Cupcake challenge pays off

Identifying horse organs, making cupcakes, and commentating on a horse race were a few of the unexpected tasks that confronted Dylan Stratford as he fought off other contestants to win Harness Racing New Zealand's inaugural Cadet of the Year award.

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  • Showing the way

    Imogen Steiner is a 17-year-old with a very clear idea of where her future will take her.

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  • Horsey girl

    Loving horses from a very young age, Laura Neale is now getting the ultimate experience working at Grange William Stud in Southern Taranaki. The stud classifies itself as a thoroughbred nursery and offers a range of services including broodmare selection, stallion services, yearling sales and preparation, and breaking in.

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  • Shemozzle a blast of mud and dog hair

    The 17th annual Shemozzle was a test of speed, stamina, stomach-strength and dog recognition with some of the 83 shepherds using it as training event to build up for other multi-sport events. Others didn’t train much at all, relying on underlying fitness and the adrenaline on the day to get them around the punishing course.

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  • Detour on career path pays off

    At just 25, Rhea Nelis is convinced she has the perfect job for life.

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Top woman + shepherd

Katey Craig feels on top of the world with her job at Otiwhiti Station but then being on top is something she should be used to. She was top student in her cadet year and has since represented New Zealand at world young shepherds contest where she again came out, yes, on top.

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  • Development Duo

    If you think converting a farm to dairying is a big project (and it definitely is) spare a thought for Hannah Bruce and Fraser Haywood who have to get their heads around converting 25,000ha of pine forest into a variety of pastoral farming units – with 39 dairy farms and two dairy support operations in the mix. Jackie Harrigan visited the pair at Landcorp Farming headquarters, Taupo, to get an update on the Wairakei Pastoral vision and development.

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  • Sniffing out biosecurity risks

    Preventing pests and diseases from becoming established in New Zealand is a big job. Detector dogs are one of the key biosecurity tools working to protect NZ’s borders and every year finding tens of thousands of agricultural quarantine items coming into the country.  Young Country’s Sheryl Brown caught up with Sarah Carley and her beagle, Bounty, who has his nose on the job. She also chatted to Anna Rathé about her work in pest prevention.

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  • Growing and grading ‘gold’

    What grows on a pasture-fed animal, is worth ten times more than most merino wool, and is a health food? It’s deer velvet; the young soft antlers on stags. Jo Grigg investigated the velvet supply chain and some of its workers. 

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  • Land of milk and money

    It may be cold, it may even snow during calving, and there’s nothing blocking that southerly coming off the ice caps at any time of the year, but nowhere is the grass as green as in the south of New Zealand. Three young people from away are finding their feet in the current dairy boom and all swear home is great but the south is the place to be.

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Xero-ing in on the future of farming

Chances are William Richmond, the colourful character who founded Richmond Meats in Hawke’s Bay, would be very proud of his great-grandson, Ben.

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  • Animal Photography

    Straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak, photographer Ross Nolly gives his advice on how to capture your animals on camera. Don’t be afraid, ewe will find taking good pictures is not a cow of a job as this no-bull guide proves as we steer you in the right direction. If you ram home these instructions and doggedly go at it your photos won’t be turkeys.

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  • Getting social

    Navigating the world of social media may seem a bit daunting, but there are great opportunities for those who embrace it. Rebecca Harper talked to some agricultural social media advocates.

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  • Match maker, match maker, make me a match….

    Finding love in the countryside has always been a little fraught, especially for people living in isolated places.

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  • Xero adding specialist farm package

    Sharemarket sensation Xero expects to have its new system allowing specialised farm accounting providers to integrate their software with Xero on the market early next year.

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Green dreams

Liza Whalley was born with green fingers – and possibly thumbs – although as a kid, training dogs was what she wanted to do with her life.

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  • Pick ‘n mix plants

    Selections of vegetable, herb and flower seedlings are Monique Ham’s perfect kind of pick’n mix. The green-fingered 20-year-old can be found without fail every Friday morning at the Feilding Farmers’ Market with her trays of seedlings for sale. Selling seedlings for 50 or 70 cents each can be a tough business, but Monique enjoys helping the keen gardeners who come along to her site. Her pick’n’mix selection is an ideal system for customers to get exactly what they want without having to waste produce, and is perfect for the small gardener.

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  • Fighting the good fight

    The reality of a biosecurity breach hit home to the New Zealand kiwifruit industry when the Psa bacteria were first found in 2010. Psa has since wiped out the industry’s kingpin variety Gold Hort16A and cost the industry an estimated $900 million. Sheryl Brown caught up with biosecurity analyst Matt Dyck who is working to prevent another biosecurity disaster for the kiwifruit industry. 

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  • Orcharding a sweet career

    Managing a large apple orchard and studying horticulture is half a world away from Steven Hartley’s previous career path but, coming from the investment banking world, he can’t think of a better way of life.

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  • Vintners Luck

    Some might say Mike Winter has had a lucky run moving from Lincoln University graduate to assistant manager of a large Central Otago vineyard in just over three years. But as Lynda Gray discovered he’s done the hard yards and recently tested – and proved – his mettle in a national viticulture contest.

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A real Barrier bloke

Great Barrier Island isn’t home to many but it’s sustained generations of Wayde Blackwell’s family. And because he couldn’t tear himself away from its lifestyle there’s a new generation beginning life on the island.

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  • Got Branded at New Year?

    Chilly bin full of Speight’s, swags rolled up, Hilux loaded and boots on – the perfect start to a southern summer in New Zealand.

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  • Shear-marathon

    When Otago farmer James Hill learnt about fellow farmer Cole Wells’ mission to Shear For Life he knew it was something he wanted to get involved in.

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  • Motocross 101 – Ben Townley

    Ben Townley made his name in motocross around the world, and now back on his own block of land in the Bay of Plenty he has developed a new style of cross – speedcross. Designed for farmland, lifestyle blocks or an empty lot, Paul Savage talked to BT about the new form of racing which combines motocross, supercross and speedway racing.

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  • The Throne Track

    Tommy Dillon has the ultimate motorcross playground in the middle of his family farm The Throne. 

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Agriculture student of the year a standout performer

Monique Mathis, a third-year bachelor of agricommerce student was crowned Massey University agriculture student of the year in Palmerston North last Friday.

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Branding a stag

This yarn is about Patrick. Patrick was engaged to be married you see and no self respecting kiwi bloke would dare tie the knot without first having a stag party. As it so happened the lads shanghaied me into taking them on a rafting trip down a river to spot X with the intention of getting the stag onto a stag while having a jolly good time in the process, if that makes sense.

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No blues for berry buddies

Heidi and Ben Rosewarne unintentionally started their berry empire but now they are cornering the market in adding value to their produce and using their smart marketing strategy of getting to parents through the children.

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  • Venison tiki tour

    Most farmed deer are found south of Rakaia River. 

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  • Smoke it

    Ever thought of smoking butter? It may sound strange, but Auckland chef Jeremy Schmid reckons you should give it a go, and his new book Smoked shows just how easy it is to do at home.

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  • Good keen tucker

    A good keen attitude and creative cooking skills served Angus Lane well during his Ultimate OE wrangler experience in Canada.

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  • Egg-ceptional

    You don’t have to love eating eggs to own a free-range chicken farm, but it probably helps.

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Step by Step

They say if you want something done, ask a busy person.

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  • Think big

    James Matheson fell into dairy farming through sport but has found he no longer dreams of professional rugby as he says there is much more long-term potential in dairy farming. Being a finalist in the Ahuwhenua Young Maori Farmer awards last year has made him think about the potential in Maori agriculture and to want a piece of the action.

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  • Rockin’ country

    Hot on the heels of Garth Brooks launching his global come-back tour, New Zealand’s own farm boy is set to make his debut in the global country music scene, and he’s managing it from the seat of a tractor in Cave, South Canterbury.

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  • The winding road

    Alice Mabin was as happy as anyone could be out on the land … till an accident set her along a different course. Rebecca Harper reports.

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  • Down the policy road

    Kimberly Crewther has cut a track through the dairy industry at the policy level, travelling, juggling three children and pumping out policy and strategy papers as she went.

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Mastering the agribusiness

Agribusiness has become buzzword encompassing the huge business of agriculture and young people are starting to realise the jobs that are available for a business graduate with a good understanding of agricultural or horticultural industries. Jackie Harrigan talked to a couple of young graduates who took their agribusiness studies to the masters level.

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  • The Young Ones

    Rural real estate agents are selling New Zealand - but when their livelihood is based on making a sale and it could be months between sales when you are starting out, how do you get a toehold in the industry? Jo Grigg investigates some interesting ways of cracking into the industry. 

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  • A helping hand

    Ever imagined willingly putting your hand up a cows bum? Well it’s a task artificial insemination (AI) technicians do every day and don’t think twice about. Sam Tennent investigates why they get paid for the pleasure.

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  • From dole to dairying

    It’s too easy to write off someone on the dole, Paul Devening has learnt at Tectra.

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  • Planting the town green

    Kelly Jean Kerr loves gardening so much that when Young Country called to chat about her winning the Young Horticulturist of the Year she was spending her day off weeding her garden.

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Worrying dogs

I recently had a phone call from a friend with a huge problem.

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  • Drawing the line

    In the last issue I wrote about Baz, a heading dog condemned by two tutors. After a small amount of my training he was a stunning young dog with the potential to go far.

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  • Making allowances

    Veterinary expenses for working dogs has often been a bone of contention between New Zealand farm workers and farm owners.

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  • Dog posture

    There seems to be some confusion out there about reading dog body language. 

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  • Consider your dog

    Conserve your dog’s energy for when you really need it. They are not robots but living creatures that get tired. These tips will help your dog’s performance.

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Editorial - Working together

I was lucky enough to spend a week in Bali at a family wedding recently – and I was struck by the power of collaboration – everywhere you look in that tiny country, people work together.

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  • Annual Achievement Awards

    You have all heard of the Oscars and the Golden Globes...Well this year we would like to bring you our own awards to honour 2014...

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  • Editorial - Lifelong learning

    No one ever said a science degree would be easy – but it has been my passport to many interesting jobs and an exciting career that has taken me all over the country and around the world.

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  • Editorial - Creating opportunities

    I have been hearing a lot of chatter in the industry about whether it is possible for young people to get into their own property. 

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  • Editorial: Land – your dream job

    It’s been all go here at Young Country Global HQ. We launched Land – your dream job at four main-city Careers Expos and then officially at the KPMG Agri-Leaders Business breakfast at National Fieldays with 150 leaders from all over the country. And we had a great shared site with Young Farmers at Mystery Creek, where all the fun started. We had kids dunking in an effluent tank with eels to win prizes of fleecy Ts, singlets, coats, caps and mugs, wristbands and stickers (to be honest they were fake eels – the fun police killed that idea with their wacky animal rights ideals).

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Young Country + April, 2014 e-zine

'Click here to view the full publication'

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