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News Farmers Can Use

News Farmers Can Use is emailed to subscribers every fortnight on a Tuesday, each edition contains an article on farming, lifestyle and money. Click here to subscribe.

Money: What needs to happen for you over the next three years?

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If we were to meet in three years’ time, what must have happened for you to consider those years a success?

Lifestyle: Burnt out, in Sydney

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The other week I was in Sydney for an investment conference.

Farming: Hayward anyone?

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Had a Hayward lately?

Farming: Of a sort … herd of Tahr?

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As a recreational hunter myself I consider Kiwis so lucky to be able to head into the hills and harvest free range, organic meat … with the added benefit of full traceability!

Money: Ups and downs – making sense of current financial markets

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Share markets have been on a roller-coaster for the past 7 weeks.

Lifestyle: You can’t teach an old dog new tricks … not so fast.

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For a long time, it has been assumed that the ability of the brain to change itself based upon new experiences, peaks at a young age and then gradually decreases as one gets older.

Farming: Future proofing the farm – 20 ways farmers can reduce contaminant loss

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There are four areas of contaminant loss that farmers are busy addressing:

Lifestyle: Money well spent

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I recently made a great investment.

Money: Spending in retirement – two for the price of one

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Spending in retirement – “Where is the money going to come from to support our lifestyle and how much do we need?”

Farming: Future proofing the farm – greenhouse gas emissions

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Blake Holgate, a sustainability analyst with Rabobank based in Dunedin, gave us an overview of the issues farmers are dealing with on the environmental front.

Money: Like Tolstoy’s general said, the strongest warriors are “time and patience”

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Could Leo Tolstoy have something to tell us at this time?

Lifestyle: Mistakes are good, right?

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I was reminded the other day of the value of celebrating mistakes rather than feeling guilty about them.

Farming: Is your river swimmable?

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I am not so interested in swimming in rivers, they are a bit cold for my liking, but I do like to fish in them.

Money: What has beer got to do with diversification?

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Is this diversification?

Lifestyle: Feeling grateful

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It is Friday afternoon and I have just received a text from my new cleaner who started today to say that our home is all done.

Business: Do what you do best and outsource the rest

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When a business outsources some of its operations it can be to save money, or it can be to obtain expertise.

Lifestyle: How good are you at naming your feelings?

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Men have a reputation of not being good at talking about their feelings and this might be part of the problem we face with our mental health and in our relationships with women.

Money: What should we be doing about the next market crash?

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Lately, it has been impossible to avoid media articles about how the next market crash is over-due.

Farming: Digital technology on the farm. A great way to get the next generation involved.

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I have been let down by promises made around digital technology in the past and I was intrigued to discover whether the hype around digital technology in farming was delivering what was promised.

Money: 10 Years on from the Global Financial Crisis. It is still resonating

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10 years ago, Wall Street imploded.

Lifestyle: Do you generalise from small samples? Everyone else does

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I am as guilty as anyone when it comes to generalising from small samples.

Farming: Woolshed Session with Doug Avery’s team

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Two days with Doug and Wendy Avery and their team in Blenheim, exploring resilient farming with a group of farmers?

Lifestyle: Sleep is not counting sheep

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I am trying to radically improve the quality of my sleep.

Money: The Retirement Pyramid

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The Retirement Pyramid is a nifty little graphic I came across recently which I have adapted.

Farming: Otago-Southland farmer confidence leads the way

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In the last two weeks we have seen two surveys published on famer confidence.

Lifestyle: Sensory loss

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Our sensory systems (taste, smell, hearing, balance and vision) pull information from the outside world for our brains to make sense of so we can react appropriately.

Money: The connection between investing and snoring

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In a June 1999 interview, Warren Buffett, one of the most famous investors of all time, said, “Success in investing doesn’t correlate with IQ.

Money & Lifestyle: ‘No shame, No blame’– What happens when couples talk about money?

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When talking about money with your partner, you know the #1 Rule don’t you - no shame, no blame?

Farming: A random walk down the future of farming

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I have just read an opinion piece in the NZFarmer by Pita Alexander about a farmer’s son back from looking around overseas.

Farming: Resilience the Farmstrong way

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I have just discovered the Farmstrong website and I can recommend it.

Lifestyle: How is your hearing?

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Mild hearing loss?

Money: Do couples talk about money?

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When someone tells me about the money habits of their partner, I ask them if they have mentioned it to them.

Farming: Hema, a food market of the future

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We have had two days at the South Island Dairy Event known as SIDE here in Dunedin.

Lifestyle: Is there life after work? Life after farming?

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“Why are we as dairy farmers worrying about life after farming?

Money: Have you ever met a coin-flipping genius?

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Years ago, Goldman Sachs, an American investment banking organisation, had a brilliant idea, since copied many times.

Farming: Logan, Alexa and Ross Wallace of Beacon Hill

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These three names are etched on my brain after attending an Otago Field Day on their 290 ha farm at Waipahi where we helped them celebrate winning three significant Otago awards:

Money: Easy in theory, hard in practice

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Many of the worthwhile things in life look easy but don’t always turn out that way; in practice they turn out to be harder than first imagined.

Lifestyle: Bullying at home and school

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As a father of three young boys who grew up competing quite strongly with each other I am relieved that as adults they are extremely close and supportive of each other.

Farming: Uncertainty, frustration and delay

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I just listened to a Southland vet, Mark Bryan, talking on Radio NZ about the uncertainty facing Southland and South Otago dairy farmers.

Lifestyle: Drowning doesn’t look like drowning

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The new captain jumped from the deck, fully dressed, and sprinted through the water.

Money: Broken promises – the 2018 ‘Winter Warmer’

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If you 65 or over or are interested in the broken promises of political parties, you will be interested to learn that the Labour Party election promise to pay all superannuitant couples $700 over winter to help with their winter heating bills has been fiddled.

Farming: Does nepotism hold the red meat sector back?

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An aspirational target was set by the Red Meat Sector Strategy Report back in 2011.

Lifestyle: The case for hobbies

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Some clients recently told me that apart from their farm and their family they didn’t have any hobbies.

Money: The timeless parable of Mr. Market

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In the famous 1987 letter to his Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, Warren Buffett, the so-called Oracle of Omaha and currently the third richest person in the world, unfolded the concept of Mr. Market for us.

Farming: Putting your money where your mouth is

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Two bold experiments by dairy farmers in the South Island have closed recently.

Lifestyle: Our brains take shortcuts and sometimes get it wrong

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Our brains often take shortcuts when we are trying to assess a new situation.

Money: Stock pickers are “under duress”

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The head of one of the world’s biggest investment organisations has spelt out the urgent need for change in the funds management industry[1].

Farming: More on alternative proteins

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I had feedback on my article last week about a talk I heard from Professor Frank Griffin.

Lifestyle: 5 drinks a week, max!

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If good health is your objective, a massive new study on the safe level of alcohol consumption published in The Lancet medical journal will make you think twice.

Money: Is your bank credit-worthy?

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“Bank depositors’ funds are at risk and we are all responsible for assessing the credit-worthiness of the banks we use,” says the Reserve Bank.

Farming: Leave the cheap end of the market to alternative proteins

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I heard Professor Frank Griffin, Director of Ag@Otago[1], speak last night in Balclutha and I am still buzzing with the excitement he created.

Lifestyle: How old is your heart?

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Jared, my off-sider at work, tells me he only has so many heart beats and he doesn’t want to waste them.

Money: 10 things you need to know about bank failure in New Zealand

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A bank is just a business, set up like most businesses as a limited liability company, and just like any business, it can fail.

Farming: Staying connected

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Did you catch the open letter to Kiwi farmers penned by Matt Shirtcliffe, a latte-sipping Aucklander, a while back?

Lifestyle: Money and happiness

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Two world-wide studies on happiness have just been released.

Money: Noise, from America

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This time I can’t help myself.

Farming: Would you pay $8 more for a steak that protected the waters of Lake Taupo?

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Lake Taupo, The Rakia, The Taieri, The Mataura.

Lifestyle: 10 ways to build resilience

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Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress — such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems or workplace and financial stressors.

Money: The new normal

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What is normal in investment markets, as in life, is not what you think.

Farming: Life after farming. A study of retired farming couples in Otago/Southland

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I have spent the last two years interviewing retired farmers on how their lives have gone since they moved off the farm and I am publishing the study in a booklet in the next couple of weeks.

Money: Ouch, that fence was electric

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If we're taught anything about money, we're taught that it's a math problem.

Lifestyle: So, you think you are ready to retire?

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It is important to plan for the emotional aspects of retirement as well as the financial ones, says Barry LaValley, a Canadian self-help retirement Guru who recently visited our shores.

Farming: The future of farming. 9 action items

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The success of the agri-food sector is dependent on individuals across the industry placing consumers at the centre of everything they do, according to the …

Lifestyle: Society’s standards

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My, what a fascinating man … How he stares rapturously into that electronic device –

Money: The boy who cried wolf

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The start of the year brings a flood of forecasts, most of which turn out to be hopelessly wrong.

Farming: Paddock to plate

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I am always on the lookout for food producers who have moved up the value chain and I recently discovered a brilliant example of a food producer who … “had a dream”.

Lifestyle: Growing older with alcohol

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As I get older my ability to absorb and break down alcohol reduces. I knew it!

Money: Bitcoin is more than a currency

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Bitcoin is more than a currency and has important implications for food producers.

Farming: What business are farmers in?

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“With all the things we are told about the future of farming, how can I tell what is real and what is a dead end?” asked one of my clients the other day. 

Lifestyle: Health - Looking After Your Nuts and Bolts

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My clients tell me that health is their number one priority in life.

Money: Bitcoin – Bubble, bubble toil and trouble

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To misquote Shakespeare … It seems bitcoin is flavour of the month.