Letters: Farming vital

19:21, Nov 11 2012

Farming vital

I want to relate a conversation I had with a teacher which bothered me at the time but thought it was an isolated case until I recently read articles from around the country in farming newspapers.

The articles were concerns over agriculture courses in high schools, with students and parents experiencing a total disregard from schools for the industry, with career advisers either totally ignorant or actively discouraging good students from taking agriculture.

I have had firsthand experience of this attitude.

When discussing courses for our child with a teacher, I mentioned my child might like to take agriculture.

They replied "Don't put your child in agriculture, it's a dumping ground for ‘the less enthusiastic students'."


I wonder how undervalued the agriculture teacher feels.

Farming is actually a business and needs to be run like one to be successful.

Farmers need skills in budgeting, animal husbandry, health and safety, human relations, pasture species, insect pest, soil health, mechanics, economics, great timing, planning and need to be very self-motivated - not attributes a slack student would possess.

How many of you were up in arms about foreign ownership of our farmland?

If we don't address the above problem there will be no good New Zealand farmers coming through to farm ownership. Farmers are already reporting they have to look overseas to get farm employees.

Like it or not, the world population is growing and humans will need more food.

Agriculture produces that food, so contrary to how some schools view agriculture, it is important to New Zealand.



Animal welfare

Regarding Shelley Lines' response to my letter [Express, November 5], I unreservedly accept those responsible for dog control do their utmost to re-home unwanted dogs and only put down those they can't.

I respect what they do and understand their frustration. Nor do I accuse anyone of deliberate cruelty.

However, my question remains unanswered. Does the Marlborough District Council, through its dog control section, use retractable bolt guns to destroy dogs?

If I get no reply, then I can only draw the conclusion that it does.

That being so, could Ms Lines explain how using these guns conforms to the humane euthanasia she writes about, especially in light of the comments and concerns of the national inspector of dog control throughout New Zealand regarding use of the guns?



Marlborough District Council animal control contract administrator Shelley Lines responds:

Retractable bolt guns, rifles and euthanasia by injection are all methods which have been employed here in the past; the method used has depended on the health and temperament of the animal.

However, Janet Goddard will be pleased to know that council's animal control section has moved away from the use of retractable bolt guns and unwanted dogs which are to be destroyed are referred to local vets for euthanasia.

It's the journey

Come on you lot, really? It's the journey, not the destination.

If you want to get there faster and more economically, go to Japan or any other big city.

As an expat who has lived in Picton for 19 years, every visitor we have ever had either leaving or coming to the South Island have been awe-inspired by the Marlborough Sounds and what a great travel experience it is and so unexpected.

Why would you want to dumb down our tourist industry?



No consistency

What a wonderfully consistent council the people of Marlborough voted in.

Once again they show their wisdom.

Picton want to add to their brilliant museums at virtually no cost to the council and ratepayers of the district, but "oh no" the addition is going to encroach on a small piece of land on the Picton foreshore.

Yet on the other hand they are prepared to destroy the appearance of one of our town's finest buildings, namely the Clubs of Marlborough, all for a theatre which, on present figures, will seldom be fully used.

Taking a long, hard look at the design, it will also not be a pretty sight against a fine looking building.



The Marlborough Express