PULPIT: Lack of meat staff can be fixed

The meat industry says there is a shortage of about 2000 workers but that is a challenge that goes well beyond simply demanding foreign workers to fill the gap.

Ask any long-term meat worker. 

MEATY MATTERS: Alliance puts spin on poor result

It was a profit but, as Alliance chairman Murray Taggart said “We don’t budget to make $8 million on turnover of $1.8 billion”.

The just-announced 2018 result compared with the previous year’s operating profit of $20.2m though after pool payments the 2017 profit was only 11% higher than this year’s. 

ALTERNATIVE VIEW: Only rejected candidates can stand

I was a little surprised to receive a condescending and fatuous email from Farmlands on its recent board of directors election.

While I congratulate the successful candidates I found the process nauseating in the extreme.

Suicide: Call it what it is

Suicide affects communities and strong communities are needed to combat the problem of youth suicide rural New Zealand is still experiencing at alarming rates.

Mainstream media have to be careful how they report suicide cases and suspected cases. Their hands are tied by the law. 

FROM THE RIDGE: Smoking pipes bring no peace

I have a gripe with a pipe I’d like to share with you. Not the fault of the pipe but more circumstance.

When the forestry gang turned up here in February, before I knew it, a young fellow was dropping trees in the valley next to where they started, not giving me the chance to salvage my 40mm high-pressure pipe that delivers stock water from the pump next to the creek to the tank on the hill.

OFF THE CUFF: Give yourself a fitness check

It is always a pleasant sensation to feel the first warm, sunny days on your back after a long, wet winter. 

Late spring is an enjoyable time on the farm with loads of green grass, crops being planted and longer days to get all the jobs done. 

PULPIT: Heading for a TB-free future

Ospri Chairman Barry Harris says New Zealand farmers can be proud of the progress of the TB Plan towards eradicating the infectious livestock disease bovine tuberculosis.

MEATY MATTERS: Structure kills Fonterra growth

Fonterra's trials and tribulations have led to a rising crescendo of criticism of the co-operative’s performance since the release of the 2018 annual report. 

Declining share value and dividend payments, fluctuating milk price, inadequate return on capital, failure to match international and domestic competitors’ financial performance, failed investments, rising debt ratio and overpaid staff are the most notable criticisms.