Episodes

  • One of the most precious gems in New Zealand’s food & fibre sector is the family farm, so how do we ensure that the intergenerational business model can survive a changing world?

    For information on the services of our guests visit, https://www.familybusinesscentral.com

    https://nzab.co.nz/our-services

    https://www.wynnwilliams.co.nz

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  • The global lockdown of 2020 brought consumers closer to the source of their food and gave confidence to an NZ arable sector project that will see local chefs and pasta producers able to source the key durum wheat ingredient from their backyard.

    “We have found that the taste profile of Wairarapa grown durum wheat presents a really interesting provenance story, as the wine industry tells. NZ pasta producers want to source all their ingredients locally - eggs, sunflower oil and durum wheat to tell their own provenance story too,” explains Ivan Lawrie, GM Business Operations at Foundation for Arable Research.

    One of this week’s Sarah’s Country’s Change Maker, Foundation for Arable Research General Manager of Business Operations, Ivan Lawrie explains:

    Semolina the coarse, purified wheat middlings of durum wheat is mainly used in making couscous and Italian pastas and currently is all imported, but there is demand for NZ product by NZ chefs and food producers.MPI’s Sustainable Food & Fibre Future’s funding is enabling a project to create niche markets for the highly sought after durum wheat and providing a shining light for Wairarapa arable growers following the devastating biosecurity eradication of pea weevil eradication costing the industry close to $130 million.This is the beginning of many more specialty pulses and grain value chains which ultimately fill our New Zealand wheat mills operating at full capacity.

    For more information on the MPI funded durum wheat project

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  • The father of modern medicine, Hippocrates, 2,500 years ago said ‘we are what we eat' and Lincoln University in 2021 researchers are continuing to prove his adage that for food to be thy medicine we need to give our animals more choice in what they are eating.

    Increasing societal demand for our products to come from happy and healthy animals may lead to more selective multi-species feeding of livestock that Lincoln University research shows can provide a more ethical story, more environmental benefits and nutrient-dense red meat from humans.

    One of this week’s Sarah’s Country’s Change Maker, Lincoln University Pastoral Livestock Production Lab PhD candidate, Konagh Garrett explains their team’s research:

    Looking at the diet of the animal that we are consuming affects the quality and health benefits humans receive.By providing animals with choice, you're giving them some control over their environment and meeting their nutritional needs, lowering their levels of stress as they can express their preference and their likings to foods. By having those options, they're able to also consume more food and be more productive because they're able to create different plant combinations so that they don't become more satiate and become sick of eating the same thing over and over again!Increasing societal demand for our products has come from happy and healthy animals, so multi-species feeding can provide a more ethical story, more environmental benefits and nutrient-dense foods.Trials studying what ewes eat shows that lambs also prefer that same species of plants and so if you shift lambs to a different diet it can cause stress that affects eating quality.

    To read the research “How Dietary Diversity Enhances Hedonic and Eudaimonic Well-Being in Grazing Ruminants”: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fvets.2020.00191/full

  • Science collaboration between human health nutritionists, soil and animal scientists shows that grass-fed animals that forage on a diet of diverse pasture lead to health-promoting phytochemicals when consumed in a whole food diet.

    As part of the Sarah’s Country’s Thought Maker series brought to you by Multiscapes at Lincoln University, we discuss with Dr Stephan van Vliet from Duke Molecular Physiology Institute, Duke University Medical Center:

    His area of nutritional study is in the field of tracking disease back to dietary origin and how to treat disease from the ground up from what we eat.They have focused on the secondary compounds that affect physiology and metabolism from forage diversity and finishing on pasture which gives red meat health-promoting phytochemicals such as CLA.It always comes back to your overall diet, so if you consume red meat as part of a 'healthy' diet, a lot of the associations with cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, tend to become neutral.Studies, especially in older adults, suggest that moderate amounts of animal foods can actually improve health and longevity and reduce the risk of early mortality.His team encourages nutrition science to collaborate more with soil, plant and animal scientists to work on multidisciplinary projects as we look to the connection between the health of the soil, animals and humans.

    “If the animal is grazing biodiverse pastures, from a large botanical diversity, there are higher health-promoting phytonutrients than monoculture pastures,” explains Stephan van Vliet.

    To read Stephan’s latest research article, ‘Health-Promoting Phytonutrients Are Higher in Grass-Fed Meat and Milk’: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fsufs.2020.555426/full

  • Taking the leap from the science world to technology due to her frustration of innovation not being translated to the farmer, Bridgit Hawkins share’s her journey in building a New Zealand irrigation & effluent management ag-tech company recently acquired by a global company.

    One of this week’s Sarah’s Country’s Change Maker is Bridgit Hawkins, Chief Sustainability Officer at CropX explains :

    Her experience with Rabobank’s FoodBytes!, taught her that a product needs to provide a solution that addresses a pain point as opposed to demonstrating some cool thing you can do in a lab.Rabobank’s FoodBytes! is an annual multi-week programme that helps food and agriculture startups from throughout the world validate and grow their businesses.She validated her business to be acquired by CropX to provide the scale to grow the technology beyond what she could do in New Zealand.How we can help farmer adoption is to grow in maturity to realise that no one company has it all nailed it all and collaborate, but farmers also need to support ag-tech’s development by appreciating the ongoing substantial rate of change.

    “It is very hard for ag-tech to be driven from a science institution because the nature of science is to prove it works in a lab. It needs to be visualized how it will be used in a farmer’s world to be an actual solution," explains Bridgit.

    For information on Rabobanks FoodBytes! Pitch 2021, visit www.foodbytesworld.com

    For information on CropX, visit https://cropx.com/

  • After watching what was described as ‘damning evidence & dramatic footage of the fishing industry’ on Netflix’s movie ‘Seaspiracy’, Sarah finds out if there is any truth about what could be happening in New Zealand seafood boats & salmon farms.

    In this week’s Sarah’s Country’s Opinion Maker, we uncover the facts to fish farming that are so far from those painted in the documentary it was reclassified to a movie!

    Seafood NZ Communications Manager, Lesley Hamilton explains:

    There are 169 species commercially fished in New Zealand producing 450,000 tonnes of seafood bringing in $2 billion in export value.The 2006 study that said the seas will be fished out by 2048 has been discredited multiple NZ is considered in the top five sustainable fisheries in the world with our quota management system as the Ministry for Primary Industry counts the fish stocks And we do that by actually counting the fish every year. We are currently sitting 91% of all fish landed in New Zealand from the stocks that are assessed as being sustainable.New technology such as precision seafood harvesting, seabird mitigation with torey lines, sinkers and coloured dye on the bait distracting the birds from the nets The entire fleet of NZ seafood vessels will be fitted with cameras but concerns and consultation on the privacy of the footage.

    NZ King Salmon CEO, Grant Rosewarne explains:

    NZ King Salmon produces 15,000 tonnes/per annum which is 1% of the world’s salmon which is a type of fish that doesn’t get sea lice and is sustainable due to our natural advantages.Their feed is sustainable by not feeding on marine sources and is close as possible to what they would eat in the wild in terms of nutrition requirements from vegetable protein and off-cuts from beef along with algal oilsMost of the farms are in high flow, high oxygen areas and situated over mudflats and as an effect of having salmon farms, there are more nutrients in the water that leads to an abundance of native species around the farm.He worries about inequity out there in terms of misinformation versus facts. It’s easy to cast aspersions and throw mud, but it can be hard to correct.

    “We actually got a fine on one occasion for having too many native species in too great abundance at one of our farms, which we go, well, if this was a dairy farm and there were too many Kiwi birds would a dairy farmer get a fine for that? Sustainable aquaculture is one of the most sustainable ways of producing animal protein on the planet as we have a net positive increase in biodiversity,” explains Grant Rosewarne.

    To watch the show, visit www.sarahscountry.com

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  • Farmers & growers, trucking companies & ag-tech companies all share one thing in common - they are all desperate for people to work in a variety of jobs across the primary sector.

    We are so desperate for the migrant workforce that can’t get into the country because of Covid, but one Auckland school with the government is working with displaced urban professionals to fill these roles.

    “I think we are still probably geared to the level of immigration we need in our industry and by shutting the gates and relying on what we have, I just don't know that we can get there, but we are trying.”

    As a Sarah’s Country’s Change Maker Peter Brice, Farm Manager at the ASB Mt Albert Grammar School explains:

    The Landed initiative connects displaced urban professionals Covid with a career in the food & fibre sector with a two-day immersion workshop.Industry representation from the likes of Gallagher, Sanford, Zespri and Fonterra presented many opportunities.

    For information on Landed visit, https://landed.org.nz

  • Farmers have been wanting tangible information from their processors to provide livestock that the consumer wants, yet the system doesn’t have a feedback loop to help produce a better product.

    “Farmers are continuously looking at ways of improving what they’re doing in order to produce a better product. So how do we take that goodwill and give them a reward to enable them to be more consumer lead about what they are doing? What are that on-farm decision and the impact of that? You can’t answer that until now,” explains Cameron.

    One of this week’s Sarah’s Country’s Change Maker is Dr. Cameron Craigie from Clarospec who explains:

    Peer-reviewed science demonstrated that 70% of NZ lamb was suboptimal from a consumers perspective. The same things underpin good quality meat - tenderness, PH & intramuscular fat but to be the best producers of lamb in the world we need to know why that meat was good Hyperspectral imaging can collect data at the processing plant and leverage the on-farm management practices that contributed to that. With an objective measurement of quality such as taste, the early you measure it the better.

    Claropsec recently won the overall prize in the 2021 Food, Fibre and Agritech Supernode challenge, sponsored by ChristchurchNZ.

    For information on Clarospec visit, https://www.agresearch.co.nz/about/meet-our-people/dr-cameron-craigie/

  • Successfully winning the Dairy Farm Manager for the Top of the South this shy girl who grew up on a farm isolated in the Marlborough Sounds wants to encourage women to realise that they can be competent but without confidence, they won’t achieve their goals.

    “There is no such thing as a glass ceiling for women as long as you keep driving yourself forward to reach those targets,” explains Rachael Lind.

    This fortnight’s Sarah’s Country’s Sister is Rachael Lind, Pamu Dairy Farm Manager:

    Shares her journey from correspondence school to a boarding school of over 1,000 girls that set her up to build on her confidence. Was the youngest on the team and female when she started working in dairy farming and that getting out alongside your colleagues soon gathered respect. Highlights that women bring compassion, empathy and a motherly role to a team and that diversity need to be appreciated in management roles.Explains that on tough days, if you have the support of your team they will help remind you of the good you are contributing towards your animals and environment.Encourages women to enter awards such as the Dairy Industry Awards to reassure yourself of your competence.

    For information on Pamu Farms of New Zealand visit, https://pamunewzealand.com/

  • Lockdown meant the only way to sell livestock was online, testing livestock agencies and farmers ability to adopt and it’s here to stay.

    To watch the show, visit www.sarahscountry.com

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  • OPINION MAKER

    In this episode we uncover an economic-meets-environmental modelling tool designed by former Massey University agricultural analyst Barrie Ridler known as E2M that New Zealand’s largest farm, Pamu, are using.

    To contact Barrie Riddler: 2bjr@xtra.co.nz

    For information on the E2M Model farm case studies with NZ Landcare Trust: https://www.landcare.org.nz/current-project-item/farm-systems-project

    “Demonstration dairy farm cuts nitrate leaching 30 percent and stays profitable” https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/97071476/demonstration-dairy-farm-cuts-nitrate-leaching-30-per-cent-and-stays-profitable

    To download the E2M Technical Forward: https://bit.ly/3c6GJZQ

    To watch the show, visit www.sarahscountry.com

    Subscribe to Sarah’s Country on the podcast and if you love us, please leave a review!

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  • CHANGE MAKER

    Change can be risky so as an ex-banker, Willie did a lot of due diligence on regenerative farming practices to ensure it would provide his family with a more consistent return on capital and fit in with the intergenerational purpose for their family farm.

    To watch the story of Willie White on Calm the Farm visit, https://www.calmthefarm.nz/case-study-4

    Subscribe to Sarah’s Country where you listen to podcasts to ensure you don’t miss our new episodes!

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  • CHANGE MAKER

    Based in the Netherlands, and in partnership with Biolumic, Rabobank & Wageningen University, Daan Roosegaarde took 2 hectares of land and built horizontal precision lighting recipes which improve plant’s growth and resilience winning two international design awards for showcasing how the power of light can improve agriculture beyond a grow house.

    To learn more about GROW, visit https://www.studioroosegaarde.net/project/grow

    To learn more about Biolumic, visit https://www.biolumic.com/

    Subscribe to Sarah’s Country on the podcast and if you love us, please leave a review!

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  • THOUGHT MAKER

    Agriculture and wilderness do not have to be mutually exclusive as the idea of ‘rewilding’ may offer New Zealand an opportunity for us to restore our natural ecosystems without locking human or livestock completely out.

    To read Iain’s research article “Domestic Livestock and Rewilding: Are They Mutually Exclusive?” visit, https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fsufs.2021.550410/full

    

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  • CHANGE MAKER

    Providing the missing link to getting colostrum into newborn calves, Urzula & Mark Haywood developed the Trusti bag to collect and store the vital nutrients and were a 2020 Fieldays Innovation Award winner.

    For information Antahi Innovations, visit https://antahi.com/

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  • OPINION MAKER

    Heard of the quote “If we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change”?

    In this week’s Sarah’s Country’s Opinion Maker we break-down how to change the way we look at change from backstage at E Tipu: Boma NZ Agri Summit four leader’s advice for the NZ food & fibre sector.

    This interview was featured as part of this week’s Opinion Maker programme brought to you by Farmlands, New Zealand's largest farmer owned rural supplies co-operative.

    Visit them at farmlands.co.nz

    To watch the show, visit www.sarahscountry.com

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  • CHANGE MAKER

    From a shepherd who once sketched his dream, Dion Kilmister took on his first lease farm in the Wairarapa with a $30k overdraft growing today to a $20 million farming operation and winning the 2018 Wairarapa Farm Business of the Year.

    For information on Homegrown Butchery, visit https://homegrownbutchery.online/pages/about-us

    For information on SIDE, visit https://www.side.org.nz

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  • CHANGE MAKER

    Was the documentary, Seaspiracy, calling for consumers to stop eating fish, really representative of fish farming v’s caught from the sea?

    With fish making up 17% of animal protein, aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector in the world, yet with depleted wild-caught fish stocks and consumer’s demand for more sustainable fish farms there is a lot of work to invest in.

    For information on Aqua-Spark who invest globally in sustainable aquaculture, visit,

    https://www.aqua-spark.nl/

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  • SARAH'S SISTERS

    New Zealand land-owners are spending their lifetime replanting native bush that their fore-fathers spent their lifetime cutting down trees.

    For information on Plant Hawkes Bay, visit http://www.planthawkesbay.co.nz/

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  • CHANGE MAKER

    The market size for glyphosate is $4.4 billion and is the largest single chemical sold in the world.

    The Environment Protection Agency in NZ is calling for advice on our use of the herbicide, but removing it completely will take away farmers ability to produce more food in the next 40 years than we have had to produce in the past 8,000 years. So how do you scale up bio-pesticides, the naturally occurring bacteria & fungi option?

    For information Eco, visit www.ecolibriumbiologicals.com

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