Home' Hastings Mail : July 19th 2011 Contents 15
HASTINGS MAIL, JULY 20, 2011
Applicants must be 16 years or over and a New Zealand Citizen or Permanent Resid
Wanting to upskill so you can do basic jobs
around your home and property?
Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre, in partnership
with EIT, are o ering a part-time quali ication, the
Certi cate in General Farm Skills Level 2.
Ð Operating Chainsaws
Ð Operating and Handling ATVS
Ð Operating Tractors
Ð Fencing Skills
Ð Health and Safety
Whether you are a keen gardener wanting to be
able to do all the basics yourself, a farmer, a lifestyler
requiring the skills to manage your property, or are
sick of waiting for your partner to get around to
those odd jobs, this course is ideal for you!
Courses running regularly
Contact Taratahi to
register for the
TARATAHI Agricultural Training Centre has had an
enthusiastic response from trainees undertaking
a new General Farm Skills course at EIT's Taradale
"The Certifcate in General Farm Skills has proved
to be a popular training option for a wide variety of
people," says Kim Holden, Taratahi Regional Delivery
"We work with lifestyle farmers, people
wanting to make a career change, horticultural
workers, business operators as well as individuals just
wanting to get some skills behind them."
General Farm Skills course trainee Kaylene
Clarkson, a Hastings vineyard worker and now a
trustee of a whanau farm initially wanted to learn about
handling an ATV safely, but has valued the opportunity
to learn about safe handling of chainsaws as well as
understanding more about fencing.
"The course has taught me a lot of really basic stuff
that experienced farmers just 'know'."
This part time course is run over a 12 week period
and costs only $100. The course currently offers
training in health and safety, ATVs, tractors, fencing
and chainsaws. Courses are on-going throughout the
year and students must be 16 years or over.
Taratahi also delivers level 3 and level 4 full time
agricultural courses from EIT's Taradale campus.
You can learn more about training options at
www.taratahi.ac.nz or call 0800 TARATAHI
Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre
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23 Swansea Road, Flaxmere, Hastings
Bicknell has had to
weather the storm.
FROM Page 14
Machinery motion: A contractor makes good progress in the cleanup.
We had to stay on task and stay focused.
The priority was to get the tracks open
and the gear to where we needed it,'' Mr
One of the first things he did was to go
up in the chopper to have a look at the lie
of the land and see where his stock were.
I was worried about them, but when I
saw them all spread out, it was a massive
feeling of relief. I knew then I could get
back and attack other things.''
The next step was to sell off trading
stock and send replacement hoggets to
another Landcorp block.
That meant we had no young stock left
that we had to deal with and could con-
centrate on our capital stock. In total, we
chopped 25 per cent of our stock units.''
Boner cow purchases were halted as
Mr Bicknell runs a well-developed sys-
tem of small mobs of sheep that can be
easily and quickly moved.
All that went out the window. Now
stock are located in larger paddocks in big
That's taking a whole lot of getting
used to. I'm a fan of rotational grazing
and now mobs are spread out and it
makes the job of ration feeding much
Having a team of capable employees,
including a stock manager, two perma-
nent and one casual farm workers, plus
fencing and machinery contractors and a
builder, makes the recovery job at Te
I've got good staff who are a very big
help. They've taken on a lot of respons-
ibility, so I can focus on other tasks.''
We're lucky the weather has been kind
to us following the storm,'' says Mr
The whole farm has been re-tracked in
just two months and there'll be more to do
The plan for fencing is: if it looks like
it's going to go again, a temporary fence is
properly. A lot of the slips haven't fin-
ished moving yet.''
Roads at both ends of Te Apiti Station
were closed due to slips but the Hastings
District Council had the northern end
open after a week and trucks began to
transport stock and bring materials in.
Having a wool shed at either end of the
property proved useful.
We simply changed our operation
around from one point to another and
used the smaller, four-stand shed near
Waimarama. We were shearing twice a
week for a month to get them all done.''
An environmental plan in conjunction
with Hawke's Bay Regional Council has
been stepped up on the farm, as a result
of the storm damage. Planting of radiata
pines and willow poles to control erosion
was well under way.
The plan to retire 300ha of land on
which radiata pine will be planted has
now increased to 630ha.
Hydro-seeding of manuka on to slipped
areas is being considered, initially as a
small-scale operation to see how it goes.
If we can eco-source the seed that would
be beneficial, but it's a long-term plan
and meantime, there are other
For now, Mr Bicknell is taking it one
day at a time, helping to keep his
workers' spirits up when bad weather
calls and looking forward to seeing his
family return home.
I don't know where the two months
have gone, to tell you the honest truth. It
just feels like yesterday.''
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