100 Bundy farmers helped in ‘green drought’
GENEROUS Rotarians have raised $100,000 to buy stockfeed that has been used to support 100 Bundaberg farming families.
Former Rotary District governor Rod Medew said the funds collected had been higher than he first had expected, which since February were used to create drought relief packages through Northside Produce Agency’s products.
The produce agency used its client base to reach out to farmers who could apply for support if impacted by drought, but news of the package expanded further through word of mouth and media.
Mr Medew said the funding came from Rotarians’ efforts, including from international branches.
Due to the program’s success the Rotary was considering repeating the scheme next year while potentially expanding it other locations such as Biloela and Rockhampton., he said.
“It was a fantastic effort, collaboration and team effort to achieve a great result, but there is so much more to do,” Mr Medew said.
“While the drought conditions continue, there is still the need to provide support to affected graziers.
“This means that further funding via donations is desperately required.
“Many recipients commented on how much this has meant to their morale and outlook with the recognition that not only has someone noticed their plight, but actually provided practical help.”
Welcome Creek farmer Barbara Gould said her property benefited from the package.
“I was stoked,” she said about her reaction when she first found out about the scheme.
“I was right in there.
“A lot don’t want to, my other half was sort of a bit sceptical, and I was saying, ‘why not?’
“I think it’s great and I think farmers need that to keep us going.”
Northside Produce Agency owner Brian Gordon said the funds had all been used but he was encouraging graziers to add their names onto a waiting list for future packages.
“They vary but it’s all stockfeed base; hay, grain, various types of stockfeed and occasionally we throw in a bag of dog feed or a bag of horse feed if they’ve got a stock horse,” he said.
“We do a few different options depending on the situation and what we have available at the time.”
Mr Gordon said graziers were experiencing a “green drought” early in winter.
“We had what we believed to be breaking rain in March … but essentially there was no run-off rain, very little dams were filled, no creeks had run, so essentially it created a great start to winter but no follow-up,” Mr Gordon said.
“What we’re seeing now is we’re about to enter another winter period that could potentially be worse than last year and worse than the year before, so we’re very concerned about what’s happening.”