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u t a w a n a M / i k a n a Tar

Farming Lifestyles

May 2012 Edition

Phone: 09 439 6933 | Freephone: 0800 466 793 | Fax: 09 439 6930

Page 4–5

Page 8–9

Page 10–11

Waiau Country Estate

City girl making her mark in the country

Preventing rural road deaths

Winter Maintenance Page 16

Chew Chong — Taranaki dairy industry pioneer Page 6

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May 2012

Taranaki/Manawatu Farming Lifestyles

Rural women walk the world

The Taranaki/Manawatu Farming Lifestyles is published with pride by NorthSouth Multi Media Ltd, a privately owned

By Denise Gunn

New Zealand company. Phone: 09 439 6933 or 0800 466 793 • Fax: 09 439 6930 Email: info@thelifestyler.co.nz • Postal Address: PO Box 474, Dargaville Physical Address: Lifestyler House, 107 River Road, Dargaville General Manager: Deb Wright Editorial: Denise Gunn

Taranaki/Manawatu Farming Lifestyles Distribution area

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The global ‘Women Walk the World’ challenge, which endeavoured to recognise rural women around the world who walk wherever they go, also fundraised for poverty and sickness relief as well as educational advancement in a number of developing countries.

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funds while a number of walkers were sponsored. A group of members from the Scotts Ferry branch of the RWNZ took part in the global challenge, walking from the Bulls Domain, across the sports ground, along the Bulls River Walk, under the Bulls bridge then along SH1 towards the centre of the township before returning to the Bulls Domain.Three other members completed a walk around the township. Rangitikei walk organiser Jane Russell Bowen said the group were pleased with their efforts, clocking up 5.7km on a pedometer. The New Zealand Walking Access Commission sponsored a number of pedometers for each group of walkers to keep track of the distances covered.

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Beef Expo far more than just a show and sale

Taranaki/Manawatu Farming Lifestyles May 2012

3

By Denise Gunn

A strong line-up of cattle are set to feature at this year’s four-day annual Beef + Lamb Beef Expo at Manfeild Park in Feilding Now into its 23rd year, the 2012 Beef Expo will also celebrate the Steak of Origin Challenge’s 10th anniversary. Commencing with the Future Hoof and Hook competition on May 12, competitors under the age of 24 years will exhibit a steer to be judged on the hoof. The steer will then be sent to slaughter and the carcass quality points will be combined with the live assessment to find an overall winner. Performance Beef Breeders New Zealand CEO Murray Meads said entries for this competition are up from last year. Several education modules will also be held during this competition. Guest speaker during a breakfast and technical forum on May 14 is United States National Cattlemen’s Beef Association president and Nebraska cattleman J. D. Alexander. Mr Alexander owns an 809-hectare corn, soybean and alfalfa farm, marketing around 15,000 head of cattle per year.

On-farm and led judging of stock will continue throughout May 14, culminating with the announcement of the PGG Wrightson Champion of Champions. A strong line-up of cattle are set to feature at this year’s Beef Expo in Feilding Mr Meads said the Queen of Hearts show and sale, introduced to the Beef Expo last year, proved very successful and shows a slight increase in lots this year with heifers entered from all over New Zealand.

The Queen of Hearts heifer show and sale will be held on May 14 at 3.30pm followed by the Steak of Origin dinner at 7.30pm. Sales commence at 10am on May 15, featuring Hereford, Shorthorn, Gelbvieh, South Devon, Simmental, Charolais and Angus breeds. “The Gelbvieh were new players in 2011 and sale entries are up from last year,” said Mr Meads. The Beef Expo will also see an increase in the number of trade sites this year with a strong focus on technology and innovation, particularly with the recently adopted National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) legislation becoming mandatory on July 1. “The expo is more than just a breed show and sale,” said Mr Meads.

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May 2012

Taranaki/Manawatu Farming Lifestyles

Waiau Country estate

By Denise Gunn

a charming venue

Moira Irving was raised on a mixed dairy and sheep property in Taranaki and has been an active member of the community for most of her life

art into the interior design at Waiau Country Estate. Originally built as a winery, Waiau Country Estate underwent renovations by previous owners, Rowan and Natasha Cambie, who set up the restaurant about six years ago. The property has been developed to offer an ideal venue for private dining, meetings, functions and events, catering to both large and small groups. Waiau Country Estate’s barn-like restaurant design provides an amiable setting for guests to dine amongst a charming rustic interior. The restaurant’s large bi-folding glass doors open out onto a sheltered terrace for an al fresco dining experience. The terrace leads onto an expansive, lush lawn landscaped with large trees, including an old oak tree at the property’s entrance. Since taking over the property in December last year the

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Taranaki/Manawatu Farming Lifestyles May 2012 interior has been refurbished with new paint and wallpaper. “We have hung chandeliers in the main restaurant and milk can light shades in the foyer area,” said Moira. “Our aim is to enhance the barn feeling whilst also adding some sophistication.” The walls of Waiau Country Estate’s woolshed have been decorated with wool brands from local farmers, including ‘Tablelands’ from Moira’s father and grandfather. “We encourage the locals to bring in their brands and the wall that is decorated with them attracts lots of comments,” she said.

Wool presses, from a friend’s family sheep farm in Tariki, feature as bar leaners and a 1920’s barn door provides an enormous table. Moira said leather couches and Persian rugs on the floor offset the rural feel. “The woolshed was used as a conference room but we wanted to provide an alternative to guests for when the main area was closed for weddings and functions.” Waiau Country Estate sits on 1.5 hectares of grounds with an additional 7.5 hectares of olive and avocado groves for guests to wander through. “The grounds are fully enclosed by

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Waiau Country Estate’s restaurant provides an amiable setting for guests to dine amongst a charming rustic interior

mature trees and provides a tranquil country environment,” said Moira. “The beach is 300 metres down the road and a favourite spot for wedding photos with bridal parties.” Wine barrels dotted around the venue and several vines of eating grapes provide a glimpse into the property’s history. Head chef Jeremy Webling has introduced new breakfast, lunch and

dinner menus for diners, and the restaurant’s hours have been extended from Wednesday lunch until Sunday afternoons. “Sunday is a big day for us when we can have 160 people over the day,” said Moira. “We always have live music on a Sunday and it’s especially lovely when it is a nice day and we take the restaurant outside.”

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May 2012

Taranaki/Manawatu Farming Lifestyles

Dairy Industry pioneer

by Denise Gunn

Chinese entrepreneurial immigrant Chew Chong made an enormous contribution to Taranaki’s dairy farming industry, opening one of New Zealand’s first dairy factories in the region

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orn in China in 1828, Chew Chong left his hometown at the age of 17 to work in Canton and Singapore. In 1855 he set out for the goldfields of Victoria, Australia, setting up a store in Castlemaine. When news of the Otago gold discovery reached the Victorian goldfields, Chew Chong left Australia, arriving in Dunedin in 1866. For the next three years he sold goods and collected scrap metal to ship back to China. Chew Chong trekked north, settling in New Plymouth in 1870 and travelled around Taranaki selling goods and buying fungus. The fungus, which flourished in Taranaki as it grew on burnt, decaying logs, was similar in taste to a highlyprized Chinese plant eaten as a delicacy and used for medicinal purposes.

Women and children gathered and dried the fungus in preparation for sale while the men carried on with the farm work. The fungus, referred to as Taranaki wool, became a major source of income for many Taranaki dairy farmers. Chew Chong opened a store in New Plymouth where he traded fungus in exchange for goods. He exported the fungus back to China, sold other merchandise and expanded his enterprise, opening several more stores in the Taranaki. In 1875 Chew Chong married Elizabeth Whatton and the couple had 11 children — five died in infancy. Chew Chong’s initial involvement with the dairy industry began as farmers bartered their butter in exchange for goods from his stores. He exported New Zealand’s first shipment of butter

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Taranaki/Manawatu Farming Lifestyles May 2012 Chew Chong’s grandson, Brian Chong, said it was very unusual for a Chinese to be involved in the dairy industry. But as Chew Chong worked as a young houseboy in Singapore, he grew up as a European. “I can only imagine his philosophy and goals that he used in his lifetime.” Chew Chong generously financed farmers to build up their dairy herds on the ‘shake of a hand’ deal. But when the Bank of New South Wales backed a co-operative dairy movement opening several factories, Chew Chong found it difficult to retain his suppliers. In 1901 he had to close the Jubilee factory and creameries. “To Chew’s great credit, he never held any grudges regarding the shoddy treatment he had received, including the non-repayment of his generous loans to farmers, but went on to other ventures,” said Brian. “He was involved in acupuncture healing, was a founder member of the New Plymouth Cool Stores, activist in the formation of the Breakwater sea wall, and was a participant in pursuing the development of the oil wells at Moturoa.” Chew Chong retired and returned to New Plymouth in 1901. He died in October 1920 at the age of 92. The Chong family has retained links to the dairy industry through the generations. As an architect, Brian was involved with designing extensions, layouts and repairs to Kiwi Dairy factories (now Fonterra) in the Taranaki. He also conducted valuations for insurance purposes. One of Chew Chong’s grand-daughters also works for Fonterra as a laboratory assistant in the Waikato. Chew Chong was inducted into the New Zealand Business Hall of Fame in 1996.

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Chew Chong and Elizabeth Whatton on their wedding day in 1875

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May 2012

Taranaki/Manawatu Farming Lifestyles

City girl making her mark in the country by Denise Gunn

Shona Jones has helped put the small Rangitikei farming community of Hunterville on the map, through organising and promoting several of the township’s events. But one surprising aspect is that Shona was a ‘city girl’ from Wellington, with no agricultural background or knowledge before she and her family moved to the township

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t was just over a decade ago when Shona and her family relocated to Hunterville for her husband Euan’s work. They knew just one person in the community — a telephone acquaintance through Shona’s former employment. Shona’s initial community involvement began with a young mothers and babies group that she ran from her own home. At that time she had one primary school-aged child and three under 17 months. “I feel it is an essential part of country living for mums, especially to meet with other mums,” said Shona. “A bonus too is that the babies and toddlers can play while the mums chat.”

Since then Shona has helped to organise a wide range events and been involved with Playcentre, Hunterville School, St John’s, the Hunterville Rugby Club and the Hunterville Fire Station. But it is probably Shona’s role as secretary for the annual Hunterville Huntaway Festival that she has become well known for and helped stamp this unique event on the rural calendar. This year’s Hunterville Huntaway Festival will be held on October 27 and features the hotly contested Shepherds Shemozzle. Competitors and their huntaway dogs take part in a gruelling 3km race tackling a variety of obstacles. Shepherds also require a strong stomach with such compulsory

Shona Jones and her family have moved to Feilding but their connections with the Hunterville community will continue

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Taranaki/Manawatu Farming Lifestyles May 2012

wonderful to see a “It’s group of people passionate

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delicacies as huhu grubs, sheep eyeballs and warm beer on the race menu. Shona said since her involvement with country community events, her knowledge has broadened. “I now have a greater understanding of how events such as this run and how many volunteer hours go into putting on such an event. “Also what wonderful people are in our communities organising these events. “I am only one of many people in communities such as Hunterville who tirelessly put in hours upon hours of their volunteer time to events such as this.” She said it has also been a great way to get to know people and make new friends. “It’s wonderful to see a group of people passionate about a community and wanting to promote it and to organise events so that others can meet together.” Shona’s organisational work has recently been recognised with a 2012 Kiwibank Local Heroes Award. “I never expected to get anything in return and would give of my time again.” “I have loved getting to know the community, the people and the spirit of Hunterville and the memories and the laughter will remain with me forever.” Shona and her family have now settled in Feilding where she works part time in a medical centre. And she’s sure that if a community or school event requires volunteer work, it will find her. “I am sure it will find me and I really do have trouble saying no,” she said.

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With rugged landscapes to traverse and hard work to be done the twowheeled workhorse of New Zealand’s rural sector has replaced actual horses in most areas, tackling conditions which one would think were almost unimaginable to the big overseas bike manufacturers. That’s why when Suzuki (famous, of course, for their stable of speedy race and road bikes) wanted to design the perfect machine for the Kiwi back country they didn’t try to put it together in a Japanese laboratory. Instead they turned to New Zealand Service Manager Tom Peck, who had a fair idea of what Kiwi farmers wanted in a bike. The formula contained a big helping of rugged dependability, and this was put to the test around Wanganui’s hillsides and rough terrain — a much tougher proving ground than any test track. Suzuki may have begun their DR200

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ways throughout the years. But the worst conditions that the farming business and mother nature could dish out haven’t been enough to stop the feisty little 200cc battler — after seventeen years it’s still at the top of its game. And still the bike which thousands of farmers start up every morning, knowing that it’ll get the job done!

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Farm Wheels – Taranaki/Manawatu Farming Lifestyles May 2012

11

FA R M W H E E L S

Preventing rural road deaths by Denise Gunn

You’re on the final stretch of a road trip and thinking ahead to what’s next on the agenda as you get closer to home. Although the journey may just be a short drive to or from work, research shows that the majority of accidents occur closer to home and familiarity with the road lends a false sense of security

Always wear a seatbelt – no matter how short the journey

Brake NZ spokesperson Caroline Perry said drivers may relax as they approach home and think they know the road.

road accidents accounted for 25 percent of all reported motor vehicle crashes on New Zealand roads between 20052009.

“But you can never know about the child who is about to run out into the road,” she said.

Approximately 30 percent of injury crashes on all rural roads are recorded as fatal or serious.

“The most important advice is to drive especially slowly and carefully as you approach home as this is also likely to be the place where people are about.”

Miss Perry said the most common causes of vehicle accidents on rural roads are inappropriate speed on bends and overtaking where the driver can’t see what is coming ahead.

Miss Perry said drivers need to keep focussing on potential hazards.

Fatigue is another significant risk factor when behind the steering wheel. Driving as a job requirement or after a long stint at work is a problem experienced by a number of employees in a raft of industries.

Good Safety is Good Business!

“Employers have an unspoken and often unrecognised moral responsibility for employees who drive to and from their workplace, as well as the much more widely recognised responsibility for their employees who drive as part of their job,” said Miss Perry.

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Brake NZ, a non-profit New Zealand Trust, was formed just over a year ago as part of the Brake Charity — an international charity funded by donations. Brake NZ’s main function from a preventative perspective is to educate all road users, particularly drivers, in their responsibilities. According to the ‘High-risk rural roads guide — September 2011’ produced by the New Zealand Transport Agency, rural

“Employers should ensure that employees do not undertake work shifts that are so long that an employee is likely to be fatigued on the drive home.” With winter approaching, Miss Perry

said the number one advice is slow down and keep your distance. “If conditions are really bad, don’t go.” And always wear a seatbelt — no matter how short the journey.

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12

May 2012

Taranaki/Manawatu Farming Lifestyles – Farm Wheels

FA R M W H E E L S

Crawford Agritech goes the extra mile As an independent tractor and machinery repairer, as well as a spare parts supplier based in the heart of rural Taranaki, Ian Crawford of Crawford Agritech Ltd has built a reputation for availability and going the extra mile. Ian initially served a mechanical apprenticeship with a civil engineering authority, maintaining its fleet of heavy machinery, equipment and plant. His comprehensive knowledge of Massey Ferguson tractors stems from attending extensive factory training. Most of this training was while Ian was directly employed by a Massey Ferguson importer and distributor. He also spent five years overseas gaining experience servicing and maintaining machinery and equipment. Ian has now specialised in Massey Ferguson tractors for almost 20 years. With his main business focus on service, repairs and spare parts, Ian enjoys the challenge of sourcing components that are difficult to obtain and those for non-current machinery. Ian also supplies genuine and aftermarket parts and has been called on to send components to customers from Auckland to Christchurch. Servicing and repairs are Ian’s forte. His late model silver Volkswagon service van is well set up with the usual hand tools and a large range of parts which includes a huge array of electronic replacement components for Massey Ferguson tractors. Ian said this is a concept he has been using for many years and

Ian Crawford of Crawford Agritech Ltd has built a reputation for availability and going the extra mile

enables him to repair problems as they happen, allowing the tractor to get back on the job. Ian has a ‘repair it on site’ policy which has seen him replace hydraulic pumps in tractors down gullies, removed engines on the spot and transported them back to the workshop in his van, and removed and repaired transmissions onsite.

Gypsy Day

by Denise Gunn

With one of the biggest days on the dairy farming calendar coming up, Gypsy Day will see tens of thousands of dairy cattle on the move Although some herds will be trucked, others will be walked to new farms and it is essential that all stock are fit for travel, able to bear weight on all four limbs and be healthy enough to endure the stress of a journey. As permits may be required when droving stock along public roads, it is advisable to contact your local council to verify the rules, regulations and guidelines relating to the correct procedure. This is also an ideal opportunity to check if there are any public events being held along your intended route which could disrupt your plans. Ensuring you have the requisite

FARM 4X4 F

“Probably 90 percent of my work is carried out in the field,” said Ian.

public roads, it is advisable to contact your local council to verify the rules

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Crawford Agritech also offers an air conditioning service and repair on site using the latest equipment sourced from Italy.

“It’s great to get out and meet the people who make the agricultural sector so successful.

permits may be required “As when droving stock along

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When repairs can’t be made on site, Ian’s centrally located fullyequipped workshop ensures jobs are carried out thoroughly and to a high standard.

Ian said he enjoys the wide variety of the work available in the agricultural repair industry.

signs and enough people along the route is vital to assist with the smooth movement of your herd too. Legislation from The Road Controlling Authority Forum’s ‘Best Practice Guidelines for Stock Crossings’ states ‘a person moving untethered animals from place to place along or across a road must exercise due care towards other road users, and must

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Taranaki/Manawatu Farming Lifestyles May 2012

13

AT Plumb’In Palmerston North we specialise in helping you create your bathroom within your budget! Situated in the old ‘T’market building at 679 Tremaine Avenue, Palmerston North, Plumb’In has a huge range of vanity and shower displays. This means you can see exactly what you are buying before you make any decisions. Whether you are building a new home, renovating your existing home or looking to upgrade a rental property, Plumb’In will help you add value to your property. Our promise of ‘High Quality — Low Price’ means you don’t have to compromise to get the look you want in your home. When you come to Plumb’In you choose from top quality brand names, plus you’ll get excellent service, knowledge and advice from people who know their products and who are dedicated to ensuring the product you SEE US @ choose meets your needs. But hate being tied SITE NUMBER to daily feeding? Sam and Patricia Nisbet, the NATIONAL FIELDDAYS owners of Plumb’In Palmerston North, Rodents and birds eating their food? find that customers often need to ask GRANDPA’S Automatic chook feeder plumbing questions before they can CHOOK FEEDERS make the right product choices. …are made to save you time and money by eliminating the With over 30 years’ experience in need for daily feeding and stopping the significant amount plumbing, Sam is well-placed to of food lost to rats, mice and wild birds. This is the ideal answer the ‘knotty’ questions and give feeder for 1-50 chooks, allowing his customers sound advice. you to enjoy the goodness   Feeder lid opens when chook of your own farm fresh eggs stands on platform Showers, baths, spa baths, without attracting pests and   Strongly constructed with their associated diseases. vanities, toilets, tapware, sinkware, GRANDPA’S FEEDERS galvanised steel developed and sold in New  Waterproof waste disposals, laundry tubs — it’s Zealand for over 12 years have  Two sizes  become hugely popular and all there at Plumb’In. Large holds 18kg $250 + pp  are now considered standard Medium holds 9kg $195 + pp equipment for keeping poultry. Brighten up your winter with a SATISFACTION GUARANTEED OR MONEY BACK! fresh new look in your bathroom or laundry. Let the team at Plumb’In work For happier, healthier more productive chooks contact us. Phone: 027 276 9794 • 027 497 6021• 07 552 5225 with you to create the look you want Email: mark@grandpasfeeders.com • Web: www.grandpasfeeders.co.nz at a price you can afford. Postal: Windsong Enterprises, 364 Whakamarama Rd, RD7 Tauranga 3179

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D33

Photo: Denise Gunn

It is advisable to contact your local council to check if a permit is required when droving stock along public roads. Also ensure you have the requisite signs and enough people along the route to assist with the smooth movement of your herd

ensure that any disruption to traffic is minimised’. The Road Controlling Authority Forum comprises of road controlling authorities including councils and the New Zealand Transport Authority (NZTA). If you are heading further afield, Federated Farmers recommends standing stock off green-feed for four to six hours before trucking. The practice keeps effluent off the roads and stock

will travel better and arrive cleaner. Adequate notice of pick-up times should be given by trucking firms so that standing can be arranged. And for motorists encountering stock on the road, the New Zealand Road Code advises drivers to slow down or pull over to the side of the road, to not sound the horn or make a noise that could frighten animals, and follow any advice the farmer may give you.

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14

May 2012

Taranaki/Manawatu Farming Lifestyles

Dairying

Farm manager of the year sets sights on land ownership by Denise Gunn

Thomas Higgins’ interest in the dairy industry began when he was growing up on the family farm at Kaponga. And it was here, under his parents’ guidance, that he first learnt the skills required to be a dairy farmer As this year’s Taranaki Farm Manager of the Year, Thomas is now into his second season managing a 360-cow, 113-hectare farm owned by Bill and Gail Gribble in Hawera. From June, Thomas will be lower order sharemilking on the same property.

Opunake High School, Thomas studied towards a Bachelor of Applied Science, majoring in agriculture at Massey University.

After finishing his 7th form year at

Thomas decided to head back to

On completion he worked as a dairy farm assistant for Brendan and Karina Kane in Shannon.

Taranaki Farm Manager of the Year Thomas Higgins on the 360-cow, 113-hectare farm he manages

the Taranaki at the end of that season, taking on the farm management position with Mr and Mrs Gribble. “I knew what Bill and Gail were like as employers and didn’t hesitate to take the job,” said Thomas. “Bill is a great teacher and is willing to take time to teach me all he can and is easily approachable for advice on anything.” Thomas said he loves working with stock and knows each individual cow in the herd.

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“We also have a real strong team on the farm that works well together.” Last season Thomas set a target of 120,000kg MS, achieving this with 120,033kg MS even though a drought struck the area. “This season I targeted 125,000kg MS but are on track to do 130,000kg MS.” Thomas entered the 2012 Taranaki Dairy Industry Awards to test his knowledge and skills against his peers, become more involved in the industry and community, and to ensure he was progressing.

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Dairying

Taranaki/Manawatu Farming Lifestyles May 2012

15

Notes from the shed with Mark With the payout McKewen high and interest low, it’s a really good time to

fix the things that are causing some grief around the Dairy. Before you upgrade to new Milfos cup removers or a Milfos Variable Drive Vacuum System it would be sensible to evaluate things that could impact on your proposed upgrade. A lot of people ask if Milfos is from Milfos Australasian Service Partner Sparkies generally do a great job, however, we regularly come across wiring of all some country.incorrectly. Well… no Conference in Hamilton. sorts distant that hasforeign been installed itFor isn’t. Milfoswe is see a Kiwi this pump conference webut recognised instance the company right cablewhich used on say,At a milk controller, still has just celebrated 25 years NZ interference bundled with everything elseserving so it creates with the controller and going many achievements with awards bingo, a and slightly crazy controller. Unlessallyou to know what toPartners look for itaround can be aNZ painful farmers more recently farmers Service and process to find as it looks like a faulty controller. around the world. Australia for excellence in Installation ThisFrom is important for all sortsinofHamilton, systems from pulsation controllers to across cup removers and Customer Service a wide humble beginnings and the more sophisticated the system the more careful you have to be. We Milfos International is still here, now in a range of categories. recommend keeping data cables as far away from power as possible. purpose built factory just off Kahikatea Ofexist course, there canallbe only one We have all heard about stray voltage, yes it does and can cause sorts Drive in we Hamilton. Supreme Dealer for 2012: of issues, have foundMilfos a majoremploys source is the cable and terminations between over 120drives people staff in several Variable and with Motors. The Winners, Tony and Jan McLaren countries fast. supplied with There is aand lot ofgrowing documentation variable drives with regard to thebased of McLarens Rural Services are cable to be used and metal glands for terminations etc, these are minimums and a A number of employees in the in Morrinsville, Waikato. They have good Sparky will follow manufacturer’s recommendations or better. If in doubt company have been here over fifteen a business founded on consistent get it checked. years and many more over five years, excellence in customer service and Don’t forget the effluent or water pump, same deal, and move the electric fence which credit to shed, the great family installations both locally and unit to is theaimplement they can be an superior interference nasty in the dairy. company it is. in challenging overseas For sensible advice on Upgrades, find your local Milfos dealer or Area projects. Sales Manager A lot of what has been achieved in at www.milfos.com. Milfos International and all of our the last 25 years has been because of Service Partners are committed to the Kiwi companies that have supplied dairy farmers, and as a proud Kiwi Milfos with a huge array of high quality Company we thank our customers materials, products and services. for their continued support and know Of course, without the Milfos Service they are as excited about the future as Partners here and overseas looking after we are.

Milfos Celebrates 25 Years

Thomas Higgins during an open day on the Taranaki dairy farm he manages

And the judges were impressed. Along with taking out the Farm Manager of the Year category, Thomas also took home a merit award, the Westpac Financial Planning and Recording award, and the RD 1 Farm Management award. Thomas has set a goal to be 50 percent sharemilking by 2015 and to own land long-term. “I loved my childhood on the farm and I can only hope my children’s will be the same.”

farmers day to day activities, there wouldn’t be much of a business. With this in mind we recently held the Annual

For your nearest excited, highly skilled Milfos Service Partner go to www.milfos.com for details.

Thomas Higgins with his Taranaki Farm Manager of the Year award

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16

May 2012

Taranaki/Manawatu Farming Lifestyles

Winter Maintenance

There’s nothing quite like a closed curtain blowing in the gale that’s forcing itself through a gap to turn your mind to that new joinery you’ve been thinking about. You might want to replace an existing door or window, or maybe put a new one in to let more of the warming sun through when it does appear. Or maybe your joinery needs new latches and handles.

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Rylock Windows and Doors are a nation-wide company with a local team in New Plymouth. They understand the many factors that need to be considered when choosing the right windows and doors; factors like indoor-outdoor flow, temperature control and sound reduction, safety and security, functionality and style. So if you’re considering installing new or upgrading existing joinery, it will pay to give them a call. With the ground softer and easier to work in, now is the perfect time to think about getting your fencing sorted out. The first thing you’ll need will be a postdriver and the King Hitter range is just the ticket. With a model to suit every need and budget and an extensive range of accessories, getting those posts into the ground just became a whole

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Taranaki/Manawatu Farming Lifestyles May 2012

Winter Warm Up Winter is pretty much upon us now with those blustery winds and wet days becoming more frequent. And while the forecasters may say that the next few months may even be slightly warmer than the winters we’re used to, that’s not going to be much comfort on a cold night One or two degrees warmer than average still makes it pretty chilly out there. But keeping warm doesn’t have to be a hassle with the right equipment and support. The options are pretty extensive and deciding on the perfect solution can be a challenge. A team of experts is just what’s needed and the friendly people at Manawatu Heating and Solar could be just the ticket. They can help you decide whether electrical, diesel, solid fuel, solar or even central heating is right for you. A heat pump can be the perfect solution for keeping your home warm, dry and clean. With no mess to clean up they provide quiet, dry heat at the press of a button. The qualified team at APB Electrical are well-versed in helping their customers select the right heat pump solution for their home. And for May and June they’re making it even

Images from Albertland Silver edition now available hotter with the offer of a free Viera 24” LED TV when you buy a Panasonic heat pump from them. After a long day out in muddy fields, there’s nothing quite like a long soak in a hot bath or a steaming hot shower. Having access to as much hot water as you want can melt away the strains of working outdoors through winter. But all that hot water has a downside; steam and condensation can make your home feel chilly and damp even when your

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18

May 2012  Taranaki/Manawatu

Farming Lifestyles

Rural lifestyle inspires artist by Denise Gunn

Australian-born rural artist Julie Oliver finds plenty of inspiration in the New Zealand countryside Since moving from Brisbane to this side of the Tasman around 12 years ago, the award-winning artist has become well-known for painting landscapes, particularly onto canvas, saw blades and cream cans. Working from photographs, Julie captures her client’s personal stories through painting rural scenes and in turn preserving generations of family history. Julie first began her trade working as a photographic restoration specialist before continuing her art studies at the Brisbane College of Art, achieving honours in Art and Design. She initially established her business, Oliver’s Art, in Brisbane over 20 years ago. Now based in the Rangitikei village of

Mangaweka, Julie said she prefers the peace, tranquillity and space provided by a rural lifestyle. She also finds it especially favourable for creating her artwork. “As much as the city can also inspire certain artworks, I still prefer to travel to the city some of the time and call the country ‘home’.” The property she shares with her partner Tim backs onto the white papa cliffs carved by the Rangitikei River. These cliffs form a stunning backdrop, providing impressive views from Julie’s home studio. Julie particularly enjoys specialising in oils and as well as continuing on with her commissioned artworks, prepares for exhibitions. “I try to hold one a year involving

approximately 12 pieces,” she said. Her next exhibition centres on scenery from the Desert Road area. “That area often takes my breath away,” said Julie “You never know what you’re going to get on that drive.” When taking a break from art work, Julie’s main interest is horses and the study of Rural artist Julie Oliver their behaviours. at work painting a scene onto a saw blade “Over the past two years I’ve been indulging most of my spare in private collections in several countries time in this,” she said. around the word. And her goal is to have “Thanks to the kindness of a local more of her larger artworks hanging in a farmer I am able to get right into the wide variety of people’s homes. back hills of Mangaweka and really “It is my hope that these works can have some fun in some of our local provide atmosphere and appreciation of spectacular terrain.” this amazing country we are privileged Much of Julie’s artwork can be found to live within.” Julie’s rural scenes capture client’s personal stories, preserving generations of family history

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Taranaki/Manawatu Farming Lifestyles May 2012

Be my Guest

19

Taranaki/Manawatu Rural Marketplace

Farmers demand control of Fonterra

New & Used Parts

by Bill Guest, Operations Director, Farmers of New Zealand

Parliament’s primary production select committee met last week to hear submissions on the proposed Dairy Industry Restructuring Act

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of farmers who are suspicious of the government’s intentions. Farmers of New Zealand pointed out to the primary production committee that in 2001, during the Select Committee process hearing, there was one submitter who is now a Fonterra board member who then openly advocated incorporation of the Fonterra company. In addition he voiced support for differential The future of New Zealand’s economy is payments to farmers based on closely tied to the performance of agriculture. transport costs and the need to be flexible in payments where Fonterra Government intervention in the economy should faced competition for milk supply. be kept to a minimum The one thing about New Zealand dairy farmers is they have very Many see this as being the introduction of long memories, and so they should have. Some draconian intervention whereby the government shareholders remain suspicious that the proposed could intervene in public interest initiatives to stages are simply the first stages in the process control Fonterra’s milk price. of incorporation. They fear a loss of control and a The future of New Zealand’s economy is closely risk to their long term profitability. tied to the performance of agriculture. Government Fonterra is holding a special meeting of intervention in the economy should be kept to a shareholders on 25 June to discuss the detail minimum. of the trading among farmers. Sir Henry van der This includes any legislation pertaining to the Heyden, in a letter to shareholders said that structure and operation of the Fonterra Dairy Co- while the majority of shareholders are urging the operative and the company’s shareholders must Fonterra board to get on with it, a small group of shareholders had concerns and were vocal in retain the final say on any legislative changes. New Zealand media causing the issue to split While the detractors have argued Fonterra the shareholder base and it was not in the best sets the domestic milk price in New Zealand, the interests of the co-op’s future. reality is that supermarkets stock a range of milk He was critical that instead of the shareholders products, not only processed by Fonterra but also resolving the matter in the family, debate was now other New Zealand proprietary milk processors. spilling into international media and damaging Other milk products such as cheese are Fonterra’s reputation. Farmers of New Zealand are manufactured by a number of independent disappointed that Sir Henry had admonished the processors and the prices for these products vary farmers that have continued to voice their concern in range. The New Zealand housewife has a large and that they should have kept it quiet within the selection to choose from, simply on price and family. supermarket mark-ups vary considerably. Well, Sir Henry, you may not be aware, If the government and the Commerce that over the last hundred years there were many Commission were seen to be getting into the role of debates amongst farmers, and when Sir Walter price setters this would be counter to free market Nash and the first Labour government formed the policy. origins of the New Zealand Dairy Board not all New Zealand dairy farmers today, understand farmers were happy about the then government’s and are fiercely loyal to the principles of cooperation proposed plans to legislate the sale of as a means of working together to sell their New Zealand dairy produce through the dairy coproducts. operatives. It is clear from comments made by Prime Sir Henry should exercise patience to allow for Minister Jon Key that he would like to see external full discussion and disclosure of all information investors involved to maximise Fonterra’s profit. to enable Fonterra dairy farmer shareholders to This rings alarm bells with a substantial number confidently support change.

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20

May 2012  Taranaki/Manawatu

Farming Lifestyles

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Taranaki/Manawatu Farming Lifestyles, May 2012  

Taranaki/Manawatu Farming Lifestyles, May 2012

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