366 days of gratitude

March 13, 2016

The Upper Clutha A&P Show must have one of the best sites in the country.

It’s just a few blocks from the centre of Wanaka and over the road from the lake.

When we first went only the horses were camped on the neighbouring park.

Gradually pressure from trade exhibitors led to the show expanding across the street the show grounds.

It’s the South Island’s second biggest show. This year it attracted more than 40,000 people with 472 stalls and it covered almost half the park.

The A&P Association has, I think, only two paid staff. The rest of the work is done by volunteers.

Today I’m grateful for the show and the people whose work make it possible.

 

 

 


Rural round-up

March 24, 2015

Dairy industry to launch workplace accord:

A new dairy industry workplace accord will be launched in May as part of a range of industry actions aimed at helping farmers attract and retain skilled people to work on farms.

“The Quality Workplace Accord is a commitment to improving the work environment of dairy farms,” says DairyNZ’s strategy and investment leader for people and business, Mark Paine.

“The overarching goal is to achieve quality work environments through helping farmers implement good people management practices. . .

Korea tariff reductions benefit value-added velvet:

The potential to add value to velvet in New Zealand as tariffs reduce is the one big positive for deer farmers to come out of the Korea-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement.

“It’s no secret that Deer Industry NZ was unhappy with the terms of the agreement in respect to tariffs and taxes on frozen velvet. But we now need to make the most of the opportunity we have gained – elimination of the 20 per cent tariff on processed velvet over 15 years,” says DINZ chief executive Dan Coup.

“It’s a better outcome than some other countries have achieved, and the overall result of the FTA for the NZ primary sector will be very positive. We look forward to the FTA starting as soon as possible because within two or three years the reduction will be quite meaningful.” . .

Deer industry to co-operate with Korean health-food giant:

The New Zealand deer industry is today signing an agreement with one of Korea’s largest health food manufacturers, the Korea Ginseng Corporation (KGC), to help it develop more products containing NZ velvet antler.

The non-binding memorandum of understanding, to be signed by Deer Industry New Zealand (DINZ) chief executive Dan Coup and KGC chief executive officer Kim Jun-gi, will be witnessed by Prime Minister John Key. The signing will take place in Seoul following the signing of the Korea New Zealand Free Trade Agreement.

“For seven years our relationship with KGC has strengthened and has increasingly focused on the development of branded consumer products that include extracts from NZ velvet. In that time, KGC has developed a children’s tonic that has become a household name in Korea, taking around 8 per cent of NZ’s velvet production,” said DINZ chief executive Dan Coup. . .

 

Lengthy links in merino field – Sally Rae:

The Merriman name is closely linked with Australia’s merino sheep industry.

Wal Merriman, managing director of the famed Merryville stud, was recently in Otago to judge super-fine and ultra-fine merinos at the Upper Clutha A&P Show in Wanaka.

His family’s association with the New Zealand merino industry extended for 50 years or more, with Merryville’s genetics featuring among the bloodlines of New Zealand sheep, Mr Merriman (62) said. . .

Finalists announced for farm environment awards – Sally Rae:

Five finalists have been named for this year’s Otago Ballance Farm Environment Awards.

Richard and Kerry France, from Longview Farm, in West Otago, also own the Hazeldale Perendale stud.

The couple bought the 568ha breeding and finishing property, at the northwest end of the Moa Flat area, in 2000.

About 6000 stock units – sheep, deer and cattle – were wintered. Peter and Sarah Adam have been managing Wilden Station, at Moa Flat, since 2000, when the property was purchased by Mrs Adam’s uncle, John Maisey.

It comprises a sheep and beef breeding and finishing operation spread over the home block of 570ha and a run block, 14km away, of 1200ha. About 12,300 stock units were wintered. . .

Mesh cover to fight potato pests:

New research shows a plastic mesh cover laid over potato crops could be the answer to fighting potato pests without using chemical sprays.

Scientists at the Future Farming Centre and Lincoln University say field trials of the mesh cover is showing exciting results in controlling the tomato potato psyllid as well as reducing potato blight.

The psyllid arrived in New Zealand in 2006 and can cause severe crop loss through its bacterium.

Researchers Dr Charles Merfield said the trials over two growing seasons in Canterbury showed potatoes under the mesh covers had reduced numbers of psyllids, increased tuber size and an increase in overall yield. . .

Project brings students back to nature:

As the earth loses biodiversity at a rapid rate and people become increasingly disconnected from nature, we must encourage new generations to take an interest in preserving the natural world, says Lincoln University senior ecology lecturer Dr Tim Curran.

High school students involved in an award-winning biodiversity project aimed at addressing this issue met at Lincoln University last week to examine the plant and animal specimens they collected a year ago during a weekend EcoBlitz near Lewis Pass. 

More than 170 high school students from 21 South Island schools took a trip to the Nina Valley in March last year, accompanied by scientists and students from Lincoln University and many other research organisations.

They found a range of plant, insect, bird, reptile and mammal species, which some of the students set about identifying last Thursday, March 12. . .

Oxfam calls for support as Vanuatu farmers face months without crops:

As aid begins to reach communities across Vanuatu, Oxfam New Zealand have spoken to their development partner Farm Support Association (FSA) to understand the longer term impact Cyclone Pam will have on a society which lives mostly off farming.

Oliver Lato, Senior Extension Officer from FSA was at home in Port Vila when the Cyclone struck. “For me, it was my first time experiencing a cyclone this strong. I was at home. I thought it would take off the roof. There was lots of water overflowing from the creek. Water came into my house, half a meter deep”.

Mr Lato said “Lots of vegetation is destroyed. Root crops are people’s main food. If yam, cassava and taro haven’t been destroyed, they need to be quickly harvested before they rot from flooding. They will need to be eaten quickly, within a week or so they will be spoilt” . .

 Fourth ANZ Young Farmer Contest Grand Finalist Named:

Sully Alsop is the fourth Grand Finalist to be named in the 2015 ANZ Young Farmer Contest.

The thirty-one year old took first place at the East Coast Regional Final in Greytown on Saturday 21 March.

Mr Alsop went home with a prize pack worth over $10,000 including cash, scholarships and products and services from ANZ, FMG, Lincoln University, Ravensdown, AGMARDT, Silver Fern Farms, Honda, Husqvarna and Vodafone. . .

 

 


Wanaka on show

March 9, 2014

Wanaka has had a very big weekend.

The Motatapu Challenge, a rodeo and the Upper Clutha A & P Show attracted thousands.

The show is the second biggest in the South Island, combining the best of traditional attractions with some newer attractions,one of the most popular of which is the Jack Russell race.

For several years, the show has also hosted the Glammies – the Golden Lamb awards.

I haven’t been able to find the results, but I did get a photo of a couple of the judges:

glammies 14

Prime Minister John Key and Beef + Lamb NZ Iron Maiden Sarah Walker.

Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean always has a tent at the show – it was very busy and the mood was very positive.

Representatives of at least one other political party generally turn up in election year but there was no sign of any others this weekend.

Yet more proof their contention of caring about the regions is empty rhetoric.


Rural round-up

March 11, 2013

China consumers to be surveyed on lamb preferences – Sally Rae:

A consumer research programme, to be launched by Alliance Group, will survey Chinese consumers on the taste and quality of New Zealand lamb, in comparison with Chinese and Inner Mongolian lamb.

A Chinese delegation recently visited Alliance Group before the launch of the programme, which is funded by Alliance Group, Beef and Lamb New Zealand and Grand Farm, Alliance Group’s in-market partner. . .

Wool growers’ US visit inspires confidence– Sally Rae:

When Andrew Paterson visited a factory in the United States that turned his fine wool into socks, he came away feeling extremely positive about the future.

Mr Paterson and his wife, Tracy, from Matakanui Station, near Omakau, are among the growers contracted to supply fibre to SmartWool, through the New Zealand Merino Co (NZM).

SmartWool, which has been working in partnership with NZM for 14 years, is an outdoor apparel brand which has direct supply contracts with NZM for ZQ Merino fibre for use in its socks and garments. . .

Jack Russell terriers race for hotly contested title – Lucy Ibbotson:

Regular runs from Alexandra to Clyde – much too fast-paced to be called taking the dog for a walk – paid off for the winner of the hugely popular Jack Russell race during the Upper Clutha A&P Show at the Wanaka Showgrounds on Saturday.

Clad in a neon-bright vest, 4-year-old terrier Kate, of Alexandra, put in an impressive performance to take the hotly contested title, beating about 65 other canine competitors to the finish line.

”She’s a nutcase,” Kate’s owner Hannah Hutton (10) said of her energetic pet, after the race. . .

On a pasture based dairy farm the sky is always blue – Pasture to Profit:
The sky is always blue! This is NOT a reference to the lack of rain in Australia & New Zealand. The dairy industry is a place of optimism and opportunities. In every crisis there is both danger and opportunities. The key is to see the opportunity! Believe me the sky is always blue! Pasture based dairy farming is a place of optimism!

 

Every time I fly the sky is always blue! From the ground it may not seem to be. It’s easy to get pessimistic. Even as the aircraft takes off you are not absolutely sure. But it is always very reassuring to experience that joy of breaking through the clouds. Dark as the clouds might seem. The sky is always blue!  The sky is always blue is a glass half full attitude! . .

Drought costs will be billions – Hugh Stringleman:

Drought declarations have extended across the bulk of the North Island as the government begins to count the cost in billions of dollars to farmers and to the economy.

From their trade mission in Latin America Prime Minister John Key and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy said the drought was now a wide-scale adverse event with serious economic ramifications.

South Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Waikato, Rotorua-Taupo and Hawke’s Bay joined Northland under drought declaration last week, with East Cape, Manawatu-Rangitikei, Taranaki and possibly some regions of the South Island expected to follow soon.

The area already declared is wider than in the 2007-08 drought, which was blamed for pushing New Zealand into recession ahead of the Global Financial Crisis.

“So we know it will have an economic impact, it’s just a matter of how much. No one is quite sure,” Guy said. . .

Public invited to ‘Farming in Drought’ Farm Days:

Special ‘Farming in Drought’ Farm Days will be held in Wellington (Sunday 17 March), Rotorua (Sunday 17 March) and Tauranga (Sunday 24 March).  Free and open to the public, they are intended to show how farmers and farms cope with drought.

“Given current drought conditions, we feel the public will want to know more about both how we and our farm animals cope,” says Jamie Falloon, Federated Farmers Wairarapa provincial president, whose province is likely to be declared in drought this week.

“Wellington’s Farm Day runs on Sunday 17 March between 10am and 3pm at the Battle Hill Farm Forest Park in Pauatahanui.  We are bringing in other types of farm animals so it is a great chance to meet farmers and have a family outing close to Wellington. . .

Adverse event drought information:

The Ministry for Primary Industries has added South Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Hawkes Bay to Northland as areas affected by a medium scale adverse event (drought). Given conditions as far afield as the South Island’s West Coast, Federated Farmers expects further declarations in the coming week.

What an adverse event declaration means
• Rural Support Trusts (0800 787 254) are local and will coordinate farm advisory and counselling services. This advice is invaluable in aiding business recovery and helping individual families cope with the stresses caused.

• A declaration allows discretion from Inland Revenue on things like Income Equalisation. This allows Inland Revenue to accept later deposits to the income equalisation scheme than is usual, but this needs to be arranged by your farm’s accountant. . .


A good show

March 11, 2013

The Upper Clutha A&P Society boasts the most picturesque location for its annual show.

It’s held only a few metres from the shore of Lake Wanaka and the grounds provide views across the water to the mountains.

This isn’t its only claim to fame, the two-day event is also the second biggest show in the South Island and each year it gets bigger.

When we first went to the show trade displays, sideshows and other exhibits were contained in the show grounds. Now each year it stretches further across neighbouring Brownston Park.

The location isn’t the only reason for the show’s popularity. Another is that it has stayed true to its rural roots with stock judging, equestrian events and home industry competitons. But it has also broadened its appeal with new events including the annual highlight the Jack Russell race.

The Glammies are held at the show and this year Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s marquee was also the venue for a tri-nations competition between Australian, British and New Zealand butchers.

butchers

 

I haven’t  been able to find the results for either of those competitions but will post them when I do.

The hot, dry weather which is now causing concern for most of the country was a major topic of conversation and last year’s elation over good prices of lamb were a distant memory as the perennial debate about the meat industry continued.

New Zealand’s red-meat sector is at a ”critical junction” and farmers have given the message they want action to turn around the precarious situation, Beef and Lamb New Zealand chairman Mike Petersen says.

Speaking at the organisation’s annual meeting, held at the Upper Clutha A&P Show in Wanaka yesterday, Mr Petersen said volatile returns were a real threat to the industry’s future and farmers were questioning whether the industry had a future. . .

The weather which isn’t good for farming, was wonderful for wandering, looking and talking.

In spite of adverse climatic and market conditions,  the mood was relaxed and happy, because as a North Island visitor observed, it was a really good show.


Top man picks top lamb

March 13, 2012

Prime Minister John Key helped 2011 Supercross World Cup Champion Sarah Walker, 2012 Beef + Lamb New Zealand Ambassador Chef Ben Batterbury and Chief Judge & Invercargill chef Graham Hawkes pick the country’s top lamb.

The arduous job of judging the best of the 20 best barbequed lamb samples in Beef + Lamb’s annual Glammies  (Golden Lamb Awards) took place at the Upper Clutha A&P Show on Friday.

John Key & Graham Hawkes

Watching the competition unfold, Minister of Primary Industries, Hon David Carter says that this competition shows the high quality of our New Zealand lamb.

“In my own experience, judging the Glammies has to be one of the toughest tasks around.  Luckily it’s also one of the tastiest!  The high standard achieved here today proves once again the supreme quality of lamb produced by our farmers.  It’s also great to see that this year’s competition attracted a record number of entries.”

Lamb fans - PM John Key and David Carter

 

Don Morrison of Gore with their Growbulk lamb was named 2012 Beef + Lamb New Zealand Golden Lamb Awards Grand Champion, taking home a cheque for $2000, the Glammies Grand Champion Trophy and a magnum of Mt Difficulty Pinot Noir. The winners of each class received $500 and a bottle of Mt Difficulty Pinot Noir, and each finalist won a plaque showing their placing.

Countdown South Island was awarded the Champion Meat Retailer trophy and Alliance Mataura was named the winning processor.

The 2012 Golden Lamb Awards (aka Glammies), sponsored by Pfizer Animal Genetics, attracted a record 150 entries which all underwent testing at Carne Technologies. Factors such as tenderness, colour and succulence were tested to determine the top twenty finalists tasted in Wanaka.

The full results were:

Class 1 – Dual Purpose

  • 1st: Don Morrison, Gore (Growbulk) processed at Alliance Mataura
  • 2nd: Pete Swinburn & Bruce Isles, Waipukurau (Composite/Perendale) processed at Silver Fern Farms Takapau
  • 3rd: Patrick Sherriff, Gisborne (Perendale/Coopworth) processed at Silver Fern Farms Takapau
  • 4th: Roger & Allison Thomas, Tuatapere (Perendale Texel X/Perendale) processed at Silver Fern Farms Finegand

Class 2 – Dual Purpose X Terminal

  • 1st: James Crutchley, Palmerston (Texel Romney X/South Dorset Down) processed at Blue Sky Meats
  • 2nd: Hamish Pavey, Christchurch (Romney/Suffolk Texel) processed at Silver Fern Farms Fairton
  • 3rd: Robert & Rosemary Gardyne, Winton (Perendale Texel X) processed at Alliance Mataura
  • 4th: Colin Lockhart, Lawrence (Romney/Texel Suffolk) processed at Alliance Mataura

Class 3 – Composite/Crossbreed X Terminal

  • 1st: Sarah Rodie, Amberley (Texel X/Texel) processed at Harris Meats
  • 2nd: Graeme Dodd, Tuatapere (Texel Romney X/Texel) processed at Alliance Mataura
  • 3rd: Murray & Jan Wards, Gore (Textra/Textra Suffolk) processed at Alliance Mataura
  • 4th: Wendy & Leon Black, Riverton (Textra/Texel) processed at Alliance Mataura

Class 4 – Open

  • 1st: William Oliver, Te Kuiti (Perendale Romney X/Landlord Romney) processed at Silver Fern Farms Waitotara
  • 2nd: Graham Clarke, Gore (Romney/Romney) processed at Silver Fern Farms Finegand
  • 3rd: Brian Thomson, Mosgiel (Perendale/South Suffolk Texel) processed at Silver Fern Farms Finegand
  • 4th: Matt Wyeth, Masterton (Highlander/Primera) processed at Silver Fern Farms Takapau

Class 5 – Retail

  • 1st: Progressive Enterprises Ltd (Countdown South Island)
  • 2nd: Harris Meats, Cheviot (Murray Downs)
  • 3rd: Progressive Enterprises Ltd (Countdown South Island)
  • 4th: Harris Meats, Cheviot (Murray Downs)

 


Meating and greeting

March 11, 2012

Prime Minister John Key was at the 75th Upper Clutha A&P Show on Friday, meeting and greeting.

Or should that be meating?

He was one of the judges of the Glammies, Beef+Lamb NZ’s Golden Lamb Awards.

That resulted in him getting somewhat more than the daily requirement of iron:

“It’s hard to eat for your country but someone’s got to do it,” Mr Key said, as he primed his knife and fork to help BMX world champion Sarah Walker and chefs Graham Hawkes and Ben Batterbury judge the Glammies awards.

After the judging he and Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean joined some locals at our place for lunch.

He greeted me by saying he’d just eaten more than his own weight of lamb. Fortunately we were serving beef and chorizo* as well as lamb, cooked on our parilla.

When we first went to Argentina we fell in love with their parillas, the wood-fired barbeques on which they cooked delicious meat, pizzas and vegetables.

It’s taken 15 years, but we’ve finally got one ** – just in time for Friday’s lunch:

Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean & John Key

The meat was accompanied by green salad and tomatoes with basil. The second course was fresh strawberries and raspberries, meringues and Skinny Chocolate Brownie ***

* chorizo from Zamora

** Strictly speaking it’s a braai, the South African version of a South American parilla. We bought it from Kiwibraai, the company which imports them. Regardless of what you call it and where it comes from, the food cooked on it (so far) is delicious”.

*** Skinny Chocolate Raspberry Brownie

1 cup mashed raspberries

1/3 cup cocoa

3/4 cup self raising flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup sugar

chopped white or dark chocolate (optional).

Line a 20cm tin with baking paper.

Put raspberries in a bowl, add sifted cocoa, flour and baking soda then sugar (and chopped chocolate if using it).

Stir until just mixed – don’t over-stir or it will go tough. If it looks too dry add a wee bit more mashed raspberries.

Cook at 175 degrees for about 25 minutes – or until skewer comes out almost clean.

Remove from oven, cool in pan for 10 minutes then turn onto cooling rack.

When completely cool put on serving dish, decorate with fresh berries and/or grated chocolate or dust with icing sugar.

Could use other mashed or stewed fruit but raspberries are particularly good because you can taste them through the chocolate.

Adapted from Healthy Food Guide’s Chocolate Brownie. It uses apple puree instead of raspberries and adds walnuts.


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