Global Farmer Roundtable Seat

Jane Smith of Newhaven was recently asked to attend the ‘Global Farmer Roundtable’ in Des Moines, Iowa, USA. This is only the second time that a New Zealand farmer has been selected, and Jane was honoured to attend, along with 12 other farmers from around the globe – including Nepal, Zimbabwe, Mexico, India, Canada, NZ, Rwanda, USA, United Kingdom, Indonesia, and Argentina.

Jane Smith represents Newhaven and New Zealand at the Global Farmer Roundtable

Jane Smith represents Newhaven and New Zealand at the Global Farmer Roundtable

“An uplifting and highly informative experience” was how she described the week – which involved intense yet open discussions on a wide range of global farmer related topics – from farmer advocacy to genetic technology.

Jane Smith discusses New Zealand initiatives at the Global Farmer Roundtable

Jane Smith discusses New Zealand initiatives at the Global Farmer Roundtable

Minister of Agriculture Visits Newhaven

The Newhaven Team recently hosted Honourable Nathan Guy, New Zealand’s Minister of Primary Industries. Minister Guy conducted a tour of the Newhaven hill farm and discussed the latest initiatives that both our Newhaven Perendale stud and Fossil Creek Angus stud are undertaking. A robust discussion was held over lunch at Newhaven on both the challenges and the opportunities that lie ahead in the New Zealand Agricultural industry. Minister Guy then met with our ‘Kakanui Catchment Group’ – an environmental enhancement group that is being established by local proactive farmers, including the Newhaven Team – and the wider community.

Blair Smith hosts our local Minister of Parliament, Jacqui Dean and NZ Minister of Primary Industries, Hon. Nathan Guy

Blair Smith hosts our local Minister of Parliament, Jacqui Dean and NZ Minister of Primary Industries, Hon. Nathan Guy

Global Challenge for Newhaven team member

This article is hot off the press and written by Rob Tipa, of the well respected ‘NZ Farmer’ publication.

North Otago sheep and beef breeder Jane Smith has been selected to represent New Zealand at an international farming forum in the United States in October.It is just the second time a New Zealand farmer has been invited to participate in the annual Global Farmer Network forum, its next Roundtable programme scheduled to be held in Des Moines, Iowa, from October 10 -14 in conjunction with the World Food Prize Convention.

Jane Smith - Newhaven Perendales

Jane Smith – Newhaven Perendales

The theme for the 2016 event is Let Food Be Thy Medicine: Leadership, Nutrition, Conflict, Infrastructure.
Jane and Blair Smith are partners in the Newhaven Perendale and Fossil Creek Angus Studs at Five Forks in North Otago and were national winners of the Ballance Farm Environment Awards in 2012.
The couple represented New Zealand as ambassadors of sustainable farming when they visited China, South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore as part of their award for winning the national title.Jane Smith is also an independent director of the Red Meat Profit Partnership and an independent board member of the Veterinary Council of New Zealand.

She says the Global Farmer Network is an apolitical organisation that runs an international forum for farming in developed and developing countries, comparable to a United Nations forum for farming delegates rather than diplomats.
About a dozen selected farmers from around the world have been invited to exchange ideas on global issues that affect farmers, including trade and sharing information technology and knowledge.Smith said she was looking forward to gaining an international perspective of farming, which was important for an export-focused country like New Zealand.

Trade negotiations were a particularly crucial and sensitive issue for New Zealand farmers, she said. Internationally, trade negotiations were often very political and handled at arm’s length from farmers.

“We know what effect trade talks have on farmers in New Zealand, but what effect does it have on developing countries where farmers are just trying to keep their heads above water,” she said.

“I’m keen to understand the influence political decisions and trade have on farms,” Smith said. “I think I have a reasonable understanding of it in New Zealand, but I’m keen to understand it from another perspective.”

Smith is a strong advocate for sustainability in farming and would like to see the industry looking and planning ahead by 100 or 200 years, not just 10 to 20 years “From a personal point of view, I think profit and sustainability can go hand in hand. I think that’s really important,” she said. “I think in some developing countries it’s easy to take a short-term focus with profits first.”
She believes this long-term approach is the way forward for farming in New Zealand and in developing countries.

“I don’t expect we’ll solve these issues around a table but it will be really interesting to have these conscious conversations about these issues.” The first New Zealander selected to attend the Global Farmer Roundtable was Methven cropping and dairy farmer Craige Mackenzie, a former Nuffield Scholar who attended the annual event in 2012.

Mackenzie and his wife Roz were also former winners of the national Ballance Farm Environment Awards’ prestigious Gordon Stephenson Trophy in 2013, an honour they share with the Smiths.

Newhaven hosts the Country Calendar Crew…

Following a record breaking 300 mls of rain in three days and a heavy snowfall may not be the best time to host a film crew onto your property, but the Newhaven Team enjoyed having Julian O’Brien and his capable crew experience a week at Newhaven in July 2013.

It was an honour indeed to take part of this iconic TVNZ programme that has been a weekly family favourite on television screens throughout the generations in New Zealand.

View the episode on Newhaven Farms by clicking here

Filming on Newhaven's Hill Block July 2013 cc 083

The National Perendale Progeny Trial

AgResearch technicians analysing Perendale Loins

AgResearch technicians analysing Perendale Loins

As this enters it’s third year – David (as the New Zealand Progeny Trial Chairman) reports that the concept of identifying some of the nation’s leading Perendale Sires with superior growth and meat quality attributes has been extremely well supported by members, from a base of over 28,000 registered and recorded ewes.

Traits currently being recorded in the trial include – Weaning Weight, Slaughter Weight, Dressing Out %, Hindquarter, Loin and Shoulder Yield, Total Meat Yield, Fat Colour, Meat Colour, Meat pH ,Fat Cover, Marbling, Shelf Life and Tenderness.

During 2013, testing will also include Meat Taste along with a number of maternal traits being measured on the past three years of female progeny including Tupping Weight, Condition Scores, Lamb Survival, Culling Ratio and Longevity.

Data results to date have proven to be very encouraging , with all Sires used over the past two years producing progeny that have exceeded industry benchmarks on meat quality traits – such as Perendale lambs with total meat yields of up to 63.2%.

2012 Highlights

The Hope family

The Hope family

The New Zealand Ewe Hogget Competition

‘A Passion for Perendales’ and a dedication for producing top quality sheep was recognised on a nationwide basis in June 2012 – when Preston and Tori Hope of ‘Forest View’, Deep Stream, Otago were announced the Supreme National All Breeds winners of the New Zealand Ewe Hogget Competition following their selection to represent the Perendale Breed in the 2012 national final. This award is a huge nationwide achievement for the Perendale breed. ‘Our Farm, Our Workplace, Our livelihood’ is a key philosophy of the Hope family. You may recall that Preston and Tori hosted our second Newhaven Client Focus Day in May 2006 at Forest View. The Hope’s host a national field day on November 20th – showcasing the awards, the Perendale breed and their outstanding commitment to their driving philosophy of hard work leading to excellence.

Two in a Row

At the South Island Ram Fair in January 2012, we were fortunate to secure the top overall sale price for the second year in a row with a Newhaven ram, NE 40/10. While this was a great result – it was especially satisfying to see that structurally robust rams with proven well-rounded genetic merit were in very good demand again this year. It is important to note that we do not breed, select or ‘pamper’ rams especially for this sale, but participate in order to support the New Zealand Perendale Society and the industry. We find it extremely gratifying to know that we are able to offer sires at your ram selection time that are of the genetic equivalent of the one or two stud sires that we put forward for this key national auction.

Mount Monmot

Trudy Boyer and Malcolm Fletcher of Mount Monmot Perendales

‘Award Winning Operation’

Congratulations to Warrick and Wendy Day of South Hillend for winning the ‘2012 Environment Southland Farming Award’ for their farm landscape enhancement and environmentally sustainable farming practices – an excellent achievement! Success at the Australian Sheep and Wool Show

Congratulations to Malcolm Fletcher and Trudy and Tony Boyer of our ‘Mount Monmot’ joint genetic venture stud in Victoria, Australia for their success at the Australian Sheep and Wool Show at Bendigo in July. Highlights amongst their multiple awards were the titles ‘Supreme Perendale’ and ‘Champion Ram’. We have been heartened by the level of excitement from the Australian sheep industry by the introduction of quality New Zealand Perendale genetics.

2012 Show Highlight

We were delighted that one of our stud sires was awarded the ‘Frank O’Reilly Memorial Trophy’ for the Supreme Champion Wool Sheep at the 2012 Canterbury Royal A & P show – this was a first for the Perendale breed as this award tends to be the domain of fine wool breeds and it assures us that we are still placing crucial emphasis on the key physical attributes of a pure Perendale – including the production of quality wool.

A Unique Legacy

Congratulations to the Aspinall family for the release of ‘High Country Legacy’ – a book celebrating four generations of Aspinall’s farming the iconic ‘Mount Aspiring Station’. A fitting tribute to a highly respected New Zealand farming identity – the late John Aspinall. There are very few books in life that you feel honoured and privileged to read, and this is most certainly one of them.

Born to Perform

Perendale NZThe Perendale Sheep Society of New Zealand, ‘Perendale NZ’ launched their new registered trademark brand concept at the Gore Ram Fair in January 2012 – heralding a heightened marketing presence within the sheep industry from one of the strongest and most innovative breed societies in the country. Jane was especially pleased to see this launched – after she had led a team of five society volunteers over an eight month journey to rebrand this logo for the Perendale society.

The distinctive blue and green logo, designed by Christchurch design firm, Hot Pyjama Productions Ltd,  includes a symbolic hill which reflects the genetic gains the breed has made since the 1950’s, as well as a road that indicates the breed is forging ahead on the genetic path into the future of red meat and wool genetics – leading the way for our industry.

We have also been involved in the production of a new Perendale New Zealand Magazine (last published in 2008) and we hope to present you with a copy during your ram selection in early 2013.

A Future to be proud of

Albert Einstein’s words ‘in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity’ align well with our industry when you look at the resilient rural communities that surround us –  this tends to shine through even more so during times of duress. Our small local community was fortunate enough (depending on the way that you look at it) to host a Rural Support Trust drought meeting last week. With emphasis on long term sustainable strategies and communication being the main tenants of the gathering. This was reinforced through the words of our North Otago Feds captain, Ross Ewing – emphasising that we must maintain a good rapport with friends, neighbours and colleagues in both good times and bad along with the importance of becoming involved and engaged in your wider community. The past two years have shown us that the traditional dry areas such as the east coast are certainly not alone – we have real sympathy for those areas that have been hit over this period that have not often been exposed to such conditions in the past. Once again during times of challenge, it is important to accentuate the positives – now being a perfect time to find long lost pocket knives and fencing tools out in the paddock, or simply go fishing for the day.

The Perendale Society of New Zealand celebrated their 50th anniversary in May and this occasion is momentous not only in regards to a milestone being reached in longevity – but more importantly in  the advances that the society has made, especially over the past 18 months. The National Perendale Progeny Test commenced in April, which has the unique strength of over 28,000 SIL recorded and registered dam records behind it. An excellent example of a proactive team of sheep breeders working together for the national benefit of the industry, not just a trial that has been strengthened purely by a large and shiny marketing budget.

In March we welcomed Skyla, a highly capable high school student to the farm team for work experience one day a week and she will certainly get a number of lessons on ‘what not to do’ from Blair, especially when it comes to heading dog commands and general communication. It is heartening to once again see a young person that is passionate about agriculture with a hunger to learn and ask questions – and fostering these young people in a structured manner is something that we should encourage, just as the dairy industry has carried out in a most commendable manner over the past two decades.

Jane Smith