I’m farming and I grow it
Three farming brothers from Kansas in the United States have put their own spin on agvocacy and have triggered a global internet sensation in the process with a video parody of the hit LMFAO song “I’m sexy and I know it”. Tired of hearing the often-played song on the radio, Kansas State University agricultural communication student Greg Peterson came up with his own lyrics, and decided to make a video with his brothers on the family farm as a novel way to educate their city friends about farming life. The 3:32-minute video shows Greg and his brothers Nathan and Kendal rapping to their re-worked lyrics of “I’m farming and I grow it” while going about their daily chores. The video was filmed by their 11-year-old sister, Laura. It has attracted media attention from across the globe, and as of yesterday had amassed more than 5 million views. The video has been hailed by farm groups for its effectiveness in using social media to show consumers the real faces of agriculture.
Sam Neill gets the chop
Hollywood actor Sam Neill’s seven-year association with Meat & Livestock Australia has come to an end, MLA’s group marketing manager Andrew Cox confirmed this week. The star of hit movies such as Jurassic Park and The Piano has appeared as the face of MLA’s television commercials for red meat since 2005. Mr Cox told media and marketing industry news website Mumbrella that the arrangement had run its course. “Sam only wanted to appear on TV which meant we couldn’t take the campaign into other media," Mr Cox said. "Just doing TV worked fine in 2005. But seven years is a long time in media. And we need to be able to execute our nutrition campaign at a grass roots level using other channels.” He added that the movie star had done "great things" for the MLA brand and had an amazing impact as the foundation of MLA’s nutritional message that red meat had played a key role in human evolution.
Russia to join World Trade Organisation
The Russian parliament voted to ratify the country’s accession to the World Trade Organisation last night Australian-time, capping 18 years of negotiations. Its membership will become official in 30 days. The move will see a dismantling of protectionist policies in the $1.9 trillion economy, the 10th largest in the world, that is expected to present new opportunities for both red and white meat exporters. Russia has broadened its definition of high-quality beef, of which Australia is a major exporter. The USDA’s Moscow bureau noted in March that Russia’s decision to increase its low-tariff quota imports by 40pc to 60,000 tonnes presented a major opportunity for US exporters. “We joined the WTO because our economy is highly dependent on the external market in terms of both production and consumption,” Russian president Vladmir Putin told investors at a recent economic forum. “Excessive protectionism invariably leads to stagnation, low quality and high prices.”
Last chance to enter Melbourne Show cattle and carcase competition
A last minute reminder that entries to the 2012 Royal Melbourne Show Beef Cattle and Carcase competition close this Friday, July 13. Held during the 2012 Royal Melbourne Show, which runs from Saturday, September 22 to Tuesday, October 2 at the Melbourne Showgrounds, the beef cattle and carcase competition attracts over 800 entries from south-east Australia. This year there is over $10,000 total prize money for feature breed Murray Grey, which celebrates its 50th anniversary of showing at the Royal Melbourne Show. Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV) chief executive officer Mark O’Sullivan said the competition will this year celebrate the 60th presentation of the prestigious Borthwick Trophy. For more information contact Fiona Looker of the RASV on 03 9281 7412 or email@example.com
Profiting from river red gums
Free field days organised by the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries will help landholders learn how to manage their own private native forestry (PNF) enterprises. The field days will be run from 8:30 to 3pm at Mathoura on Monday, July 23 and at Moulamein on Wednesday, July 25. Content will include information on the river red gum PNF code of practice, advice on how to successfully manage a healthy and sustainable native forest, making PNF pay, harvesting, forestry measurements, the PNF approval process, regulatory requirements and hands-on activities. Numbers are strictly limited to 20 participants. For further information or to register call 1800 025 520 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Qld moves to make wild dog baiting easier
The Queensland Government says it has introduced new measures that will make it easier for graziers to lay baits for wild dogs and to better co-ordinate district-wide baiting programs. Agriculture minister John McVeigh said graziers could now use livestock destroyed from their property and take them off farm to be injected with 1080. The previous State Government required all baits to be of human food grade. Mr McVeigh said the Queensland Dog Offensive Group, an industry advisory group reporting to him, would coordinate the bait preparation and distribution using meat from animals already on properties.
Working dog study
What distinguishes the best and most consistent working dogs on Australian farms? A new three-year national research program is to be conducted by the University of Sydney with funding from MLA, the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) and the Working Kelpie Council of Australia. Professor Paul McGreevy and Professor Claire Wade, from the Faculty of Veterinary Science, will survey dog breeders and beef and sheep producers to establish what traits are desirable in working dogs. They will set about establishing the most important traits and what the likely heritability of those traits are and if DNA markers can help identify animals with those traits at young ages prior to training. “For the first time we’ll measure working characteristics, behavioural and health attributes in farm dogs,” Dr McGreevy said. “Traits such as enthusiasm and a good eye appear to be strongly inherited, so it is anticipated good progress can be made by selecting parents well endowed with them.” He said numerous litters of pups will be followed through to maturity to see how stable these characteristics are. At the end of the study the team plan to create a website consolidating their knowledge of desirable traits and how producers can select for them. For more information click here
Workshop for Benalla beef producers
Benalla’s beef producers are invited to attend a farm business security workshop on cattle health, disease management and industrial relations on Tuesday, 24 July. Hosted by the Victorian Farmers Federation Livestock Group, the forum provides up-to-date information on disease management and can answer farmers’ questions on issues like unfair dismissal and award wages. Producers will also have the opportunity to learn about the new Bovine Johne’s Disease management rules which were introduced across Australia this month. Sessions include: Industrial relations: unfair dismissal, performance management, underpayments and the pastoral award; OH&S: Including quad bikes and helmets; Pestivirus: How to detect it and how to minimise its impact on your herds; and Bovine Johne’s Disease: Explaining the new national management program. The forum runs from 10am – 3pm at Benalla Department of Primary Industries. The cost is $10 for VFF members and $15 for non-members and includes lunch. RSVP: Charlotte Fox by phone on 03 9207 5547 or email email@example.com