The couple behind one of New Zealand’s most sustainable farms are challenging other farmers to think three or four generations into the future when making decisions.
The call comes from Central Hawke’s Bay farmers Evan and Linda Potter. The couple are the Ballance Farm National Ambassadors for Sustainable Farming and Growing, and current Gordon Stephenson Trophy holders – so they know a thing or two about the environment.
The Potters bought their 566 hectare hill country sheep, beef and deer farm – Waipapa Station – in 1997. They describe it as “a blank canvas” when they arrived at the gat with nothing more than fencing gear and a team of dogs. . .
Judges of the Zanda McDonald Award, Australasia’s agricultural badge of honour, have announced eight finalists, and will crown not one but two winners for 2022 – one from each side of the Tasman.
Now in its eighth year, the prestigious award recognises future young leaders working in agriculture, and provides an impressive prize package centred around a tailored trans-Tasman mentoring programme. The eight talented finalists – four from Australia and four from New Zealand – have been selected for their passion for the industry, strong leadership skills, and the contributions they’re making in the primary sector.
The four New Zealand finalists are Adam Thompson, 35, director of Restore Native Plant Nursery, beef farmer and mortgage broker from Cambridge; Katie Vickers, 28, Head of Sustainability and Land Use for Farmlands, from Christchurch; Olivia Weatherburn, 33, National Extension Programme Manager for Beef + Lamb New Zealand, from Mossburn Southland; and Rhys Roberts, 34, CEO of market garden and farm operation Align Farms, from mid-Canterbury. . .
Fonterra moves on strategy and structure – Keith Woodford:
Fonterra pulls up the wagons to defend its territory, but is also hoping to sortie out with new nutritional endeavours
Fonterra’s release of its 2020/21 annual report has occurred in association with an additional big dump of information laying out the proposed future for Fonterra. In essence, Fonterra is confirming that it is going to be a New Zealand company owned by farmers, with the first priority being to maximise returns to farmers.
That position should in itself come as no surprise. Fonterra has been talking that language for three years as it has divested itself of various overseas assets. However, this is the first time that there is a more comprehensive laying out of the long-term strategy, including consequent policy decisions. There are multiple headliners. . .
Federated Farmers is giving a shout out to government agencies handling the movement of essential workers across alert level boundaries, and to those DHBs and medical centres reaching out to rural people over COVID vaccinations.
“With Auckland now at Alert level 3 and access to takeaways resumed, there are still essential workers having to cross alert level boundaries south and north of Auckland. Many of them work in or with the primary industries – farmers, vets, stock transporters and food processors to name a few,” Feds national board member and employment spokesperson Chris Lewis says.
“Quite rightly, essential workers are required to have proper documentation and it might all have been a big hassle.
“However, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, with the Ministry for Primary Industries, have made the process seamless and sensible. Hats off to them,” Chris said. . .
Taranaki wireless broadband pioneer Matt Harrison has been elected to the board of TUANZ, the influential tech users industry group.
As one of two new regional members of the board of 10, Harrison says his “somewhat surprising election” reflects the new importance TUANZ is placing on making sure rural New Zealanders are included in its goal of making New Zealand one of the top 10 digital countries worldwide by 2030.
The election has come as a surprise for Harrison, the managing director of Primo. He says he was up against 15 other strong candidates from the telco industry, almost all of whom were from large companies in the main centres. He says being a regional internet provider and an advocate for rural users may have swung the vote his way.
“This shows me that there is strong support from the whole industry for what we are doing at Primo in providing connections to rural people who would otherwise miss out on having a quality internet link.” . .
Splashy headlines have long overshadowed inconvenient truths about biology and economics. Now, extensive new research suggests the industry may be on a billion-dollar crash course with reality.
Paul Wood didn’t buy it.
For years, the former pharmaceutical industry executive watched from the sidelines as biotech startups raked in venture capital, making bold pronouncements about the future of meat. He was fascinated by their central contention: the idea that one day, soon, humans will no longer need to raise livestock to enjoy animal protein. We’ll be able to grow meat in giant, stainless-steel bioreactors—and enough of it to feed the world. These advancements in technology, the pitch went, would fundamentally change the way human societies interact with the planet, making the care, slaughter, and processing of billions of farm animals the relic of a barbaric past.
It’s a digital-era narrative we’ve come to accept, even expect: Powerful new tools will allow companies to rethink everything, untethering us from systems we’d previously taken for granted. Countless news articles have suggested that a paradigm shift driven by cultured meat is inevitable, even imminent. But Wood wasn’t convinced. For him, the idea of growing animal protein was old news, no matter how science-fictional it sounded. Drug companies have used a similar process for decades, a fact Wood knew because he’d overseen that work himself. . .