Otago Daily Times Comment "Over the Fence"

Industry Sadly Lacking in Nutritional Wisdom 16 Sept 2013

What if New Zealand Lamb and Beef’s Iron Maidens promoted meat as medicine instead of just iron for energy?    Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride, one of the UK’s leading specialists linking nutrition to human behaviour points out lamb and beef fat has same fat composition as breast milk; a highly digestible food for humans.  What?  Imagine the kafuffle that causes at Weight Watchers, let alone among vegans and vegetarians!    Here is an ideal opportunity to lift professionalism and...

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Tax Breaks do not Address Root Causes of Environmental Problems July 22 2013

While riparian plantings look pretty from roadsides they fail to address the root cause of many environmental problems facing rural communities. Farmers are now able to claim planting of riparian areas as operating expenses.  I applaud this development but wish it included ongoing maintenance costs as well.  While politicians and environmentalists congratulate themselves on this policy change is it really going to make a difference?  Both Environment Southland and Waikato have commented...

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High Country Grazing Effects not Quite so Straightforward 17 June 2013

Last month’s ODT articles on Birchwood station highlight the gap in New Zealand land management knowledge, an issue Kim Hill explored on her radio show with Allan Savory early June.  Savory would be one of the world’s most controversial wildlife biologists because he promotes livestock to restore landscape vitality; the complete opposite of what the rest of the world believes.  What conservation and agriculture fail to comprehend is what Savory calls brittleness, how annual distribution...

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Changes to Farm Practices Mostly Facilitated By Women 1 April 2013

Behind every successful man there is woman rolling her eyes, so Hollywood actor Jim Carrey says and it’s no different on the farm.  Women spearhead changes in farm practice. While women are not as visible in rural leadership, their influence on farming men is tenacious; nothing like a sharp elbow in bed to remind one of their responsibilities and accountabilities.  If he hasn’t got it during the day, he has by morning... As a teacher of alternative farming methods over 90% of my...

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We all need a Change to Shake Things up a Bit 11 February 2013

“Disturbance is good.  Don’t believe me, have a baby” a farmer once said to me. The great farming scientist Andre Voisin demonstrates in his books examples of what happens to farm production when practices remain the same for years.  Production eventually collapses.  Research he used shows while pasture quantity increases, quality declines leading to sick livestock, higher animal health bills, and lower profits. Effects of any new idea or technology usually reduce over time, if not...

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Mainstream Farming Comprimised by Vested Interests 26 November 2012

Whenever I give a presentation on regenerative agriculture in rural communities, I’m always asked “how come we’ve never heard of this?” or more commonly, “where do I go to find real innovative solutions to my problems?”  There are six points about farming information that farmers need to be aware of. Information is a Commodity Information services are pitched at majorities.  Truly new ideas are seldom in mainstream publications, seminars, or consultants.  Majorities rule...

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