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A Visitor's Impressions.


A representative of this paper on Saturday had a conversation with Mr G. Bishop, now of Auckland, and formerly of Wheatstone. Mr Bishop acts as traveller for Messrs J. B. MacKewan and Co.'a Dairy Factory Utensils and baa been visiting Ashburton on a short holiday. It is seventeen years since he left the Ashburton district, and on his return ho finds that considerable changes have taken placa during the interval. Great changes are noticeable in the people of the district, the younger generation having grown up, and many of the older ones having passed away. In Ashburton itself Mr Bishop also notices a great change, shops and houses having sprung up in various portions of the town. .Signs of prosperity are to be found everywhere. The Domain especially attracted his attention, and he, in common with ether visitors, considers it one of the best in the colony.

Speaking of the farming industry, Mr Bishop remarked that what struck him usost was the way in which a few fatmdr3 are buying the rest out. Elsewhere in New Zealand, and especially in Auckland proviace. the big estates are being "burst up," whereas in the Ashburton County the land seems to a visitor to be passing into the hands of a smaller and smaller number. In the North Island a policy quite opposite to this reaggregation of land is being pursued both by the Government and by private individuals. In this connection, Mr Bishop also commented on the decreasing school attendimce, mentioning as an illustration the fact that the Wheatstone Fchool will soon be compelled to close if the present attendance does not increase. Another thiog that struck Mr Bishop was the improvement in the draught horses used by tho farmers of the County. He says that in his tour round the farms he saw a horse in every plough such as was not to be found in the district in his day.

Referring to the Auckland district Mr Bishop stated that, though sheep do fairly well up there, a different class of farming to what prevails here is generally ptirsued. Land on the average is a long way cheaper, and the climate gives the farmer there an advantage over his southern rivals. The district over which Me Bishop's business operations lead him extends from Gisborne to the North Cape in the Bast and down the West Coast to the King Country and the borders of Taranaki. On the West Coast of the North Island the climate is fcoo wet for sheep farming, and the chief pursuit is dairying, wbich is followed with astonishing success. As an instance, Mr Bishop mentioned the case of a Cambridge farmer whose cheques from the local creamery for last November and December were respectively .£llß and .£135. The creamery runs for ten months of the year, and the average return which the farmer referred to obtains from each cow amounts to £1 per month during that period. This man employs five tnilkera, and runs 98 cows. The usual system pursued in regard to dairying herds is for the owner to let the cows on the share system, the owner receiving a third of the returns, while the dairy farmer take 3 the remaining two thirds. Mr Bishop says that milking machines will soon be in general use, and will work a revolution in the industry. By using mi king machines, a farmer will save halt his expenditure in wages. The herds at present contain anything from 60 to 150 cows, and with the introduction of the machines, the industry will be boomed on still higher than it is at present. Improvements are being gradually effected in the methods of workiug right through the piece, and with the prevailing high prices for butter and cheese, the dairy industry has, in Mr Bishop's opinion, a very fine future before it.

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Bibliographic details

A Visitor's Impressions., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXII, Issue 6612, 4 July 1905

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A Visitor's Impressions. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXII, Issue 6612, 4 July 1905

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