Fenceless Farming to Water Concerns: Current Events in New Zealand Agriculture

As a journalism geek, I like reading through agriculture news. Here are some recent New Zealand agriculture news stories, their openings, and notes from my experiences here:

Breaking out of the milk powder trap: Why dairy may turn to barns

April 29, 2017

“The next big thing for dairying in the South Island looks like it might be – indeed it may have to be – cows in barns.

“Cue the sharp intake of breath, but Jeff Gould, a dairy farmer who runs 1100 cows by the Rangitata River near Ealing in mid-Canterbury, agrees.

“Yes, he knows. Putting cows indoors? That is what other countries do. New Zealand prides itself in being all natural. Animals grazing free range in a field.

“And it is regarded as the lower cost production model too. Our competitive advantage. Elsewhere they truck in grain for the cows, as well as having to pay for their housing.”

For me, this has been a story of high intrigue as I observe the differences between New Zealand and American dairy farming. A major difference is the use of barns as shelter for the cows. New Zealanders plant shelter belts around large blocks of land and plan the paddocks within them. Continue reading

Shorts from New Zealand

I’m back in Christchurch, which means I will have spent a third of my year in New Zealand in this city and the vicinity. My working holiday visa expires in a little over two weeks, so I’m working to sell my car and wrap everything up here. But it’s not quite time to return home–I’m taking the scenic route. I’ll first fly to Sydney and visit Australia, then I’ll visit Southeast Asia, Ireland, England, Wales and Scotland. I’ll return home in October and revel in my second autumn of the year.

So for this blog post, here is some

Miscellany from Down Under

For this story, keep in mind I’d been working and living almost exclusively with Kiwis for the four and a half months prior.

All year, I’ve been told Americans are loud, and I’d felt that, too, often speaking more quietly by a few notches when talking with a Kiwi. I thought it was just the volume at which we speak (and how slow we speak) that people noticed.

But when I visited a sheep station in Queenstown during a week of touristy activities, there was a group of Americans who sat in front of me during the sheep shearing demonstration. Continue reading