Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Little Humour For the Day......

Found this great parody video on my Twitter Newsfeed today.
First there was the song: "Where Them Girls At?" (David Guetta & Flow Ridda) now meet the new and Improved Parody Version: "Where Them Cows At?". Starring the lovely European Ladies.

Where Them Cows At from Volt on Vimeo.

Link (http://vimeo.com/25964011)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

If it's not one thing.....

It seems lately if it's not one thing it's another. And it seems to be the Agricultural Sector copping it every time.
We've seen damage and tremendous impact from the Live Export debacle and now we see a renewed threat from the State's burgeoning Coal Seam Gas Industry. It's interesting to see the State Premier touting these activities as a tremendous boom for the state's economy and don't get me wrong they will be, but at what cost and for how long?
Today sees another report describing the finding of carcinogenic compounds in test wells close to a CSG operation. It will be interesting to see what the findings of this inquiry into the operations reveals. The compounds found have been described as potentially naturally occurring as well as being present in a range of oil products.

BTEX can be naturally occurring but are also found in a range of oil-based products.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald (Click Here for Story)
One thing that bugs me is that if something as naturally occurring then surely it would occur in earlier test samples taken from monitoring sights? It is interesting to see that these toxins have only been found at this time which leads me to assume that they have been introduced somehow if there is no evidence to suggest they were not initially present.
After being in an area that was heavily impacted by the Cougar Energy debacle I would have thought that the State and the powers that be would effect tougher restrictions and implement stronger regulations for operations.

What also concerns me is the frequency at which these tests are carried out.

Taken over three days at Arrow's Queensland operations as part of routine six-monthly testing, the samples showed low readings of the so-called BTEX chemicals, which can harm the central nervous system and cause cancer.
Source: The West Australian (Click Here for Story)
The report from the West Australian states that these tests occur six-monthly. Now as someone who has studied a very basic level of University Level Science I have learnt about the scientific method and employing tests, and to me testing a well site on a six monthly basis would not provide sufficient evidence to chart progression of data.

Now to the operating company's credit they have released this information immediately and reportedly began contacting affected landowners.

So whilst it seems that these industries are going to be great for our states economy I question the cost it will have in the long run. After seeing what happened at the Cougar Energy project and the ramifications it has as a follow on for producers I can say that any short term economic benefit is going to be far outweighed by any possible side affects these operations are causing. And is beneficial to pursue a short term goal at the long term detriment to the local Agricultural production industries
It will be interesting to see what happens as this story further progresses and I know that I will certainly be watching it with great interest.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Photo Friday- 26th August 2011

Tropical North Queensland has some great sights.....
I was fortunate enough to take a Field Trip out off the beaten track last weekend and head up into the picturesque mountain township of Paluma.
Paluma is an absolute treat to visit, with kilometers of walking tracks, great swimming holes and natural waterfalls. Whilst they got hit a bit with TC Yasi it is back to business as usual and there are some great sights to see.

The Picturesque Little Crystal Falls cascading below the Stonemasons Bridge

Little Crystal Falls cascading into the Crystal Creek George

A tropical stream flits through the rocks and undergrowth leading off to the Crystal Creek Falls

Monday, August 22, 2011

Australian Agriculture- The Greatest Story Never Told

Here's a great video I found courtesy of the Australian Year of the Farmer 2012 Program.

In the spirit of the popular Did You Know? YouTube video series, it presents a great Did You Know? Insight into the role of Australian Agriculture Systems.

Here's the link if the embedded player doesn't work: YouTube: Australian Agriculture- The Greatest Story Never Told

Our Farmers. Our Future

"Our Farmers, Our Future"- That's the tagline for 2012 The Year of the Farmer

I was reminded today that 2012 will be Australian National Year of the farmer.
The message presented by this great program headed up with famous names like Glenn McGrath and the Governor-General of Australia Ms Quentin Bryce AC aims to promote farmers and farming practices and to remind the general public about the roles that Farmers and farming industries and communities have in their everyday lives whether they realise it or not.

Check out this video below by Cricketing Legend and Australian Year of the Framer Ambassador Glenn McGrath:

As with everything it is vitally important that we get out there and show Australia the story of the farmer. AYOF presents us with that ability, so we can tell our story and show our involvement in making Australia run.

I'm sure as further information and plans come to the table we will all be able to play a role in what looks to be a great year. So why not attend and event, host an event or even just let your voice be heard and tell your story and let everyday Aussies see how much of a role we play in their lives.

Australian Year of the Farmer (AYOF) Website: Click Here
Here's the Video Link (if the embedded copy doesn't work)- YouTube: AYOF

If you are involved or looking at getting involved, give me a yell I'd be interested in learning more about the program......

Friday, August 19, 2011

Photo Friday- 19th August 2011

So here is my first one for Photo Friday....
Lately I have developed an interest in shooting panoramas and have had some really successful results.
These images have all been shot at home and in my travels through Bribane. All of them shoot using between five and seventeen images. To put them all togather I use a program called Microsoft ICE (Free Download Here), wheich a developmental program available through Microsoft online.....

"Sunday Afternoon Drive" (5 Shots)
Panoramic Image of the Home Property after a decent amount of rain.

"Brisbane River Meets the Mississippi" (7 Shots)
An American Friend commented and said that this shot of the Paddle Steamer on the Brisbane River Reminded here of the steamboats you could take on the Mississippi River back home.

Fun Fact: The two yellow poles you see in this image are actually from a Brisbane River City Cat.
This was taken from the bow platform of the "Cat". A great way to get about and see the city, at no more than $10 for a full river, hop on, hop off ticket (over 3hrs of River Cruising).

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Great Day......

I checked Google News this morning and had a welcome sigh of relief as I saw that both Private Members Bills had failed to gain the support of either the government or oposition MP's
TWO separate bids to end live animal exports have failed to win the support of a single government or opposition MP
Source: Herald Sun (Link: http://bit.ly/oturRd)
This is great news for the Australian Live Export Industry as the industry can now start to get back up on its feet after the knee jerk reaction that left thousands of cattle stranded in export yards and farms that were beginning to become overstocked.

This disappointment of the day is the news that the RSPCA and Animal Activist groups are not going to leave the issue and have effectively put into place a scare campaign against producers and the general public by publicly vowing to release further footage. This to me says that this is a very juvenile action trying your cause out in the media using what is clearly going to be a bias to spin their story. I am curious to see whether this footage has in deed been kept from an earlier time as the Four Corners footage and if they are considering the "ethical dilemma" (as they put it) of releasing it now instead of earlier? This to me says they are pushing their own agenda, and that if they'd been concerned for the welfare of animals they would have released the footage earlier, if not to the public then the Government who can put into place policies to prevent further mistreatment.

Interested in a bit of an insight into the strategies that groups use to make these ads and cause you to become emotionaly driven to support their cause? Why not Check out this Weeks episode of The Gruen Transfer on ABC iView (or it is repeated on ABC2 at some stage as well).

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Decision time.......

Tomorrow seems to be earmarked as the big day for the future of Live Animal Exports.
Tomorrow will find the verdict for two Private Members Bills, One calling for the immediate cessation of Live Animal Exports and the other for a period of phaseout over the next three years.

The context of these two bills got me a bit curious:
Would these bill not just encompass the trade of cattle and sheep but also to the other animals that we export on a yearly basis?
For instance did you know that we also export camels, sheep, goats and dairy cattle? And that every year we also send some of our best stallions overseas as a provision for breeding within their respective industries. As it stands the demands splashed through the media calling for the immediate cessation of exports would impact these to.
Our dairy cattle are sent overseas, purchased by countries from all over the world for the addition of genetic material to their respective hereds
Australia also exports goats and dairy cattle. The main markets for dairy cattle are Mexico, Russian Federation, China, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.
Source: http://bit.ly/qIDk2u
So it would be interesting to see how the public feel knowing that by banning ALL Live Exports as they so plainly put it would have an immediate impact on many other industries not just those of the live cattle and sheep trade industries.

One other interesting turn of events of late has been the allegation that workers were paid to inflict the pain on the animal featured in the documentary. Now don't get me wrong I work with cattle and do not in any shape condone the actions that were committed at all, but if payment was the case should it not be pertinent to put an immediate halt on the vote to ascertain whether this evidence is indeed correct or not to ensure that those voting on the proposed Bills have a clearer understanding of the situation at hand?

Too long has this been played out in the media and turned into a circus of who gets the best inside story (though looking at the news in the past week the media spotlight has only been on one party, and that certainly wasn't cattle producers), I can only hope that the vote tomorrow is done objectively with those making decisions realizing that there is a lot more at stake (no pun intended) than just their personal image.

*It should be put that this is my understanding of the bill structure. Please feel free to comment if it is otherwise.

Getting the message out there......

As a member of Generation Y I thought that I was very tech savvy, but so far have had a fast learning curve on just how media spreads in these times.
Coming from the land the biggest turning point was for me watching the Live Animal Export Debate unfold before me. I have never seen something of that magnitude gain so much momentum so fast. Everywhere I turned there were posts from Animal activists and concerned citizens everywhere, no longer a domain of writing an incensed letter to the editor of the local paper, these messages flooded the internet, and nowhere larger than twitter and Facebook. On twitter alone the phrase "Ban Live Export" became a trending phrase almost instantaneously after the screening of the controversial Four Corners documentary, and there it stayed trending for at least two days.

Yet nowhere in this social media storm of hate and frustration did I see a message of support for our Aussie farmers or even a statement from them explaining their side of the story. It wasn't until several days later that I finally saw an invite on Facebook for a Save Live Export petition and links to a page on the internet.
If this one instance has taught us anything is that we as producers were on the back foot trying to get our message out there. No longer can we simply rely on print media to get our message across, when with the click of a mouse a story can be distributed throughout the world.

After watching the story on the ABC this Sunday gone I have realized that the need for us to tell our story we need to get out there and not just rely on others. We need to be "Proagtive" in our discussions to get our message out there so that the public know and understand both sides of the story.
For further information on the Landline Story check out this link:

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