The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2020-07-13T03:50:37Z Ethics Masterclasses in Agriculture 2020-07-13T03:50:37Z ethics-masterclasses-in-agriculture Following the success of its earlier Ethics Masterclasses and recognising the importance of ethics in the industry professional grading, Ag Institute Australia is hosting two more online Ethics Masterclasses to cater for both Introductory and Advanced levels.  Introductory Masterclass Participants will explore the AIA's Code of Ethics and how it applies to their everyday work. Basic case studies will be discussed in groups. This is suitable for recent graduates, early career professionals, and those people working in agriculture that have not explored the topic of ethics previously. Advanced Masterclass Participants will explore the AIA's Code of Ethics in detail and work through complex case studies where ethical dilemmas are introduced, as well as examining breaches of the Code of Ethics. This will build upon the introductory masterclass. The Advanced class is suitable for professionals who are experienced, seeking to gain recognition and apply for Chartered Agriculturalist status.    Join us at 4pm-6pm AEST Introductory: Tuesday 11th August 2020 Advanced: Wednesday 19th August 2020 Participants receive a certificate and 10 CPD points toward their CPAg and CAg accreditation. MORE INFORMATION & REGISTER HERE   Ag Institute Australia is the peak industry body for agricultural and natural resource management professionals. Ag Institute Australia is committed to advancing the profession, and the application of science and technology, for the sustainable development of agriculture and natural resource management in Australia. Ag Institute Australia members are engaged in a wide range of activities including research, education, government, agribusiness and private consulting. Lockdown the slaughterhouses 2020-07-07T12:18:37Z lockdown-the-slaughterhouses Dear Editor, Victoria is again on stage-three lockdown, state borders are closed, and COVID-19 news is again accompanied by pictures of slaughterhouses. Two workers have tested positive at JBS abattoir in Brooklyn and Pacific Meats abattoir in Thomastown, while hundreds of others are being tested now. This follows the closure in April of Cedar Meats, which was the centre of a cluster of over one hundred cases of COVID-19. Slaughterhouses are toxic for the humans who work there and the animals who suffer and die there. But they are ideal for viruses, since people work in close proximity and social distancing is not possible. In Australia, the injury and illness rate for workers in the meat industry is four times the national average, since staff are often forced to work at reckless speeds to maximise production. Australian abattoirs and factory farms are every bit as filthy as the wet market in China where the coronavirus is believed to have originated. A colossal 75% of recently emerging infectious diseases affecting humans are transmitted from other animals. Going vegan is the best way to protect workers, prevent future pandemics, and spare animals from needless suffering. Desmond Bellamy Special Projects Coordinator PETA Australia PO Box 2352 Byron Bay NSW 2481 0411 577 416 DesmondB@PETA.org.au Real Estate – The Next Frontier For Grays Marketplace 2020-07-03T04:51:37Z real-estate-the-next-frontier-for-grays-marketplace For Immediate Release, Sydney, NSW, July 2020 As part of a wider launch into the real estate and property market, Grays marketplace is selling multiple blocks of land in Kununurra in the Kimberley region in Western Australia. Located in the north of the state, a stone’s throw from the Northern Territory border, these one to four hectare blocks can be secured in July and August in a series of online auctions.   In conjunction with First National Real Estate Kimberley, and on behalf of Meertens Chartered Accountants (Appointed Liquidator), Grays marketplace will be running a three-stage online auction on the following dates:   • July 3, 2020 • July 24, 2020 • August 7, 2020   Each online auction will run for one day only.   Kununurra is situated among the scenic hills and ranges of the far north-east Kimberley region with an abundance of fresh water, waterfalls and swimming holes. It offers a range of recreational activities including fishing at various locations along the Dunham and Ord rivers.   Brett Garnett, BDM at Grays, said “Kununurra is the perfect spot to build a holiday home in the world-renowned Kimberleys. People who enjoy being in nature and those who like to fish will be impressed with what this area has to offer.”   Grays is pleased to offer this unique piece of the Australian outback to buyers all over the world. This series of auctions is a prelude to an exciting and forthcoming announcement of a new category on Grays marketplace – real estate.   While Australians have swiftly embraced online auctions for a wide variety of categories, the real estate industry has not evolved much in recent years. Tentative moves into virtual inspections and live remote auctions during the COVID-19 pandemic has not addressed the fundamental problems of the real estate sales and auction process:   • Auctions are over in minutes, and are very high-stress environments • Bidding is constrained to those people who can physically attend, and is impacted by weather, transportation and more recently, lockdown restrictions • Constraints for people wanting to purchase property interstate   Jeff McLean, Chief Operating Officer at Grays, said “We see a huge opportunity for buyers and sellers of all kinds of property to take advantage of our database of over three million Australians and our leading auction technology platform. Grays has been perfecting online auctions for more than 20 years so we are wellplaced to successfully move to property sales.”   During the COVID-19 pandemic, with restrictions on physical movement and contact, Grays has seen a large increase in online auction activity across all categories, with more than five million unique site visitors in just one month. One in 25 Australians has made a purchase on Grays, and one in six are on the database.   Grays marketplace is the perfect place for buyers and sellers of real estate to come together. Buyers can inspect and bid from the comfort of their homes, offices or even their favourite café. And sellers get access to a huge database of active buyers and Grays’ proven marketing campaigns.   Pioneering on-farm experiment – The Multimin Performance Ready Challenge moves into round two 2020-06-24T02:46:11Z pioneering-on-farm-experiment-the-multimin-performance-ready-challenge-moves-into-round-two With round one winners soon to be announced, the creators of the Multimin Performance Ready Challenge - Virbac Australia, is excited to reveal the 11 producers who will take on the Challenge in round two, this June, July, and August. The Challenge, which follows producers, as they track their experience using trace mineral management in sheep and cattle at high demand production times, will see competitors from New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania, battle it out in round two. Dr. Jerry Liu, Multimin Marketing Manager, said: “The Challengers have been selected from an overwhelming number of applications all of them top-quality beef, sheep and dairy producers.” He added that despite the trying start to the year, the decision to continue with the Multimin Performance Ready Challenge had been the right one. “The first three months of the Challenge have seen some positive results from producers as well as provided lighthearted competitiveness and relief to the community as well,” he said. Like round one, round two Challengers will be using Multimin to test the effects on animal fertility, health, and, ultimately, their financial bottom-line over the next three months. Round one Challenger James Burge (NSW) received his Multimin supplies from Nutrien Ag Solutions, Cootamundra has done a comparison using Multimin pre-joining this year versus not using any last year on the same sheep. The result – he had less dry sheep, fewer singles, more twins, and more fetuses scanned overall. When asked his thoughts on the results, he said: “The results are surprisingly favourable given the marginal season through joining. As we are targeting more lambs from fewer ewes, overall, the results are really positive for us.” James is just one of the many producers who achieved positive results in round one. Rosie Davenport (TAS) did too, posting in the Facebook group: “Awesome Multimin Results! So happy with the difference in weaning this year compared to last year in our beef calves.Giving Multimin to the calves four weeks before weaning has worked well, along with partial paddock weaning.” Dr. Liu says that he is expecting round two Challengers to continue this positive trend, as they are guided through the Challenge with expert support from veterinarians and livestock nutrition experts, while also working closely with their local Virbac representative. The following producers will be participating in the Multimin Performance Ready Challenge for round two 2020: Jacqui & Jason Impey (NSW), Ben Ree (NSW), Carlie Barry (VIC), Justin Hall (VIC), Joanne Jones (SA), Richard & Cynthia Stark (QLD), Troy Mostert (WA), Kymberly Teelow (QLD), Emma Patterson & Jake Berghofer (QLD), David Thallon (QLD), and Lester Rainbow (TAS). Interested farmers can follow each of their journeys and read more about the Challengers and their operations via the dedicated Multimin Performance Ready Facebook group: facebook.com/groups/multimin. Round two Challengers who have already started posting in the group include black and red Simmental breeders, Jacqui and Jason Impey. Due to the ongoing drought, they relocated to the Tamworth area in July 2019 with a reduced number of breeders. Since then, their focus has been on retaining core breeders intending to increase numbers in the future. In their post, they said that they are excited to be part of the Challenge to help them realise the potential for improved health and performance in their Simmental herd. They are also looking forward to working with their local re-seller Elders, Tamworth throughout the challenge. With two rounds still to go, the Challenge remains open for applicants interested in winning the experience of a lifetime tailored to their professional development and farming system, plus 12 months’ worth of Multimin. Anyone interested should apply at www.multiminchallenge.com. At the end of each of the four rounds, two challengers will go on to compete in the finals with the winner selected by a panel of expert judges. At the end of the Challenge, a national “People’s Choice” winner will also be chosen by the public from the eight finalists and awarded a further six-month supply of Multimin.Challengers will then go into the running to win an overseas trip for two to the USA tailored to their professional development and farming system, plus a 12-month supply of Multimin. Second and third runners up will also receive six months of free Multimin.Ends. Media Enquiries:Kyleen Partridge - C7EVEN COMMUNICATIONS(02) 6766 4513kyleen.partridge@c7even.com.au Please note profile introductions of each challenger are also available. SUPPLIED PHOTO CAPTION: Tamworth, NSW Simmental breeders Jacqui and Jason Impey are ready to take on round two of the Multimin Performance Ready Challenge in the hope of increasing immunity, health, and productivity at their property. About The Multimin Performance Ready ChallengeThe 2020/2021 Multimin Performance Ready Challenge (MPRC) – a 12-month program that will see up to 75 Australian farmers experience firsthand the benefits of trace mineral management at high demand production times in sheep and cattle. About MultiminVirbac’s Multimin Injection is a trace mineral top-up that rapidly increases trace mineral levels in cattle and sheep for use during high demand periods. Providing selenium, copper, manganese, and zinc at strategic times of the production cycle has been shown to improve livestock health and fertility, thus optimising livestock productivity. RURAL AID AND EVOLUTION MINING BRINGING THE JOY OF MUSIC TO GAYNDAH SCHOOLS 2020-06-22T08:57:23Z rural-aid-and-evolution-mining-bringing-the-joy-of-music-to-gayndah-schools WHAT: RURAL AID AND EVOLUTION MINING BRINGING THE JOY OF MUSIC TO GAYNDAH SCHOOLS WHERE: Saint Joseph’s Catholic Primary School (10.30am) – 38 Meson Street, Gayndah QLD 4625 WHERE: Burnett State College (1pm) – 65 Pineapple Street, Gayndah QLD 4625   DATE: Tuesday. 23 June 2020 TIME: Saint Joseph’s Catholic Primary School – 10.30am and Burnett State College - 1pm CONTACT: Rural Aid Media – 0447 116 757 | media@ruralaid.org.au SPOKESPERSON: Rural Aid CEO John Warlters | 0409 618 641 ON-SITE CONTACT: Jen Curnow-Trotter – Rural Aid Community Support – 0416 765 678   Rural Aid is delighted to announce the Community Support team is delivering musical instruments to Burnett State College and St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Gayndah, tomorrow. Rural Aid CEO John Warlters said Burnett State College and St Joseph's Catholic Primary School are part of a generous $120,000 donation of musical instruments from Evolution Mining to eight schools around their Mt Rowden and Cracow mining operations. "I would like to thank Evolution Mining for their generous donation, which is part of a $1.5 million donation to help support Aussie farmers with disaster assistance and their communities," John Warlters said. “In the past, we’ve been well known for our disaster assistance program: providing hay, drinking water, financial and counselling assistance to farmers, rural and regional communities. Building sustainable, stronger futures for primary producers and rural communities underpins everything we do.” “We’re pleased to announce a new remit for community focused support, including schools. All community initiatives, from July 2020, will fall under the auspice of Rural Aid’s Stronger Futures Program. “Schools are a key element of all rural communities and we will continue supporting them as part of our focus on community sustainability. This was evidenced recently with our ‘technology’ for schools initiative to assist rural schools with at-home-learning. “We’ve had some challenges thrown our way with Covid-19 in having to place Rural Aid’s ‘Our Town’ and Farm Rescue Programs in hibernation. And, our volunteers are readying themselves for the recommencement of community support activities. “I’m please to say we’ve been working in the background to deliver fodder and drinking water during Covid-19 and planning for when schools return and, our workforce can make their way safely back out in the field. “We’re helping schools prepare for the commencement of Term 3 music programs with deliveries underway this week. “Our thanks go to Rural Aid sponsor, Evolution Mining, a large employer of local communities backing local communities. They have made this and many other opportunities possible for farmers and rural and regional communities," John Warlters said. Other schools also receiving musical instruments in the Gayndah region, thanks to Evolution Mining's generosity, are listed below.   Some of the schools receiving musical instruments: Date Time School Tuesday 23 June 2020 8.30am Coalstoun Lakes State School Tuesday 23 June 2020 10.30am St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School Tuesday 23 June 2020 1.00pm Burnett State College Tuesday 23 June 2020 2.00pm Gayndah State School Wednesday 24 June 2020 10.00am Eidsvold State School  Wednesday 24 June 2020 11.15am Mundubbera State School Wednesday 24 June 2020 12.15pm Boynewood State School About Rural Aid Rural Aid is one of Australia’s largest rural charities. Well known for the highly successful ‘Buy a Bale’ campaign, the charity also provides financial assistance, water and counselling to farmers in times of drought, flood or fire. Other initiatives support its vision that farming and rural communities are safeguarded to ensure their sustainability both during and after these natural disasters. Visit www.ruralaid.org.au for further information on these programs and other support for our rural communities. Media: 0447 116 757 | media@ruralaid.org.au Spokesperson: Rural Aid CEO John Warlters | 0409 618 641 Follow Rural Aid for updates on: ·        Rural Aid – FB: @ruralaidaustralia | IG: @ruralaid |IN: Rural Aid Ltd | TW: @ruralaidaust ·        Buy A Bale – FB: @buyabaleofhay | IG: @buyabale | TW: @buyabale ENDS RURAL AID CONTINUES TO SUPPORT FARMERS AND COMMUNITIES DURING COVID THROUGH DIGITAL AND WORKFORCE ENABLEMENT INITIATIVES 2020-06-08T04:10:07Z rural-aid-continues-to-support-farmers-and-communities-during-covid-through-digital-and-workforce-enablement-initiatives As many businesses look to pivot in the eye of COVID-19, we are no different except, we’re continuing to deliver behind the scenes – trucking fodder and water to farmers and, bushfire affected areas. Drought, fires, floods and now the impact of COVID-19 restrictions has meant farmers and rural communities are experiencing a cascade of unforeseen events over the past six months and, unfortunately for some – a mix of all. Between January and March this year, Rural Aid delivered more than $8 million in support to our Aussie farmers and their communities through hay, domestic drinking water, counselling and financial assistance – including pre-paid Visa cards and the Gift of Music program. Rural Aid CEO, John Warlters said that there was a greater need for services than ever before. Through digital and workforce enablement initiatives our team has found unique ways to stay connected with rural communities. Our counsellors are in regular phone contact and we’re also conducting online webinars including our Community Builders Webinars Series. “While it has been fantastic to see the onset of rain in many areas, the drought is not over – far from it,” John said. “In the past six weeks, we’ve delivered 6894 bales of hay to 459 farmers in 95 locations, trucked 936,000 litres of domestic drinking water; as well as providing over $1.2 million dollars in financial assistance that includes Visa gift cards to almost 1500 farmers. Of course, our counsellors continue to support farmers and their families too, conducting 124 counselling sessions and reaching out to 597 farmers by phone. “Our volunteers are currently sitting tight and we hope that they will be back on the road helping our farmers and rural communities over the coming months. “Transport continues to be an essential service during these current restrictions and by leveraging Rural Aid’s proven delivery model, we have been able to ensure farmers can continue to feed their livestock and receive domestic drinking water. “Two of our counsellors, Gary Bentley and Zoe Cox also have regular media participation, with Gary’s weekly column reaching 8 million readers across Australia. To further support farmers and their families, Rural Aid counsellors conducted the first On the Couch webinar on 13 May and the next being held on 11 June. “Organisational planning around COVID-19 has been undertaken to support Rural Aid’s direction as a matter of course to ensure the charity continues to meet the needs of primary producers and regional communities. “We’re operating in the background to deliver for our farmers, many who haven’t had a level of support as they start to rebuild post the summer bushfires.” Livestock and Agricultural Fire Loss NSW and Victoria Livestock loss across New South Wales, as a result of the fires, exceeded 13,000 with over 16,000 landholders estimated to have been impacted by the fires. Southern New South Wales had the greatest losses with more than 12,000 head of livestock dying as a result of the fires¹. As of 28 January 2020, the fires in NSW had burnt 5.3 million hectares or 6.7% of the State². In Victoria’s North East and East Gippsland areas, livestock and agricultural loss for the fires late December and early January were significant. Over 7000 livestock – including cattle, sheep and beehives – were lost. Over 53,000 hectares of pasture, field crops and softwood plantations were destroyed by fire. There was also significant fencing and farm infrastructure damage, such as fodder reserves, machinery and hay sheds³. As at 1 May 2020 in Queensland, over 67% of the land area of Queensland was drought declared⁴. Bureau of Meteorology The Bureau of Meteorology noted in the Events section of its Annual Climate Statement 2019, published on 9 January 2020, that, ‘The extensive and long-lived fires appear to be the largest in scale in the modern record in New South Wales, while the total area burnt appears to be the largest in a single recorded fire season for eastern Australia’⁵. Warmest year on record for Australia – mean temperature 1.52 °C above average Warmest year on record for New South Wales and Western Australia Annual total rainfall 40% below average with much of Australia affected by drought ¹Sourced from NSW Department of Primary Industries   ²Sourced from Parliament of Australia Parliamentary Library ³Sourced from Agriculture Victoria ⁴Sourced from Queensland Government’s Longpaddock Drought Declarations ⁵Sourced from Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) Marriage and a new baby - a note of thanks from a farming family We write to express our sincere thanks for the assistance offered from Rural Aid. An exhaustive 2019 saw the drought climax with the worst bushfires we've seen on our property. In November, we were forced to evacuate our property due to immediate bushfire threat. When we returned home, we were lucky, we had a home but still spent the following days fighting fires. This firefighting exhausted our water supply, with local emergency services using our last stock watering hole to save our local community. Despite the effect of drought and fire we remained resilient, we even got married on the weekend after the fires hit. The Rural Aid Christmas parcel and financial bill relief meant so much to us. With our livestock suffering depression with no feed and little water, this token reminded us we weren't alone. With 2020 bringing a change we were excited to see the rain begin. This too brought challenges as the rain caused local floods and further property damage with erosion. During this time, we were isolated on the farm due to flooding. This was a nervous time as we were expecting the birth of our first child anyday! In February we welcomed our daughter, Ember on the day the creek subsided to allow us access to town. The Rural Aid visa card was another unexpected surprise that was invaluable for our young family. With COVID outbreak our resilience was once again tested but the acts of support and kindness like that that Rural Aid provide will continue to see us succeed. So, we apologise for the delay in passing on our gratitude, as you can read, we were a little distracted! About Rural Aid Rural Aid is one of Australia’s largest rural charities. Well known for the highly successful ‘Buy a Bale’ campaign, the charity also provides financial assistance, water and counselling to farmers in times of drought, flood or fire. Other initiatives support its vision that farming and rural communities are safeguarded to ensure their sustainability both during and after these natural disasters. Visit www.ruralaid.org.au for further information on these programs and other support for our rural communities. Visit www.ruralaid.org.au/snapshots for Rural Aid’s latest assistance statistics. Register at www.ruralaid.org.au/towns/webinars/ to be part of the Community Builders Webinars Series and to access past episodes. Media: 0447 116 757 | media@ruralaid.org.au Spokesperson: Rural Aid CEO John Warlters | 0409 618 641 Follow Rural Aid for updates on: Rural Aid – FB: @ruralaidaustralia | IG: @ruralaid |IN: Rural Aid Ltd | TW: @ruralaidaust Buy A Bale – FB: @buyabaleofhay | IG: @buyabale | TW: @buyabale ENDS Will they live happily ever after? 2020-06-04T12:52:11Z will-they-live-happily-ever-after The Editor, Dear Editor, Be grateful you weren’t born as a commodity. 56,000 sheep were due to be loaded on board a ship, transported over the equator in intolerable heat, only to meet a grisly fate in the Middle East, where we have repeatedly seen videos of men tying them up and throwing them in car boots or slaughtering them with blunt knives in the streets. Due to an outbreak of COVID-19 on the live export ship in Fremantle, it was too late to send them – conditions on board, always dire, are even more horrendous as the northern hemisphere warms up from June. So is this a reprieve? Will they live happily ever after? No. The sole purpose of the meat trade is to make a profit from the suffering of sensitive, gentle animals. They will now be slaughtered for supermarket shelves, despite the fact that the market for red meat in Australia is shrinking fast. We may not be able to stop the abuse of these animals. But we can stop any more being born into a life of fear and pain by simply not buying their body parts or fleeces. It’s a simple equation: the big corporations will not breed them if we don’t buy them. Going vegan is better for your health, the environment, and of course the animals who won’t have to suffer. Desmond Bellamy Special Projects Coordinator PETA Australia PO Box 2352 Byron Bay NSW 2481 0411 577 416 DesmondB@PETA.org.au Keep them closed 2020-05-30T04:50:22Z keep-them-closed The Editor Dear Editor, Frigid temperatures and cramped conditions have made meat-processing plants COVID-19 hotspots. Cedar Meats in Melbourne was recently closed down for a month after it recorded 111 cases of the disease. Meanwhile, Queensland’s Dinmore beef processing plant has closed for a week, citing market volatility and a shortage of victims to kill. The slaughterhouse normally kills about 13,700 cows per week. Isn't it time now to shut down each and every one of these facilities – and filthy, rotten factory farms too? As long as they remain open, tens of thousands of animals will be killed and workers, their families and the whole community will be put at increased risk of contracting the coronavirus. No one needs meat. In fact, the consumption of animal flesh is linked to a host of health problems that are among the leading causes of death, including heart disease, cancer, strokes, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity. For the sake of animals, workers, and the public, let's close these dangerous facilities. And then let's keep them closed after lockdown by choosing vegan meals, for which no one had to die. Sincerely, Mimi Bekhechi Campaigns Adviser PETA Australia PO Box 20308, World Square Sydney NSW 2002 (08) 8556 5828 mimib@peta.org.au Caring is a sackable offence 2020-05-26T12:11:38Z caring-is-a-sackable-offence The Editor, The Editor, Shock, horror: a bureaucrat who worked at DFAT’s Agricultural Development and Food Security section follows the social media pages of animal protection groups! Dr Julie Delforce—a senior sector specialist in DFAT’s agricultural and food division—has resigned from the Department after being stood down for "following" her son’s website, Aussie Farms. In a year of budgeting bungles and dubious funding allocations, we should be pleased to learn that Dr Delforce is well-educated in aspects of animal welfare. As fair-minded Australians, we should support the employment of compassionate, informed people in our public service. Their insight might just help prevent the routine abuse of animals on Australian farms—the sort that would be illegal if enacted on household dogs or cats—and which often stays undocumented due to coercive ag-gag laws. If more of us could see the way that animals bellow for their stolen children, suffer intense confinement and fight for their lives, we would go vegan today. We can all support Aussie farmers by purchasing healthy, climate-friendly and cruelty-free ingredients from fruit and vegetable producers, and transition away from cruel animal "products" immediately. For a free vegan starter kit, visit www.PETA.org.au. Mimi Bekhechi Campaigns Strategist People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals PO Box 20308 World Square Sydney, NSW, 2002 (08) 8556-5828 SHARE A MESSAGE OF HOPE WITH OUR AUSSIE FARMERS 2020-05-21T03:48:11Z share-a-message-of-hope-with-our-aussie-farmers Drought, fires, floods and now the impact of COVID-19 restrictions. Many of our Aussie farmers have experienced more than one of these in the past six months and for some a mix of all. While uncertainty has been on the peripheral for many, so that our farmers know that they haven’t been forgotten during these times, Rural Aid has launched #DearFarmer letters where people can share a digital message of hope with a farmer. And, the Community Builders webinar series is proving a great support for rural communities too. Rural Aid CEO John Warlters said it was more important than ever to acknowledge that farmers really are the backbone of our communities and, to express gratitude for the food we so readily find on our plates. “We’d like to show our farmers and rural communities that we see and value them especially in uncertain times. Over Christmas 2018, we sent over 3000 letters written by school children to our farmers,” John said. “Some were written in crayon, others covered in glitter, but all had the same heartfelt message – letting farmers know how much they are appreciated.” “The response from farmers was incredible. Many spoke of the tears they shed reading their letters and their gratitude to the many school children who were thinking of them. “This year, we’ve taken this incredible initiative digital so, we can reach as many people as possible to send letters of hope. “As we experience challenging times, our farmers continue to put food on our tables. Panic buying may put strain on our supply chains, but our farmers continue to have our backs by supplying beautiful Australian produce. “We’re asking Australians of all ages to show their Aussie spirit and share a note of hope on their favourite social media channel with a farmer going through tough times rebuilding after fires, flood and drought. “We can’t make it rain, but we can take a moment to sit down and write a note, or draw a picture, for our farmers.” To get involved and share your message of hope with our Aussie farmers, just go to www.ruralaid.org.au/write-dearfarmer-letter/ and: ·        Share a virtual message with our farmers by using the hashtag #DearFarmer – don’t forget to tag @ruralaid. ·        Write a digital letter and post on our #DearFarmer wall. ·        Businesses can get involved by sharing the Dear Farmer page with their employees or by getting in touch with Rural Aid directly. About Rural Aid Rural Aid is one of Australia’s largest rural charities. Well known for the highly successful ‘Buy a Bale’ campaign, the charity also provides financial assistance, water and counselling to farmers in times of drought, flood or fire. Other initiatives support its vision that farming and rural communities are safeguarded to ensure their sustainability both during and after these natural disasters. Visit www.ruralaid.org.au for further information on these programs and other support for our rural communities. Visit www.ruralaid.org.au/snapshots for Rural Aid’s latest assistance statistics. Media: 0447 116 757 | media@ruralaid.org.au Spokesperson: Rural Aid CEO John Warlters | 0409 618 641 Follow Rural Aid for updates on: ·        Rural Aid – FB: @ruralaidaustralia | IG: @ruralaid |IN: Rural Aid Ltd | TW: @ruralaidaust ·        Buy A Bale – FB: @buyabaleofhay | IG: @buyabale | TW: @buyabale ENDS RURAL AID DELIVERS WATER TANKS TO FIRE IMPACTED COBARGO 2020-05-20T00:14:09Z rural-aid-delivers-water-tanks-to-fire-impacted-cobargo Rural Aid is trucking in 207 water tanks to Bega Valley Shire residents to assist the community with their recovery from the devastating bushfires that swept through the area on New Year’s Eve.   The 1000 litre Schutz IBC water tanks, funded from a News Corporation donation to Rural Aid, will be delivered to the Cobargo Show Grounds, on Thursday 21 May 2020, for distribution to 207 verified, aid registered farmers and community members.   Rural Aid CEO John Warlters said we’re hopeful that this generous donation will help make life a little easier for families in the Cobargo region who lost so much to fire. We’re also resoundingly grateful for the support of the Cobargo Bush Fire Relief Centre who have helped make this logistically possible.   “The Bega Valley Shire, on the New South Wales south coast, was one of the worst fire affected communities when fire swept through and devastated the region in December 2019 and January 2020,” John said.   “Our farmers and their communities are going through challenging times. The community have been impacted by one of the longest droughts in recent history, followed by fires that have devastated the land, people, livestock and homes. Now they are dealing with the impact of current restrictions during recovery as they attempt to rebuild.   “Many of the residents in the area, some over an hour away, are making daily trips to the Cobargo Showgrounds to shower, obtain water from the Council’s standpipes and buy bottled drinking water.   “With the weather growing colder as winter approaches, we’re hopeful the 1000 litre water tanks will make life a little easier for these communities. Having access to drinking water on their properties will facilitate cooking, bathing or simply starting the day with a cuppa.   “We’re proud to be able to assist farmers and the Bega Valley community in any way we can. Along the New South Wales south coast, we’ve also been able to support farmers through the provision of hay, restocking and on the ground counselling.”   Rural Aid’s continuing support Just like any other business through this COVID period, the Rural Aid team is pivoting and finding ways to navigate restrictions to continue to deliver on the ground for farmers and rural communities.   “We’re obviously able to achieve this under slightly reduced capacity, but thanks to our operations team, we’re continuing to deliver much needed support,” John said.   “We’re recognising a greater need for our services than ever before and have found unique ways to stay connected with rural communities via our counsellors through phone calls and online webinars including our Community Builders Webinars Series.   “Of course, our volunteers are currently sitting tight and we hope that they will be back helping our farmers and rural communities over the coming months.   “I would also like to take this moment to say thank you to our supporters, many of whom have been impacted recently too, but who continue to recognise the level of resilience and fortitude our farmers display.   “Whether through a simple act of kindness in writing a letter of support to a farmer, purchasing Aussie produce or through a donation – we, at Rural Aid, thank you and are grateful for your ongoing support.”   Cobargo Water Tank Delivery Information: When:   7am Thursday 21 May 2020 Where: Cobargo Showground, Bermagui Road, Cobargo NSW 2550   Media: 0447 116 757 | media@ruralaid.org.au Spokesperson: Rural Aid CEO John Warlters | 0409 618 641 On Site Contact: Rural Aid Business Development Manager – NSW Craig Marsh | 0427 976 294   About Rural Aid Rural Aid is one of Australia’s largest rural charities. Well known for the highly successful ‘Buy a Bale’ campaign, the charity also provides financial assistance, water and counselling to farmers in times of drought, flood or fire. Other initiatives support its vision that farming and rural communities are safeguarded to ensure their sustainability both during and after these natural disasters. Visit www.ruralaid.org.au for further information on these programs and other support for our rural communities. Visit www.ruralaid.org.au/snapshots for Rural Aid’s latest assistance statistics. Visit www.ruralaid.org.au/towns/webinars/ to be part of the Rural Aid Community Builders Webinars Series. Follow Rural Aid for updates on: ·        Rural Aid – FB: @ruralaidaustralia | IG: @ruralaid |IN: Rural Aid Ltd | TW: @ruralaidaust ·        Buy A Bale – FB: @buyabaleofhay | IG: @buyabale | TW: @buyabale   ENDS Impact of NSW fires Livestock loss across NSW as a result of the fires exceeded 13,000 with over 16,000 landholders estimated to have been impacted by the fires. Southern NSW had the greatest losses with more than 12,000 head of livestock dying as a result of the fires¹. As of 28 January 2020, the fires in NSW had burnt 5.3 million hectares or 6.7% of the State².   Bureau of Meteorology The Bureau of Meteorology noted in the Events section of its Annual Climate Statement 2019, published on 9 January 2020, that, ‘The extensive and long-lived fires appear to be the largest in scale in the modern record in New South Wales, while the total area burnt appears to be the largest in a single recorded fire season for eastern Australia’³. ·       Warmest year on record for Australia - mean temperature 1.52 °C above average ·       Warmest year on record for New South Wales and Western Australia ·       Annual total rainfall 40% below average with much of Australia affected by drought ¹Sourced from NSW Department of Primary Industries   ²Sourced from Parliament of Australia Parliamentary Library ³Sourced from Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) Mother's Day horror story 2020-05-11T12:12:08Z mothers-day-horror-story The Editor Dear Editor, This Sunday’s ABC Landline program—screened on television just in time for Mother’s Day lunch—presented some farming initiatives that were hard to swallow. The dairy industry has reached new depths in its pursuit of profit, by trying to sell us cows’ colostrum. This is, in their own words, “exactly what was intended from a mother to [her] offspring.” Within a day of giving birth, a mother cow is separated from her baby, so that her colostrum, and her subsequently produced milk, can be sold to humans. All male calves—and about one quarter of female calves—are seen as surplus: a 'waste product'. They are removed from their mothers and are left hungry and scared for the five days they must be kept alive before they can be legally killed. These helpless, terrified calves then face a stressful ride to the slaughterhouse—where they are often kept overnight without food, bedding, or the warmth of their mother—before they are killed. Compassionate consumers wanting a health boost might prefer to chew on the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that come with a fruit- and vegetable-rich diet suitable for humans, rather than colostrum intended to help a baby cow grow into a 450kg adult. Mother’s Day should not be limited to one group of mothers. We can show that we respect the right for all mothers to nourish their babies, by going vegan. Visit PETA.org.au for more information. Desmond Bellamy Special Projects Coordinator PETA Australia PO Box 2352 Byron Bay NSW 2481 0411 577 416 DesmondB@PETA.org.au Pacific Sea Urchin Australia Pty Ltd enters into a special agreement with RTS PauaCo in Tasmania, Australia 2020-05-05T08:41:48Z pacific-sea-urchin-australia-pty-ltd-enters-into-a-special-agreement-with-rts-pauaco-in-tasmania-australia For Immediate Press Release  Pacific Sea Urchin Australia Pty Ltd enters into a special agreement with RTS PauaCo in Tasmania, Australia Pacific Sea Urchin Australia Pty Ltd (“PSU”) is pleased to announce that it has signed an agreement with RTS PauaCo to market RTS PauaCo wild, hand caught Tasmanian sea urchins, greenlip abalone, blacklip abalone and the New Zealand Paua (abalone) in specific markets.  PSU already has a strong presence in the sea urchin industry in Australia and in the emerging exporting market and it is hoped this exciting new agreement will greatly enhance the commercial presence of both companies in Australia and Internationally. PSU are working with RTS PauaCo to co-brand a selection of exclusive products and are working together to share industry knowledge, product development and marketing ideas.  We look forward to showcasing a premium product line at seafood expos all over the world during 2020 and introduce new and existing customers to these high-quality products. “RTS PauaCo developed the first commercial urchin industry in Tasmania and is one of the few approved processors currently permitted to export wild Tasmanian sea urchin products to a number of countries including Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, USA, Macau and Taiwan. Pacific Sea Urchin Australia Pty Ltd is a company focused on all things around Australian Sea Urchins.  Over many years PSU has been working very hard to promote sea urchin products around the globe and in 2018 we opened the first Australia sea urchin restaurant “Uni Boom Boom” which has introduced a range of exciting dishes centered around our fantastic wild caught urchins.”: Jessica Teoh, Managing Director of PSU. “RTS PauaCo have been seafood industry pioneers for decades, as the largest exporter of Tasmanian live abalone and other premium abalone products.  As pioneers in the commercial Tasmanian Sea Urchin industry, we look forward to building on this foundation and developing new and exciting products with PSU while still delivering the premium abalone and urchins we are renowned for": Beth Mathison, Group CEO RTS PauaCo: Time to eschew meat 2020-05-04T13:04:55Z time-to-eschew-meat The Editor, Dear Editor, The outbreak of COVID-19 at a Melbourne slaughterhouse shows the urgency of dumping the meat habit. Slaughterhouses not only put workers and the public health at risk but also cause the agonising, bloody deaths of hundreds of millions of animals every year. Factory farms and slaughterhouses are as filthy as China's "wet markets," their floors covered with blood, urine, faeces, and offal. The novel coronavirus originated in a Chinese wet market where live and dead animals were sold for human consumption, swine flu began on a U.S. factory farm, and other influenza viruses have been traced to chickens. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that approximately 75% of recently emerged infectious diseases affecting humans originated in other animals. Closing slaughterhouses doesn't mean a food shortage, because no one needs meat. Consuming it is linked to heart disease, cancer, strokes, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity. The only thing at risk when slaughterhouses close is the meat industry's bottom line. PETA’s free starter kits and recipes are available on our website, to aid people in preventing the next pandemic by going vegan. Mimi Bekhechi Campaigns Strategist People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals PO Box 20308 World Square Sydney, NSW, 2002 (08) 8556-5828 ‘Chicken Farming in the Living World’ Starts School! 2020-05-03T21:00:00Z chicken-farming-in-the-living-world-starts-school The Australian Chicken Meat Federation Inc. (ACMF) has launched a series of new, online school resources, ‘Chicken Farming in the Living World’. The resources reflect the latest updates to the Australian curriculum and offer unique curriculum content within the ’Living World’ strands of the K-10 New South Wales Science syllabuses. These resources are also aligned with the ‘Biological Science’ strand of the Australian curriculum.The ‘Chicken Farming in the Living World’ inquiry teaching resource series explores how humans use chickens for meat. This resource uses videos created by the peak industry body representing the Australian chicken meat industry, the Australian Chicken Meat Federation Inc. (ACMF) with the supporting teaching resources developed by experienced primary and secondary school teachers.Dr Vivien Kite, Executive Director, ACMF comments, “Chickens are fascinating animals and provide students with an interesting subject matter to discuss the many aspects of our living world, from the interactions between humans and animals, how we create food from animals, how scientific knowledge influences our living world, right through to understanding what a managed ecosystem looks like in the context of a broader natural ecosystem.As the industry peak body, it is important that such resources are developed – to inform and ensure an understanding of how chicken meat is produced while remaining in step with the shift in classroom teaching over recent years, from teacher-led learning and activities to a student-led approach.”The content offers teachers new ready to ‘plug and play’ resources from the ‘Living World’ strand and provide curriculum content tailored to each school stage across primary and secondary school. The resources address the following questions:Stage 1 – Years 1-2 – How do humans use plants and animals?Stage 2 – Years 3-4 – How do we create food and fibre from animals and plants?Stage 3 – Years 5-6 – Why is it important for food and / or fibre to be produced sustainably?Stage 4 – Years 7-8 – What scientific knowledge has influenced the current agricultural practices of the chicken meat industry?Stage 5 – Years 9-10 – How does the closed system of a chicken meat farm model the interactions, flow of energy and the cycling of matter through a natural ecosystem?To access the ‘Chicken Farming in the Living World’ resources teachers, educators and parents can visit the ‘School Resources’ page of the ACMF website (www.chicken.org.au) or the educational platform Scootle. NOTES TO THE EDITOR:About the Australian Chicken Meat Federation (ACMF)The Australian Chicken Meat Federation (ACMF) is the national, peak organisation for those involved in the chicken meat industry in Australia, including chicken farmers and chicken meat processors. Its main aim is to represent the interests of the industry in a wide range of matters including animal health, biosecurity, food standards, food safety, international trade, quarantine, and animal welfare. One of the ACMF’s most important roles is to also provide information to the public about the Australian chicken meat industry, how it operates and about its products. This includes the importance of healthy eating and the role chicken meat can play as a key nutritional element of today’s modern diet and as an integral part of a healthy and sustainable diet for the future.www.chicken.org.auFollow ACMF on Twitter - @ACMFchicken - ENDS – Issued by QUAY Communications on behalf of the Australian Chicken Meat FederationFor more information or images please contact: Emma Norgrove, QUAY Communications, M: 0499 688 001, T: 02 9386 9161Cheryl Pettinau, QUAY Communications, M: 02 9386 9161/ 0424 157 714