Belligerence sparks union career

Pretty much every aspect of the meat industry was blood and guts when Graham Cooke started working at Horotiu in 1968. And that was just the employer-employee relationship. On the eve of his retirement the national secretary of the Meat Workers Union tells Neal Wallace that in later years those relationships have mostly improved.

Wool’s backers still confident

A year of reflection and consolidation has put the Primary Wool Co-operative on a positive footing but the unprecedented covid-19 pandemic overshadowed any celebration at its annual meeting, held online.

In the co-operative’s 45th annual report chairwoman Janette Osborne said shareholders gave strong support to a capital raise with $1.8 million paid or committed, despite 50% of them yet to respond.

Confidence of farmers falls

Rabobank's latest rural confidence survey shows the shadow covid-19 has thrown on the rural sector.

Farmer sentiment has slipped since late last year with net farmer confidence down from 112% to -44% in the March quarter.

Woolshed bash boosts charity

When Mathew and Jackie Francis decided to build a new woolshed they wanted to follow tradition and hold a community shed opening and a small charity fundraiser. 

But it rapidly turned into a big fundraiser and shed opening.

Plan ahead for shearing

Farmers who need shearers to do work necessary for flock welfare should think ahead and talk to their contractor as soon as possible.

Shearing Contractors Association president Mark Barrowcliffe says more planning than usual is required.

Primary Wool goes digital

Primary Wool Co-operative is going online with its annual meeting this week and expects the move will enable more members to attend.

The meeting is at 1pm on April 2 on the Zoom platform.

Drought hurts store lamb sale

A combination of drought and no feed hit this week’s store lamb sale at Stortford Lodge.

AgriHQ analyst Suz Bremner says there were about 9500 store lambs at Hastings on Wednesday, a significant increase on previous weeks that came on the back of rain forecast in Hawke’s Bay last week failing to materialise.

Shearing contests hit by covid-19

Most of the season’s remaining shearing contests are likely to be cancelled because of coronavirus.

Four events on one of the busiest weekends of the season this Saturday and Sunday have been cancelled and major shows the New Zealand Shears and the Royal Easter Show are considering their options.

Bids bring Beltex bedlam

The top priced ram of the day fetched $18,000 and headed to Northland from the third annual Beltex New Zealand sale.

Hosted by the Gallagher family on their Mt Somers Rangiatea property the auction this year offered 170 Beltex and Beltex-cross ram lambs including, for the first time, the Beltex-Cheviot and Beltex-Texel crosses.  

BeltexNZ director and breeder Blair Gallagher said while a pleasing sale it was one with an interesting twist.

Shears patron still has passion

Earlier this month the Golden Shears celebrated its 60th anniversary. Colin Williscroft caught up with its patron, Laurie Keats, who helped organise the first event.