally-grown blueberries last season and are expected to eat even more this summer as the main season gets underway.

Latest supermarket sales data shows Kiwis bought an extra one million punnets of blueberries (18.3% more) last summer compared to the year before, with total sales now exceeding $25 million.

New Zealand Olympian Eliza McCartney has signed on to be Blueberries’ NZ ambassador for the fourth year running and the organisation’s Chairman, Dan Peach, credits this high-profile partnership and general health trends for the big rise in sales. . . 

CC releases final report on Fonterra’s Milk Price Manual:

The Commerce Commission today released its final report on its annual review of Fonterra’s farm gate Milk Price Manual for the 2019/20 dairy season (Manual). The final report builds on our previous reviews of the Manual.

Deputy Chair Sue Begg said Fonterra’s 2019/20 Manual remains largely consistent with the purpose of the milk price monitoring regime under the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act.

“This year we have taken a look at the amendments to the Manual made by Fonterra and matters carried forward from our previous reviews. In our view Fonterra’s amendments to defined terms in the Manual improve clarity or are minor corrections. . . 


90 years of deliciousness

October 31, 2016

New Zealand’s oldest ice cream maker has been serving up deliciousness for  90 years.

Rush Munro’s Ice Cream is proud to be using the same trusty recipes that its founder Frederick Rush Munro created 90 years ago.

Rush Munro’s General Manager Tom O’Sullivan says the celebration is an exciting time in Rush Munro’s history.

“Most people who were raised and live in Hawke’s Bay have fond memories of the iconic Rush Munro’s Parlour with the fish ponds and gardens. We welcome people to share their stories and get excited about an ice cream that represents everything Hawke’s Bay.”

The Rush Munro’s story began in 1926, when English born founder, Frederick Charles Rush Munro set up shop, with his wife Catherine in Hastings.

The business has always been privately owned and had two other owners John Caulton and Alastair McSporran before local grower and exporter John Bostock bought Rush Munro’s in 2001.

Over the last decade John Bostock has helped successfully spread Rush Munro’s ice cream throughout the country into supermarkets, cafes, restaurants and ice cream parlours and has played a big role in growing the iconic Rush Munro’s brand.

“We are very proud of Rush Munro’s history. The ice cream represents Hawke’s Bay with many of the ingredients being fresh produce from local suppliers. It is 100 percent natural and we still use the same recipes that were crafted by Frederick Rush Munro 90 years ago,” said Mr Bostock.

Mr Bostock says the strawberries come from the Strawberry Patch, the chocolate is made by Silky Oak, the coffee is Bay Espresso and the manuka honey comes from Arataki Honey.

“We ensure that we use local suppliers where we can. The heritage is important to the Rush Munro’s brand and we are proud to only use real fruit and natural ingredients.”

Rush Munro’s Factory Manager, Graham Copp has been making the Rush Munro’s ice cream for the past 13 years and says the recipes are fundamentally the same, just tweaked slightly.

“There are just six ingredients in Rush Munro’s Ice Cream including milk, cream, sugar, egg yolk, gelatin and whatever the natural flavour is whether it be strawberries, chocolate or Feijoa,” Mr Copp said.

A unique point of difference for Rush Munro’s is that the ice cream is still batch churned and has been for the past 90 years.

“The batch churning means we can only make one batch at a time, so it takes longer. We also do everything by hand without a lot of machinery. So we physically pour all the ingredients into the ice cream. For example we peel the bananas, pulp fruit and make all our own syrups. There is certainly a lot of love that goes into Rush Munro’s,” Mr Copp said.

There are currently 27 Rush Munro’s flavours, but it’s the trusty traditionals, which are still the big sellers.

“Vanilla Bean is the most popular, then Maple and Walnut, Passionfruit, Hokey Pokey and Feijoa.”

As part of the 90 year celebrations, Rush Munro’s is running a competition where Hawke’s Bay residents can create their 90 Year Birthday Flavour.

Rush Munro’s is celebrating its birthday on the 19th November at the garden parlour and in the lead up to the party the ice cream maker has plenty of fun activities planned – including a week where 90+ year olds eat for free, 90 litres of ice cream will be given away and there will be 90 cent discounts on ice creams.

A 70-year love affair with Rush Munro’s

Three friends who enjoyed Rush Munro’s ice cream together at primary school, still make weekly trips to the Garden Parlour, more than 70 years on.

Not much has changed in that time, except they’ve switched bikes for family vehicles.

At 75, Lloyd Singleton is the youngest of the group – he and friends David Keys (78) and Paul Jones (79) have been mates their whole lives.

Through primary, high school and their working years a Rush Munro’s ice cream cone has been a well deserved “treat” – one they have enjoyed more in retirement than ever before.

Each Tuesday afternoon at the same time, whether summer or winter, you will find them around a table in the garden – shooting the breeze, with ice cream cones in hand.

“We come so often now we only have to ask for ‘the regular’ and the girls know our order,” said Mr Singleton, who rarely strays from his favourite Rum and Raisin.

“David’s a strawberry man and Paul hasn’t changed from Hokey Pokey since he was seven years old – the flavours taste the same as they always did.”

The friends played cricket together, and later golf, but eating ice cream is one pastime that’s endured throughout the years.

A trip to Rush Munro’s Garden Parlour held different memories as they aged, but the surrounds and the ice cream itself remain much the same.

“We have all been here with our children, and I bring my grand daughter comes to Rush Munro’s every time she comes back to Hawke’s Bay so there’s quite a strong connection for us,” said Mr Jones.

“Lots of great memories, it was a real treat when we were young, I would ride down with my parents, it really was something special and it still is.

My first taste of Rush Munro’s ice cream was nearly 40 years ago and it was love at first lick.

Sometimes taste doesn’t live up to your memories, but the last Rush Munro’s ice cream I had a year or so ago was just as good as the first.


Rural round-up

April 29, 2013

Hydatids rule changes proposed:

The Ministry for Primary Industries is proposing changes to controls covering a disease that has not been seen in New Zealand since the 1990s.

Hydatids can infect humans, sheep and other animals, and is contracted from dogs which carry the hydatid tapeworm.

The disease killed more than 140 people in a decade between 1946 – 1956. Many more people had to have surgery to remove hydatids cysts.

After about 50 years of control efforts, including regular dog dosing, the Ministry of Agriculture declared New Zealand to be provisionally free of hydatids in 2002.

But regulations have remained in place aimed at preventing any future outbreaks. . .

Farmers back tradeable killing rights, says Beef + Lamb:

Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s chairman says he’s had strong farmer feed-back supporting tradable slaughter rights as one way of helping to rationalise the processing end of the meat industry.

Mike Petersen says the concept was first suggested in a consultants’ report 28 years ago, but never picked up.

He thinks it could be a circuit breaker to unlock the challenges of getting farmers and privately owned meat companies to work together.

Mr Petersen says a share of the kill would have to be allocated to each company, and from a set point in time companies would have the right to slaughter that percentage on an annual basis.

He says regular updates on the size of the kill would be needed. . .

Meat firms working on simple plan

Meat companies are working together on a plan to rationalise the processing industry and the two big co-ops are willing to work with the Meat Industry Excellence group, farmers at a packed meeting in Feilding on Friday were told.

The co-ops and up to 700 farmers endorsed the MIE group’s aims and put forward John McCarthy, Steve Wyn-Harris and Tom O’Sullivan to represent North Island farmers on the group executive.

Alliance chairman Owen Poole said the industry was putting effort into an improved model and a decision on whether it would go ahead could be expected within two months. . . .

North Island farmers back calls for meat industry reform:

North Island farmers are planning further meetings to keep the pressure on for meat industry restructuring.

An estimated 600 to 700 farmers met in Feilding on Friday, to support the Meat Industry Excellence Group campaign launched in the South Island last month.

It has a five step plan to overhaul the red meat sector to improve profitability for companies and farmers through more co-ordinated processing and marketing.

Spokesman John McCarthy says there’s a strong commitment from farmers to see meat industry reforms through this time, but it is important to take things one step at a time. . .

Federated Farmers feed operation may be approaching an end:

The Federated Farmers Grain & Seed led feed operation, which will have shipped some 220,000 small bale equivalents from the South Island, may soon be approaching an end. With demand beginning to slow, Federated Farmers is concerned some farmers may be over-estimating pasture recovery following rain.

“Federated Farmers Grain & Seed can rightly be proud of the contribution our members have made in helping our North Island colleagues out,” says David Clark, Federated Farmers Grain & Seed Vice-Chairperson.

“With winter upon us demand for feed is slowing right up and we don’t understand why. . .

A Beekeeper’s Story:

When he was just a young lad, Bill Bennett built his first bee hive from scrap wood.

Thus a lifelong passion for producing the best quality Manuka honey had its beginnings.

From its humble beginnings, SummerGlow Apiaries has blossomed to over 1600 hives, setting the standards for Manuka Honey production.

Bill and Margaret Bennett have been beekeeping for over 36 years in the greater Waikato area.

Summerglow Apiaries specialises in the production of high activity UMF Manuka Honey.

Back in the early days of SummerGlow, Bill and Margaret used to make their own bee hives. . .

Queenstown Biking Community ‘thrilled’ with New Rabbit Ridge Bike Resort:

Queenstown’s Rabbit Ridge Bike Resort got the thumbs up at the soft launch yesterday when members of the local biking community got to check out the newly-constructed trails.
 
Some last minute rain ensured the trails were ‘bedded in’ and locals of all ages and experiences took to the trails with vigour.
 
From experienced downhill bikers to families with children, everyone enjoyed the opportunity to test trails including the beginner ‘Bunny’ trail and intermediate Donnas Dually track.
 
The invitation-only event saw bikers, bike shop owners and front line staff experience the resort for the first time. Rabbit Ridge is a joint venture by local bike business Around the Basin and Gibbston Valley Winery and will be the area’s only year-round dedicated and serviced bike resort. . . .

Canada farm persecuted by gov., thankful for help: Tiffany’s non-blog:

For some background:

Apparently I am farmed and dangerous…

But I am not a criminal. I’m a shepherd, farmer and writer who has been preserving rare Shropshire sheep for the last 12 years, and farming various other heritage breeds and vegetables for the last 30.

Then the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) killed my beautiful ewes and their unborn lambs to find out if they were healthy. They were.

They were also rare and pregnant. Now they are dead. . .

There are always at least two sides to a story and a Google search led me to several others including these two:

Sheep flock is both rare and slated for slaughter – Suzanne Atkinson:

A Hastings’ woman’s desperate attempt to save her rare Shropshire sheep from the CFIA’s axe is ballooning into a fundraising and full scale social media campaign.

Montana Jones, whose flock of 44 Shropshires represents approximately 25 percent of the country’s inventory of the breed, is facing the decimation of her flock after Scrapies was found in a sheep which originated in her herd more than five years ago. While her entire herd has tested negative – a test considered 85 per cent accurate, the 44 animals have also been genotyped QQ and are considered less resistant to the disease.
While Scrapies is not a human health risk, it can affect the productivity of sheep and CFIA is mandated to eradicate it within Canada to enhance trade opportunities. . .
Rare sheep on death row – Alyshah Hasham:

Montana Jones loves her Shropshire sheep.

She raises the rare heritage breed at no profit in a bid to protect the bloodlines tracing back to some of the first sheep on Canadian shores.

But the fluffy romance of 12 years has become a nightmare, with more than half of her flock of 75 slated for the chopping block for no reason, says the farmer.

Her Wholearth Farm in Hastings, near Peterborough, was put under quarantine and listed as a possible source of infection after a ewe she sold to an Alberta farmer five years ago was diagnosed with scrapie. . .

How endangered are Shropshire sheep? – Agrodiversity  Weblog:

You may have seen stories in the past week or so of a flock of Shropshire sheep that authorities in Canada have threatened with destruction. The sheep belong to Montana Jones, who raises them at her Wholearth Farm, near Hastings in Peterborough. Five years ago she sold a ewe to a farmer in Alberta, and that sheep has been diagnosed with scrapie. As a result, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency wants to destroy other animals from the same flock who are infected or suspected of being infected.

One problem for Montana Jones is that the test “is only about 85% accurate”. So the sheep that tested positive may not have scrapie, although I have no idea what that 85% figure actually means. False positives? False negatives? What?

It is a long time since I last had to get my ahead around scrapie, the risks to humans (it is not “mad sheep disease”), the different breed susceptibilities, and the different approaches to eradication. All of those are important issues, I am sure. What concerns me about Montana Jones’ case is whether the appeal to the rarity of Shropshire sheep justifies not taking the precaution of slaughtering some of the flock. . .


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