Monday, 11 July 2011

The Cloak of Knowledge has a new owner

# Big Farming Story of the Week: The Cloak of Knowledge has a new owner.

Will Grayling, the 25 year old Prince Harry lookalike, was crowned the 2011 National Bank Young Farmer of the Year. Will, who has a Masters of Applied Science from Lincoln University, is obviously no fool plus he proved he’s no mug when it comes to the basics of farming with a pretty smart effort in the practical and technical segments of the contest. Will, an Ashburton cow cocky, is walking proof that the young, intelligent and articulate are choosing farming as a career. And the regal comparisons do not end with Will. His fiancée Kimberly True has a Kate Middleton look about her. I’m sure they’ll do a right-royal job as farming ambassadors over the next 12 months.

# Big Political Story of the Week: The Feds have a new Prez!

There was plenty of politicking going on in Rotorua recently when Federated Farmers elected a new president, Bruce Wills, to replace the retiring Don Nicolson. The amiable Hawkes Bay sheep and beef farmer reputedly headed off a strong challenge from Lachlan McKenzie in what conspiracy theorists would claim to be a head-to-head battle between sheep/beef v dairy. In something akin to a papal conclave, when white smoke bellows from the Vatican when a new Pope is elected, the Feds were quick to send smoke signals that Wills was their man. For my money Nicolson did a good job raising the profile of the Feds during his three year term. Wills promises a more “collaborative approach to advocacy”. I would urge him and his new vice president, the equally amiable Dr William Rolleston, not to be shrinking violets. Any good watchdog needs a bit of bite!

# Big Sporting Story of the Week: The Courageous Crusaders and their former coach.

At the time of writing I can only hope the Crusaders have had a fairytale finish to their year on the road. The result of the Super 15 final has huge ramifications for the Rugby World Cup. If, as I expect, the Crusaders smash the Reds up front, then well and good. If, however, Quade Cooper and Will Genia have weaved their magic, then Graham Henry might have some problems.

Ever since Robbie Deans was overlooked for the All Blacks coaching job in 2007 following the Cardiff capitulation, I have repeatedly awoken, drenched in a cold sweat in the middle of the night, visualizing Deans holding aloft the Webb Ellis Cup with a “told you so” smirk on his face. I have no doubt the All Blacks are the best team in the world. I also concede Henry has done an admirable job since the hatchet job that was his reappointment. The only fly in the ointment is the irony of New Zealand’s best rugby coach winning the RWC for Australia.

# Brickbat: The Double Jeopardy Law.

I don’t know who killed the Kahui twins. Logic would suggest one of a dastardly duo is responsible. The release of perennial conspiracy theorist Ian Wishart’s book Breaking Silence: The Kahui Case will allegedly point the finger of blame squarely at Chris Kahui. But because he has been tried before and found not guilty he cannot be convicted of the killings even if subsequent evidence should prove otherwise. The law is an ass. Almost as big an ass as the PC system that allowed the Kahui clan to close ranks at the time of the killings, while police were forced to handle the case with kid gloves.

# Bouquet: John Hartnell and the Farmy Army.

These real troopers were awarded the “Agricultural Personality of the Year” at Federated Farmers Annual Awards evening. This accolade was richly deserved because in the past 12 months no one person or group has done more to enhance the reputation of farmers or reinforce the message that cockies are generally giving and good buggers!

Jamie Mackay is the host of the Ballance Agri-Nutrients Farming Show which airs on Radio Sport and Newstalk ZB. In a past life a Southland sheep farmer, these days he comments on farming, politics and sport for a living from his Radio Network studio in Dunedin.


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