Home' Otago Southland Farmer : September 6th 2013 Contents 6.9.13 Farmer
Kiwi know-how nowhere to be had
Science will solve our problems, a bachelor of arts won't -- MacPherson
Thin on the ground: Dairy farmer Rob Ankerson, of Kauana, Central Southland, has trouble finding skilled New Zealanders to work on his farm.
By LOUISE BERWICK
Southland farmers are struggling
to find young New Zealanders
with the right attitude to work on
the land, the Southland Federated
Farmers boss says.
President Russell MacPherson
said attracting young Kiwis into
farming was becoming increasin-
gly hard, despite a relatively high
The situation was widespread,
but Southland towns were reson-
ating with foreign accents instead
of young Kiwi men starting their
''I think it is wasteful to have
unemployed people . . . supported
by the taxpayer when they could
be working on the farms.''
Twenty-five Southland dairy farm
jobs were advertised on the
Fencepost job website last week.
However, that was no surprise to
Southland farmer Rob Ankerson,
who said it took him six months
to find a suitable Kiwi employee.
Mr MacPherson said not every-
one had the right attitude to be
productive on farms. The real
problem was finding skilled Kiwi
workers with aspirations.
If aspiring farmers worked hard,
they could end up with a farm of
their own, he said.
''We struggle to get Kiwis on our
farms with the right attitude and
the right know-how. It really
comes down to attitude.''
It was not just farm-based jobs --
convincing people to follow career
paths in the agricultural industry
was just as hard, he said. ''It's not
only getting people on our farms,
it's getting people into
Primary industries had a stigma
that they were a ''dumping
ground'' for unskilled labourers,
but that was not the case, he said.
Jobs on farms were reasonably
well paid, with the average farm
worker earning $46,246 a year.
''For a long time there was a
stigma that it was long hours and
Mr MacPherson said the industry
was trying hard to get young
people interested in the ''Kiwi
''Science will solve our problems,
a bachelor of arts won't.''
Jacqueline Rowarth, of Waikato
She said there were fewer
agricultural graduates than arts
graduates, meaning the agricul-
ture industry was left struggling
to find skilled New Zealanders to
fill positions across the spectrum.
In 2011, there were 68 agricultural
science graduates and 92 in farm
management from three- or four-
year degrees, but more than 2700
in creative and performing arts,
Prof Rowarth believed the prob-
lem could be fixed through
secondary schools. More focus
needed to be put into agriculture
at secondary school level and
farming should be incorporated
into subjects, such as grass
growth in chemistry and trade
agreements in economics.
''Young people don't know what it
has to offer. Agriculture is hard
work, you do need to know things
and you work hard, and there are
great rewards -- the younger
generation don't see it.''
Plans to work together to market venison in Europe
Europe bound: Processing companies are looking at ways to jointly market venison in Europe.
By TIM CRONSHAW
Meat processing companies are
looking at ways to unify venison
marketing in Europe.
The meat companies act indepen-
dently in marketing venison in
European countries, but five
companies trade under the
Cervena name into North
Companies licensed to use the
protected name, Alliance Group,
Duncan & Company, Mountain
River, Silver Fern Farms and
Royal Cuisine International,
source deer from farmers with an
assurance they are under three
years old, naturally fed, and
processed by audited plants.
Deer Industry New Zealand is
working with the companies to
see if the joint marketing could be
extended to Europe.
Venison marketing manager
Innes Moffat said there seemed to
be a willingness by the companies
to hold talks about marketing
options in the high value market.
''The marketing companies are
investigating opportunities for
more collaborative marketing
activities. It's not a guarantee we
will introduce Cervena to Europe,
but there is a willingness with the
companies to sit down together in
a formal arrangement.''
A structure similar to the New
Zealand Lamb Company, formed
by meat companies to trade lamb
into the United States, seems to
hold little appeal.
Moffat said venison volumes
might not warrant such a formal
structure and there seemed to be
interest in market representation,
joint supply and branding oppor-
''There is a determination among
the marketing companies to do
something different which will
add value to the sales of venison.
It has to be in their best interests
and they have to see the value.''
He said there was no timetable to
reach a marketing agreement.
Meat processors are having to
factor longer hauls for shipments
of chilled venison to overseas
Shipping companies have turned
to ''slow steam'' journeys to
reduce fuel and portray them-
selves better environmentally.
Moffat said the longer journeys
added about another week to
European markets for processors.
''Getting the venison to Europe
can take up to an extra week,
which is a frustration.''
He said it was still unknown if
this might add extra costs to
The deer industry would get a
better feel of sales to Europe from
October to December, but impor-
ters were confident they had
markets to fill orders.
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