Plumes of smoke fill the sky during the Sir Ivan bushfire in Februay 2017. Photo Alex Ellinghausen

Plumes of smoke fill the sky during the Sir Ivan bushfire in Februay 2017. Photo Alex Ellinghausen

Mobilising NSW Farmers community support

Mobilising NSW Farmers community support

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Advertiser: In the aftermath of the destructive Sir Ivan bushfire, NSW farmers community came together to support those affected.

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This is advertiser content for NSW Farmers.

WHEN the Sir Ivan bushfire scorched through 55,000 hectares of farmland, destroying 32 homes and killing thousands of head of livestock, farmers wanted to help out the Coolah, Cassilis and Dunedoo communities.

NSW Farmers’ Merriwa Branch was particularly active. The Branch, along with the Merriwa Show Society, established the Sir Ivan Bushfire Appeal.

Money donated to the appeal went into purchasing cattle which were kept at the Alexander Downs feedlot for up to 100 days.

Alexander Downs kindly offered to manage and feed the cattle at no cost and all the sale proceeds went towards the appeal.

The fundraising effort managed to raise almost one million dollars for affected landholders and residents.

The Sir Ivan bushfire raced through 55,000 hectares of farmland, destroying 32 homes and killing thousands of head of livestock. Photo Alex Ellinghausen

The Sir Ivan bushfire raced through 55,000 hectares of farmland, destroying 32 homes and killing thousands of head of livestock. Photo Alex Ellinghausen

The success of the appeal is an inspiring example of community leadership and it goes to show the value of being a member of the NSW Farmers network.

While the network’s members worked tirelessly on the ground to support the community, NSW Farmers took up the charge from the administrative side.

They lobbied government for an inquiry into the circumstances around the bushfire response to get to the bottom of any communication issues experienced during the emergency to ensure any mistakes will not be repeated in future potentially catastrophic events.

Scorched earth can be seen just outside the village of Uarbry after the Sir Ivan bushfires went through. Photo Alex Ellinghausen

Scorched earth can be seen just outside the village of Uarbry after the Sir Ivan bushfires went through. Photo Alex Ellinghausen

This work directly led to the Coroner’s Court recent announcement that a full Coronial General Inquiry will be undertaken this year.

NSW Farmers members are able to make a difference in their communities when they gain the support of their branch and the wider association and have shown they can mobilise action on the issues that matter.

The network’s influence is not just on issues affecting particular crops or animals, but extends to the environment, biosecurity, water, economics, trade, rural issues and regional affairs.

NSW Farmers keeps up-to-date with the future of agriculture, advocating for innovation, striving to give farmers access to the latest and greatest progress in research, development and extension opportunities.

With over 100 branches, joining the network gives farmers access to other farmers in their area and across the state; experts in agriculture and regional issues working to improve the farming sector.

Together the farmers of NSW can foster and shape the future of regional Australia.

You can join NSW Farmers for as little as $100 per year. Visit www.nswfarmers.org.au for details.

This is advertiser content for the NSW Farmers.

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