Farmers connect over fodder and food in St George and Roma
The effects of Australia’s long-standing drought will linger for years to come. The Rapid Relief Team (RRT) is playing their part to help farmers recover form the devastating drought through their Farmers Community Connect (FCC) initiative, recently donating 335 tonnes of livestock pellets to farmers in Roma and St George, QLD.
More than 300 farmers made their way to Roma and St George on Thursday 15 and Friday 16 April to enjoy a day out with a free BBQ breakfast and lunch, the opportunity to connect with local support services and to collect their donation of a one tonne bulker bag of livestock pellets.
Lester Sharples, RRT Director, said the FCC events are an important initiative for communities in need.
“The events are about bringing the community together to have a bite to eat, a chat with mates and to offer each other support,” Lester said.
It takes time to recover from the impacts of drought, and regional communities still need support to recover in the months and years following.
“We only hope the feed stock goes a little way to help local farmers, but more importantly they have the advantage of the various services on offer at the two events” Lester continued.
Brett Conroy, a FCC recipient, said that RRT have gone above and beyond to support drought affected farmers.
“If you’re stressed out and you need help from flood fencing and that sort of thing, there are people here to care for most situations – they’ve thought about everything. Today gives me a really good feeling to see how Australia can come together in situations like these. Fires, floods and drought – Australia is just renowned for them and people will always be there. “Brett said.
Bryson Head, Regional Recovery Officer for South West QLD for the National Drought and Flood Agency said that the FCC events were a great opportunity to bring people into town to see one another and reach out to support services.
“In drought, farmers get busier and busier all the time and they put off social events and opportunities to catch up with their neighbours and this is just really good for people to get off the farm and catch up with their neighbours,“ Bryson said.
Ally Boshammer, a FCC recipient said that the events allows farmers to come out of their shell and reach out for support.
“We know how hard our farmers work but they can also be a stoic bunch and keep to themselves,” said Ally Boshammer a recipient of the one tonne bulker bag of livestock pellets.
“A reminder that despite the remoteness of our regions it is the sense of community which we are able to draw strength from in difficult times,” Ally said.
Since 2018, RRT’s Operation Drought Relief initiative has donated over 12,525 bales of hay, with FCC events delivering and donating 2,036 tonnes of livestock pellets to 12 locations across NSW and Queensland, helping over 3,360 farmers and their families in need.