Country Valley Milk’s John Fairley has made a desperate plea asking his supporters and locals to ‘adopt a cow’ to help the farm through the drought.
Mr Fairley needs people to donate money to help pay for feed for the cows until Spring.
If you adopt a cow or a calf you will receive a photo of your cow and you can give the cow a name.
Then you can go on a visit to the Picton farm, meet Mr Fairley and your cow.
You can milk a cow and will finish the day by helping to feed the calves.
Mr Fairley put the call out on Facebook today and has been overwhelmed and humbled by the response.
“Thank you so much for showing interest in adopting one of our lovely cows or calves and for helping take the stress off me and my family,” he said.
“I have estimated that it will cost $1350 per cow to feed her until the end of September. I have 130 cows to feed.
“This is by no means a minimum amount for adoption. I’m just trying to let you know the scale of my problem.”
Mr Fairley said he had to swallow his pride and ask for help.
“The realisation that we will be fully [hand] feeding cows, all winter, has arrived,” he said.
“Even if it rains next week and we get crops in, it will get cold and we will still have no feed.
“My 83 year old Dad said he had never seen it worse than this.
“One of the options we put on the table to get through the drought was to shut the dairy down. I just can’t do it.
“We have developed the herd over time, milking daughter after daughter.
“We all grew up helping our Dad and grandfather on weekends and school holidays.
“The dairy is a part of who we are. ‘It takes a tribe to raise a child’ resonates with me.
“I want my grandkids to help my son and maybe my daughter in the future.”
Mr Fairley said locals would need to pay $135 per family for the tour and adoption fees, with the money being used to pay for feed.
It can be paid in a one off amount or five monthly payments until spring.
Bank account details are name: JE and SA Fairley, BSB: 082-883 and account number: 61-663-5557.
Details: email firstname.lastname@example.org with your details and so you can be registered in the Cow Diary. Or call 46772223 and ask for Sally or Tom in business hours.