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FARMING Lifestyles

June 2014 Edition

10,000 copies DELIVERED FREE to every rural delivery address in Taranaki

Taranaki Federated Farmers marks 50th anniversary

Self-shedding sheep providing profits P3

DWN launches new business strategy



See our advertisement and editorial


Riding the western way Page 4–5

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The Taranaki Farming Lifestyles is published with pride by NorthSouth Multi Media Ltd, a privately owned New Zealand company. Phone: 0800 466 793 Advertising: Kelvin Green — 021 431 090

Editorial: Denise Gunn — 06 329 7701

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Keeping to traditional values by Joanne Speechly

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What our readers and advertisers expect and what we aspire to every day The publisher of two community and five rural newspapers throughout New Zealand, including Taranaki Farming Lifestyles, aims to highlight the link and common set of core values these publications share. “The dictionary definition of integrity is ‘firm adherence to a code of values’, and this truly reflects the aspirations and intentions that are at the foundation of all NorthSouth Multi Media publications,” says managing director, Allan Mortensen. “Integrity is something we believe our readers and advertisers expect and something we as a company aspire to every day. In the world of the information superhighway, too much has been lost in the frenetic pace of modern media.” For NorthSouth Multi Media, adherence to long established publishing values is important, and accuracy in



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reporting and sourcing material is paramount, as is the presentation of all publications. “We believe in established fact, in correct spelling, in commas, quotation marks and full stops. Old fashioned values — ‘full stop’. “These values constitute the benchmark we set for ourselves, for our writers, our designers, our client services teams, and most of all — our readers. NorthSouth Multi Media is a mirror in which the community reflects itself and that reflection will be true — without distortion.” NorthSouth Multi Media is 100% New Zealand owned and operated, and Mr Mortensen says that in an age where international outsourcing is prevalent within the newspaper publishing industry — NorthSouth Multi Media is proud to provide jobs for New Zealanders.

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June 2014

Taranaki Federated Farmers marks 50th anniversary


by Denise Gunn, photos courtesy of Neville Wallace

Federated Farmers Taranaki marked its 50th anniversary recently with a one-day conference held in Hawera. First formed in 1963, Federated Farmers Taranaki is an amalgamation of 37 branches of the Farmers Union which originally covered northern, central and southern areas of the region. An initial annual meeting, held in 1964, saw Claude Green of Rahotu elected as the first Federated Farmers Taranaki president. Close to 1,200 active members currently belong to Federated Farmers Taranaki. The provincial organisation liaises with the four councils in the region on behalf of its members and Taranaki farmers. A line-up of guest speakers at the ‘50 Years of Growing Taranaki’s Farming Future’ conference included Labour, Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges, Green MP Gareth Hughes, Trade Minister Tim Groser, and New Zealand Federated Farmers president Bruce Wills. Federated Farmers Taranaki president Bronwyn Muir said the conference flowed well. “The guest speakers collectively addressed quite a few areas of the industry.” Conference attendees were then given an opportunity to have their input during a question and answer session. Several former presidents who held positions with the organisation over the past 50 years attended the conference. Mrs Muir said they were also able to have an input, and a couch session towards the end of the conference gave them a moment in

Guest speaker Simon Bridges

Former presidents couch session. From left: Richard Hodges, Barrie Smith, John Boddy, Jack Hawkes, and MC Harvey Leach (standing)


Guest speaker Bruce Wills

the limelight to talk about their time as president. “We had a panel of young farmers up there as well to see their view of the next 50 years,” said Mrs Muir. Mrs Muir said the conference was a good opportunity to recognise the passion, enthusiasm and thousands of volunteer hours that members had put in. “It also recognised the past and future together.”

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June 2014




Horses and western riding have been a way of life for Catherine Ladd. Her family have bred American quarter horses for many years, travelling all over the North Island to compete in various competitions.



ince learning to ride when she was about five years old on her first pony Lady, Catherine has gone onto represent New Zealand in the Quarter Horse Youth World Cups in the United States and Italy. Catherine said she and her brother both rode Lady, mostly around the family’s farm east of Stratford. “She wasn’t a little pony, maybe 14.3hh.” “I remember we weren’t allowed any stirrups as we had to learn to balance without.” Although Catherine attended pony club for a short time, it was western riding that interested her. And when she was about eight years old, began western riding and competing on her second horse. Western riding encompasses a range of events including working cowhorse,

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cutting, reining, western pleasure and trail classes. Although the sport originated from the North American cowboys, it doesn’t include rodeo or barrel racing. Catherine said it is a very disciplined type of riding. “The horses are very tuned-in to their riders and the aim is to get them to perform their manoeuvres with little contact with their mouths. “It is a sport that the whole family can take part in, right from kids doing lead-line. “There are some 70 plus year-olds that compete as well.” American quarter horses are particularly suited to the manoeuvres required in western riding events. Ranging in height from about 14hh to 16hh, the breed is not classified into pony or horse classes for competitions. With no height restrictions for events, the size of the horse plays a big role as to how well the horse can perform in each class. Catherine said the smaller quarter horses are more suitable for events where they are required to stop and turn quickly with fast spins and sliding stops. The larger horses suit events judged on movement. Catherine shows only quarter horses and often competes with a team of two horses in different events, depending on their speciality. “Earlier on we showed all-around horses that competed in everything at the shows,” said Catherine.

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Catherine with her son Clayton, and Melody Jay

“But now, with more specifically-bred horses being imported and trained, you really need to train horses for just a few events rather than all the events to be competitive.” With a long list of show successes on various horses behind her, Catherine was selected for the New Zealand team to compete at the Quarter Horse Youth World Cups on three occasions. This selection took her to Arizona in 1996, Texas in 1998 and Italy in 2000 to compete against other teams of five from all around the globe. Competitors, including those from the host country, are lent horses for the competitions to ensure a level playing field.

Competing in the working cowhorse class

The Ladd family’s quarter horse stallion, Melody Jay, was imported from Australia as a yearling and bred for reining. Catherine has trained and shown him for many years to become a successful show horse. Melody Jay has won the reining classes at the Quarter Horse Association New Zealand National Show every year he has been entered, as well as numerous open reining competitions. He was semi-retired a couple of years ago. “We breed a small amount of foals each to our stallion

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and sometimes outside stallions,” said Catherine. Due to parental commitments with a new baby, Catherine has decreased the number of horses she is riding and brought Melody Jay out of semi-retirement to compete on. “As my partner and I had a baby in August, it was going to be too difficult to show too many horses and still be a mum.” Catherine and Melody Jay won the High Point Senior Western Horse Award and the Overall High Point Western Horse at the recent Quarter Horse Nationals held in

She wasn’t a little pony, maybe 14.3hh

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Feilding. Catherine has competed at the nationals every year since 1995. Although she doesn’t have a personal trainer, Catherine does try to take part in clinics when international trainers come to New Zealand. She also trains clients’ horses on a part-time basis. Currently Catherine’s main priority is to be at home looking after her young son, Clayton. But long-term she plans to keep on training more well-bred horses, and to continue improving through attending clinics with overseas trainers, and giving lessons to other riders. ‘It is really rewarding seeing people that I have given lessons to, go out and improve and do well at the shows. “I want to keep on being able to help other people better themselves as well.”

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June 2014





owever, 15 years after buying their Tarata farm, the couple and their four children have built up a profitable farming operation and sustainable lifestyle. Swiss-born Hans grew up on a small mountain farm, tending cattle on the alps for seven summer seasons. After

school, he finished an apprenticeship as a carpenter. Stephanie, who was born in Germany, is from a family with a teaching background, and worked as a photographer. The couple now farm 240ha (210ha effective) of rolling to steep country in two blocks — the second block purchased

Hans and Stephanie Michel on their Tarata farm

two years ago. Soon after Hans and Stephanie bought their home block, they set to work using a sustainable fertiliser programme to improve soil and pasture. They also extensively fenced to increase the number of paddocks, fitted more water troughs, installed kilometres of new waterpipes, and completely rebuilt the house. “Now the challenge is to continue to improve the new block,” said Hans. Already the Michels have put a water system in place and plan more fencing. Initially on the home block, the couple bought five-year-old Romney ewes and used Suffolk rams over them. However, after finding out about Wiltshire sheep through another Taranaki farmer who had just started farming the horned variety, they began an internet search to buy some. “We liked the idea of shedding sheep, but not the one with horns,” said Stephanie. “The internet led us to a breeder of polled Wiltshire on the east coast. “The first stock wasn’t as wellshedding yet, but looked promising.”

Now the challenge is to continue to improve the new block, Starting with a flock of 30 Wiltshires, the Michels kept buying a few more each year as the budget allowed. “With a growing number of lambs we bred only from the fully shedding ones, and have now started selling our surplus as breeding stock” said Hans. “The first few years changing to Wiltshires, we used our rams over the Romneys as terminal sires, which gave us an easy care works lamb. “Many of these first cross lambs already had clean crutch, face, legs and belly.” The Michels now run 420 purebred Wiltshire ewes and 120 hoggets, along with 50 hold-over cows, 20 beef cows and their offspring. They also graze 230 dairy heifers from May to May on a weight gain system with 100 of those heifers


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June 2014


Recent cholesterol series Last month we concluded a series on cholesterol and heart disease.

The Michels own two farm blocks in Tarata

arriving as weaners in February. “Last season the heifers’ weight on May 1 was an average of 230kg, and now they are on track to leave the farm 12 months later at 500kg,” said Hans. “We draft and weigh all our works lambs ourselves and send them to AFFCO. “This season’s average is about 19kg, and most are gone by the end of February which gives us room for the dairy weaners to come on.” Eventually the couple would like to take the marginal heifer paddocks out of the rotation to allow them to run more sheep. “That’s the joy of farming — having a piece of land and adjusting the system so it works.” The Michels have found the Wiltshires to be fast growing, easy care sheep. “We don’t have to crutch, shear (no need), or dip them. “They seem to have much less of a worm burden than the crossbreed mob we ran.” Hans said as the Wiltshire lambs grow little wool, they grow more meat faster. The breed’s high fertility rates and easy lambing have also impressed the couple.

“They suit our philosophy of working smarter not harder. “We are actually really enthusiastic about the way the breeding programme has gone so far.” The Michel’s farm, located in a sheltered valley, receives an annual rainfall of two metres, and frosts are a regular occurrence. “Spring growth can be a bit slow,” said Hans. “If needed, we apply seaweed and gib as a boost to the flatter paddocks. “We only start lambing in September because we need the early grass for the heifers to be ready for the bull.” Between 25 to 30 hectares of the farm is used to grow haylage and big square bales. The Michel family also milk a few goats, and make feta cheese and yoghurt. An extensive vegetable garden with a tunnel house and diverse orchard produces well to feed the family. “Hans and our son Martin enjoy hunting and fishing which supplies our family of six, plus our many overseas visitors,” said Stephanie. Farming has provided the family with a lifestyle where they can all work together outdoors, along with plenty of versatility and opportunities.

We looked at some of the dietary and supplement options for people to reduce cholesterol and generally to improve heart health. As a result I received many contacts from people and I offered a lot of practical advice. For some it was just short telephone or email contact for others we created complete cardiovascular wellness programmes. The most common questions were around statin cholesterol medication, statin side effects and alternatives to statins. I always state that I cannot give advice on medications as this is between a doctor and patient and would never suggest people stop prescribed medications. My advice to people on statins was restricted to dealing with side effects and generally reducing heart disease risk through diet and various supplements. I have noted increasing numbers of GP’s and specialists now understand the relationship between statins, co enzyme Q10 and the most commonly experienced side effects. Next month I will prove without doubt that the manufacturers of statins also know the full story. We will look at a United States drug patent held by the makers of one of the top selling statins that proposes a new drug combining statins and CoQ10. My view is that if quality Co enzyme Q10 was routinely prescribed at the right dosages alongside statins, most of side effects would disappear. There are a group of people who, on discussion with their GP had discontinued statin therapy because of side effects. There are some who for various reasons have decided not to use medications. With these people I recommended a three month trial of the natural cholesterol manager Sytrinol® with dietary changes, especially increasing soluble fibre and reducing sugars and refined carbohydrates. If you have further questions on this subject please contact me by phone or email. John Arts (B.Soc.Sci, Dip Tch, Adv.Dip.Nut.Med) is a nutritional medicine practitioner and founder of Abundant Health Ltd. Contact John on 0800 423 559 or email Join his full weekly newsletter at

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June 2014



The rebel from the south by Andy Bryenton

The world of side by side UTVs is a tough one to break into — even the big names in off road machinery have found that they need a unique selling point to entice buyers away from market-leading brands. We’ve seen machines with six and eight wheels, amphibious crawlers, tip up trays, variable seating, all kinds of engines — it’s an arms race to create the ultimate in versatility for the hunters



and farmers who buy these hardworking vehicles. Now the team from Bad Boy Mowers have thrown their hat in the ring, and they’ve done so in a fashion which well suits their roots in rural Arkansas, USA. The company, born out of a working man’s toolshed to create tougher, more reliable, more powerful ride-on


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mowers, has created the Intimidator, a UTV built so tough it looks ready to withstand a major warzone. The Bad Boy/ Intimidator folks aren’t messing around. Any company which goes from two men in a garage to a market leading position in John Deere’s back yard this fast deserves a look. And the Intimidator, with its focus on strong, welded-steel components, seems a good fit for the way Kiwi farmers treat their UTVs as well. From front to back, 1.25 inch tubular steel a-arms support gas-charged coilover shocks. The chassis is built like that of a tank. The engine (available in petrol, electric, or a thumping, torqueheavy 1,000cc diesel) is mid-mounted low for a good centre of gravity, and up top options include seating for up to six burly men, or a full six foot truck deck and seats for two. Twin-pot automotive style brakes round out a safety package that includes three point belts and full rollover protection. The Intimidator lives up to its name with power, though, more than anything


else. The diesel unit has a rated towing capacity of 2,100 pounds — that’s 950 kilos — and a further 540 kilos on the back deck. That’s a ton of grunt, in almost literal terms. If a buyer is considering a new UTV for work rather than play, this is a figure that’s hard to look past. The old adage is that they do things bigger in Texas, but in this case the state of Arkansas has done America proud, producing a UTV which is truly bigger, bolder and brawnier than the rest. If some other models on the market today are equated with SUVs, then think of this as the full military Humvee — ready to go to war against the hardest terrain it can find.







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June 2014



Kiwi legend pushes the boundaries by Andy Bryenton

Bruce McLaren’s name is synonymous with speed. From the Circuit De La Sarthe at Le Mans to the CanAm tracks of North America, and the gruelling F1 circuit, his legacy is one of engineering excellence, velocity, and grit. The Kiwi driver was born in 1937, the son of a gas station owner, and his early life was shaped by the crippling Perthes disease he contracted at age nine, leaving one of his legs shorter than the other. Denied the chance to pursue more physical team sports like rugby, the man who was called ‘fearless’ and ‘an unstoppable force’ by his rivals took to motor racing, in an Austin Seven tuned by his father Les. ADVERTORIAL

By 1958 Bruce was in the driver’s seat at the New Zealand Grand Prix. Aussie racing legend Jack Brabham was so impressed by his performance that he asked Bruce to race for his team, ushering in an era of what can only be called total domination of motorsport by the young man from Auckland In 1959 he won the United States GP, at age 22 the youngest driver ever to do so. In 1962 he took the ultimate

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The McLaren M7A of 1968 gave McLaren their first Formula One wins

F1 crown on Monaco’s glittering Rivieraside circuit. But it was as a designer and engineer of race cars that he made an even greater mark, developing new aerodynamic techniques — sometimes literally in the pit lane with a pair of tin snips! Bruce’s untimely death was foreshadowed by the words he wrote for another young racer who lost his life — team mate Timmy Mayer. Bruce eulogized: ‘To do something well is so worthwhile that to die trying to do it better cannot be foolhardy. It would be a waste of life to do nothing with one’s ability, for I feel that life is measured in achievement, not in years alone’.

Tragically, the same words rang true when Bruce’s car lost traction at Goodwood circuit, England, disintegrating on impact. He was only 32 years old. Even after his death, the legacy of this driving legend has been carried forward in a spirit he would no doubt have appreciated. First, by the formula one team which still bears his name — and subsequently appended to a range of cars which, like the man himself, have taken on the world’s best and won. The McLaren F1 was the definitive hypercar of the 1990s, beating all comers in flat out speed, and even putting the multimillion-dollar-developed Bugatti EB110 in the shade. Now the incredible P1 carries on this legacy.

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June 2014



Remineralisation: the secret to soil success

Remineralisation has been shown to cause a phenomenal growth of the micro-organisms in the soil. It increases the nutrient uptake of plants and it counters the effects of soil acidity, prevents soil erosion, increases the storage capacity of the soil and contributes to the building of precious humus complexes. Plants and trees become highly resistant to insects, disease, frost and drought. For agriculture: in 1976 John Hamaker spread rockdust on part of his ten acres with no irrigation and his corn produced 65 bushels per acre compared to yields of under 25 bushels from other local farmers. Dr Hamaker estimates that on fully remineralised soil American agriculture could grow four times as much food as it is capable of now with no pesticides or chemical fertilisers. The key to topsoil restoration is finely ground rock charged with micro-organisms. Basalt and granite are two of the best. Rockdust is the fundamental component of the new topsoil. This rockdust can restore only a fraction of the original topsoil which was formed over many years of geological processes. Consequently rockdust needs to be reapplied to meet ongoing nutritional needs of the plants and micro-organisms. Many aspects of conventional agriculture impede or prevent soil aggregation (the binding together of soil particles) leaving soil particles susceptible to erosion. The use of rockdust is essential in encouraging the various soil dwelling creatures that are responsible for aggregation, especially worms. The human race must soon realise that our most important natural resource is topsoil — starvation will be our only future if we allow it to be degraded beyond repair. Under our feet is the resource that can change the world, reduce sickness and ensure food security. There is an urgent need to rejuvenate the soil and remineralisation with rockdust is the first step. Introducing micro-organisms into the equation is the next step. The combination of minerals and microbes in the soil is paramount for the survival of all life above the soil.

A giant kumara that was grown by a customer that uses ROK SOLID

Agrissentials preferred rock of choice is basalt. In its molten liquid form below the surface of our planet basalt is blending with many minerals. When the molten rock is discharged via volcanoes onto the surface of the planet and has cooled down then it’s ready to be quarried. Agrissentials measure the rockdust for its level of paramagnetic energy. If that level is suitable we then have it analysed for its mineral value. In almost all cases, if the energy level is good then the mineral value is strong. Without getting too technical, we know that good levels or paramagnetic energy help stimulate the multiplication of the micro-organisms, the faster you grow this biota the better the soil operates. Micro-organisms are nature’s soil management team. Agrissentials are the pioneers of New Zealand volcanic rockdust and have gone one step further by introducing

micro-organisms into the mix, creating ROK SOLID full spectrum fertiliser, a live, living energy rich fertiliser set up to remineralise those chemically abused, tired old soils. It is definitely a good time to change and get your farm pumping and bring back quality production back into the food chain. The consumers are crying out for it. For an independent view go online to ‘Remineralize the Earth’ and check out what is happening around the globe. Agrissentials best on earth fertilisers are remineralising life from the soil up and this month they have a fantastic Fieldays special — everyone that buys this month can go in the draw to win their money back! (some conditions apply). To find out more call 0800 THE KEY (0800 843 539) for a FREE INFO PACK or your wonderful local rep Adrian Rowe (North Taranaki) on 021 873 304, or John Winter (South Taranaki) on 021 738 513.


June 2014


From the Minister


Nathan Guy, Minister for Primary Industries

Dairying drives success A key message I always tell farmers, growers, fishers and foresters around the country is that we need to celebrate our success loudly and proudly. If we don’t, no-one else will do it for us. That’s why I was proud to attend the Dairy Industry Awards in Auckland recently — a black-tie event attended by nearly 1,000 people. Congratulations to all the winners on the night. There were some inspiring winners like Ruth Hone who became the first ever woman to win Dairy Trainee of the Year. Out of the 11 dairy trainee finalists, five were women. 27-year-old Nick Bertram was named 2014 Farm Manager of the Year, which is a great achievement given he joined the industry with no family background or experience in farming. Congratulations also to Charlie and Jody McCaig, 2014 New Zealand Sharemilker/Equity Farmers of the Year. In my speech I pointed out to the audience that every hour of every

day, the dairy sector earns another $2 million in exports. It’s the hard work of farmers that pays for our schools, roads and hospitals and I don’t believe you get thanked enough for that. There is a lot to be proud of. According to Dairy NZ, the productivity of dairy farmers has doubled in the last 50 years. I’m very proud of the efforts farmers have made to improve their environmental performance, with around 90% of waterways now fenced off from stock. We’ve also seen big strides forward in animal welfare. Farmers realise they need to be proactive and take the lead on these issues, because there are plenty of critics out there who will take any chance to bash you. I see part of my job to be an advocate in Parliament and I’ll keep fighting

Nathan Guy gives Prime Minister John Key a few pointers on milking

in your corner. All of us need to keep talking to our urban cousins, reminding them of what we’ve achieved. We’ve got some very exciting opportunities and challenges ahead of us. The world population is going to reach 9 billion by 2050 and as they get wealthier, they will want more and more of the protein we produce. To meet this challenge we need to encourage young people into this industry. By 2025 it’s estimated we’ll need another 50,000 new positions

I can’t take risks here..

filled, and around half of those will require a tertiary qualification. On that note, earlier this month I launched a new Young Enterprise programme happening in schools across New Zealand. Students are being asked to promote careers in the primary industries to their fellow students, which will really help raise awareness. Congratulations again to all the Dairy Industry Awards winners — with great people the future looks bright for this industry.

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June 2014



Top bull leaves a lasting legacy

Top CRV Ambreed bull Okura Manhatten passed away last month, leaving behind a decade’s worth of outstanding dairy progeny. Breeders, Bruce and Ngaire Cutforth of Okura Stud in Northland, say they are proud of Manhatten’s contribution to the national herd’s productivity, which came in the form of 44,000 daughters and genetics that were a ‘game changer’ for the Jersey breed in New Zealand. Manhatten was particularly notable for his high protein component, something Bruce, former president of the Jersey NZ Council says helped take the Jersey breed to a new protein level. “We have been fortunate to win the JT Thwaites Sire of the Season award

with four bulls but I really wanted a bull that was a breed changer and we got that with Manhatten,” said Bruce, who credits Manhatten with siring daughters that exhibited the strong, robust physical characteristics ideal for New Zealand’s pastoral dairy systems. “They are cows of strength and style. They stand a little taller than most of their breed and exhibit what I call good ‘dairyness’. “They have excellent udders and the ability to generate high volumes of milk and carry it well.”

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Manhatten’s pedigree deserves some recognition. His sire, Lemvig, is the Danish son of Highland Duncan Lester, bred in the USA whilst his dam was sired by Judds Admiral, who was the son of US bull Quicksilver Royal. Manhatten has also been credited with expanding CRV Ambreed’s exporting market Okura Manhatten’s legacy will continue to across both hemispheres. benefit the NZ dairy industry for years to come One of the first countries to receive Manhatten genetics was profit those farmers had enjoyed by South Africa. having him as a sire.” “CRV Ambreed sent me there a few CRV Ambreed NZ managing director years ago and it was quite a humbling Angus Haslett says Manhatten helped experience. I could go to a farm and put CRV Ambreed on the map in see 200 Manhatten daughters in one New Zealand. paddock. It was probably one of the “Bruce and Ngaire contributed a highlights of my cattle breeding career, bull that has established a significant being party to the pleasure and the presence and one that continues to do so. He is a bull whose genetics are “When magnesium inputs are required, in the pedigree of at least 13 Jersey Golden Bay Dolomite provides the simplest sires on the latest New Zealand Animal and most effective option.” Evaluation list, released in May.” The Okura herd is now owned by call 0800 4 Dolomite 0800 436 566 Bruce and Ngaire’s daughter Lyna, and her husband Luke, who continue to focus upon breeding elite Jersey cattle NZ’s Finest Magnesium Fertiliser alongside their dairy operation.


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June 2014


Hoof Print with Fred Hoekstra


Nutrition and lameness In my last article I asked you to show me some solid evidence to demonstrate that stones and pushing cows in the yard would bruise the hooves. cause sole penetration and cause white line separation. A number of readers did respond and I very much appreciate your emails and feedback. I didn’t get any evidence, but I did get some questions regarding the causes of lameness. I will endeavour to cover those questions in my articles but it will take more than just this one. Lameness is a multifactorial problem. Most of us already know that. What are the factors that are involved in this problem? To make it as simple as I can, I believe that the main issues are nutrition and stress. There are other factors, but if we control the nutrition and stress then we can eliminate a great deal of our problems to the point where we have minimised the issue. These two factors are both broad aspects that need more explanation. Before we start addressing the nutritional aspects of the problem I have to advise that I am not a nutritionist. I do have some knowledge in this area but I am by no means an expert. A lot

of what I say about nutrition comes from nutritionists that I work with and have a lot of respect for. Many pasture-fed cows do not get enough effective fibre in their diet, and I am aware that this contradicts what some nutritionists believe. Fibre has a big impact on the health of the corium. Whilst there is nothing in the fibre that is directly involved in the healing process of the corium, the fibre does help with the processes in the rumen, creating a better, more stable, rumen pH. The microbes in the rumen function better and there will be less acidosis — acidosis being an important factor in laminitis. This can be particularly important when cows are out of the paddock for long times due to milking. If the cows are fed meal in the cow shed then it may be even more important. Cows gorge themselves when they are in the paddock and starve when they have been out of the paddock for

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like and yet have so called ‘stone bruises’. Of course, there could be other factors like calving, cows being on heat or whatever. The thing is that the haemorrhage in the hooves is quite constant over the year. When you look at cows that are being kept in the high country, they don’t have anywhere near the amount of haemorrhage, yet they have a lot more stones to deal with than their counterparts on the flat. I will continue this subject and endeavour to follow up on those questions in my next article but please keep those emails coming. Email me at for further discussions.

Read the paper online



too long so there is a big pH fluctuation in the rumen. This is made worse if the cows are getting meal in the cowshed. I am not saying that we shouldn’t feed meal in the cowshed but it is important to know what can potentially happen when we do. I know that it is believed that the fibre content in the grass on our pasture-based systems is enough. My question would be: “How do we know how much fibre a cow needs?” How do we know what the lowest acceptable pH in the rumen is? If we only look at some elements in the rumen and just draw our conclusions on that then we may be missing the boat. One scenario I would like to put before you is how come beef animals on nice lush pastures in Canterbury have haemorrhaging and even sole ulcers? I can show you beef cow feet with just that. These cows have never been pushed, don’t know what stones look



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June 2014



Be my Guest

Bill Guest Farmers of New Zealand Membership Services: 09 439 5219 • 09 430 3758 Email:

Views on farming and the Budget

The Minister of Finance the Hon Bill English stated when commenting on the budget, that he did not view the budget as steady as you go with a few freebies, but a reflection on New Zealand being able to move forward confidently. Over the years the government budgets have demonstrated a significant shift in the relationship between government and the farmer, which began in the late 1800s when New Zealand was an emerging nation reliant on agriculture for export income. In May 1881 under the heading of Bonuses on Colonial Industries, the government offered £500 for the first 25 tons of butter or 50 tons of cheese to be exported. There was a stipulation that the produce had to have originated in a factory operating on the ‘American principle’ of a producer co-operative and was quite different from those of

the butter and cheese dairies in the United Kingdom. The underlying theme in the government’s budget is that with a government debt of $60 billion the nation will be reliant on New Zealand’s primary industries to provide the export income needed to repay debt. It wasn’t so long ago that every National government Minister of Finance in presenting the budget acknowledged the value of New Zealand’s agricultural exports and farming subsidies were available for fertiliser, stock incentive schemes and several other incentives. National Prime Ministers the Rt Hon Keith

Holyoake and Rt Hon Rob Muldoon, also in his capacity as Minister of Finance, always expounded the value and the need to support the New Zealand farmer. The 1984 election resulted in David Lange’s Labour government being elected and Sir Robert Muldoon was removed as National Party leader. The Lange government removed all farming subsidy incentives. The sudden transition from subsidies to a free-market economy under ‘Rogernomics’ caused a number of farmers to lose their farms through the resultant high interest rates — some in excess of 20 per cent, that were charged at the time. As a young farmer I and other farmers struggled financially. Federated Farmers’ leadership of the time embraced the new free-market economy and with others were highly critical of Muldoon’s former monetary policies. 17,000 farmers marched on Wellington protesting against the new Labour government’s policies as being unfair and not even-handed. During this time it seemed ironic to me that those farming leaders who embraced the freemarket economy had been responsible for asking for farming subsidy incentives in the first place. While sitting at home one day, I decided to telephone Sir Robert Muldoon at his home. His wife Lady Thea answered and said Bob is in the United States and will be home next week. I told her I was getting a beast processed at the local butcher for them and I wanted

to meet Sir Robert. She invited me to come down the following Saturday. When I arrived at their Auckland home, Lady Thea had just returned from a run. We unloaded the meat and filled the freezer. The freezer was brand new and empty. She introduced me to Sir Robert who I had not met before. Sir Robert asked, why had I given them the meat? It is a wonderful gesture. I replied, it is in appreciation of all the support you have given to farmers over many years. I asked him how come his freezer was empty. He said no farmer has ever given me a beast before. I learnt a valuable lesson here and that was, in spite of his generosity to farmers, it didn’t necessarily mean that he received any reciprocal acknowledgement. I received a letter from Sir Robert and his wife thanking me for the meat, which they said they thoroughly enjoyed and he certainly never forgot, because on a number of occasions after, when I invited him to farmer meetings in Northland, he always obliged. Today’s National government which was once described as the farmers’ party in gumboots, has clearly come to the realisation that it can no longer simply rely on the rural sector to get re-elected. Bill English’s budget is clearly targeting the young urban voter, the majority of which live in Auckland. Every political party knows that whoever gets the majority of the Auckland vote becomes the government.

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June 2014



Young Farmers gearing up for grand final by Denise Gunn

Contestants from across New Zealand are putting in the hard yards during the build up to the 2014 ANZ Young Farmer Contest Grand Final in Christchurch on July 3–5. Representing the Taranaki/Manawatu region is Brad Lewis of the Opiki Young Farmers Club. This year’s competition will be his second and last attempt at the grand final. Mr Lewis placed third overall at the 2012 grand final in Dunedin. Competition rules stipulate that a competitor can only advance through to the grand final twice. Twenty-eight-year-old Mr Lewis grew up on his family’s asparagus farm in the Horowhenua. During his high school years, he worked as a relief milker on several dairy farms in the district. After completing a Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Honours) at Lincoln University, Mr Lewis took up a position on a Canterbury dairy farm. He now works as a farm manager on his family’s 500 cow dairy farm near Levin. Seven grand finalists were determined from 56 competitors at regional level. Those grand finalists will prepare, through study and practical practice, for an agricultural test of skills, strength and expertise. “It’s a fair bit of work, but it’s good fun and you meet lots of like-minded

people, and you up-skill your abilities,” said Mr Lewis. The grand final begins with an official opening at Lincoln University library on July 3. The practical day will be held at the university on July 4. On Friday evening, an ANZ Sponsors and Speeches Dinner will be held at Wigram Airforce Museum. The competition continues on July 5 with the live televised evening show at CBS Arena, followed by the Celebratory Ball at Addington Raceway. The grand final has a total prize pool of over $300,000. The champion will go home with nearly $70,000 in prizes including cash, scholarships, products and services from ANZ, Lincoln University, Ravensdown, AGMARDT, Silver Fern Farms, Honda, Husqvarna and Vodafone. Contest chairman Kyle Goodwin said the grand final is shaping up to be a very strong competition. “There is an interesting mix of competition and industry experience with this group.” Tickets for all these events are available at

Taranaki/Manawatu Young Farmer regional winner Brad Lewis set for the national grand final

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Bringing expertise to your door With Gypsy week behind us, Taranaki farmers are settling in to the routines of the winter season, taking care of those all-important maintenance tasks before wet and cold weather put the brakes on outdoor endeavours. But even the hardiest and most self reliant of farmers know that sometimes the job calls for specialist tools, focussed expertise or a little extra manpower. That’s when it’s time to call in the professionals, who are

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Gypsy week has come and pretty much gone and rural communities nationwide will be awash with new faces. Thankfully, due to huge advances in communications and technologies, much of the stress associated with moving from one location to another has disappeared. Looking back, it was a different story. In the early days, news travelled by word of mouth — stuff like, what stock and produce prices were doing. Then along came newspapers, telephones, and railways, and eventually, New Zealand got connected. City newspapers dropped off by the rural postie, became an important source of information for country folk. For many rural people, radio was also an important means of contact with the rest of New Zealand. Veteran broadcaster Jim Henderson, recalled his mother saying as she first switched on the radio in their isolated rural home ‘We’ll never be isolated again’. Then, in 1960 television was introduced and as transmission towers were established, it gradually spread from the cities to the hinterlands. These days, there is the Internet, and with it, the end of isolation at the tip of our fingers. Contact is instant. A new part for a pump can be ordered

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June 2014



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Is an African Safari on your bucket list?

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June 2014



DWN launches new business strategy The Dairy Women’s Network board and chief executive met with nearly 30 regional convenor volunteers in Wellington last month to launch its new business strategy.

DWN convenors, board members and staff attend the annual training meeting in Wellington last month

The strategy includes a streamlined core business focus, priorities for the next three years, and more support for developing and growing its regional volunteers and groups. DWN chief executive Zelda de Villiers said working through the new strategy with the board has been the focus

for the past four months. “Our new business strategy sets a clear direction for the DWN over the next three years. It reflects what our members have told us they want and is more aligned with the dairy industry strategy, which was launched last year,” said Ms de Villiers. Developing and recognising talent and

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a series of five new modules that will be short, sharp and practical, replacing the existing Dairy Days workshops, and the Network’s regional convenors will be involved in all aspects of developing and delivering the training. “Our regional convenors are the axis on which the Network operates. In developing our new strategy, we looked at how the DWN can do more to help them develop and grow and how we can better support local training and events.” Two of the five new modules will be ready by November. They will cover business goal setting, technology usage, animal welfare, employment contract negotiation and human resources. The Dairy Women’s Network has more than 5,000 members across its 30 regional groups and membership to the Dairy Women’s Network is free.


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The Great


N I E TRAD Bring in any 4 worn out brass arm trough valves and we’ll give a

Bring in any 4 worn out diaphragm trough valves and we’ll give a

with any purchase*

with any purchase*

FREE Hansen

FREE Hansen

*Free valves will be on a pro rata basis. Trade in valves must be complete.

k e e r C y r e t s y only at M



Half Price

For The

Proudly Kiwi Owned and Operated Since 1958

Taranaki Farming Lifestyles, June 2014  

10,000 copies DELIVERED FREE to every rural delivery address in Taranaki