Farmers 'almost shed happy tears' over Rural Aid hay relief

North West farmers very grateful for hay relief


The region's farmers are very grateful for the bales of hay generously donated by fellow Aussies.


North West farmers are grateful for the generosity of fellow Aussies having received with hay to keep their cattle alive - for now.

More than 200 farmers registered with Rural Aid collected an allocation of hay, many of them noting it would help the dire situation greatly.

For some, the situation was worsened after bushfires hit their properties. For others, they were down to only about 20 head of cattle after having to cull the rest.

Moonbi farmer Denis Wood is down to 150 usable acres from 1150 acres after fire burnt through his property. He now has about 15km of fencing that needs repairing.

"There's a lot of good people ... offering to help," Mr Wood said.

"This [hay] is great because I haven't got anything left to feed cattle; I haven't had anything for a long time.

"Thank you everybody for all the help. It's very hard and so many people want to help it makes me feel like crying happy tears."

Somerton's Jenny O'Sullivan has had farming running through her family's veins for more than 100 years, and has just made the decision to destock some of her herd.

"We're going to wean our calves off our cows to give our cows a chance, and this will come in most handy because we don't have any hay," Ms O'Sullivan said.

"This will let us ... put the calves in a small feedlot situation and the hay can help feed them, so it's marvellous."

If it gets to the point where they need aid, we can switch on things pretty quickly. - Rural Aid's Craig Marsh

Nundle farmer Gary Heggs said his cattle would be happy with a good feed, too.

"I've been carting water, and yesterday I took the water cart off and they heard the tractor and they were thinking they were going to get fed," he said.

"They won't miss out now."

Mr Heggs said he was very grateful to receive the aid, as he was unable to receive other government support.

"They reckon I've got too much off-farm income because I pick up part-pension, so I can't get any loan assistance through them to do any infrastructure - so this certainly does come in handy," Mr Heggs said.

"I'm on part-pension because my assets are too high to get a full pension, but unfortunately the assets aren't making any money."

Farmers who aren't registered with Rural Aid are urged to sign up now.

Rural Aid business development manager Craig Marsh said on Wednesday even if farmers didn't need help urgently, it was important to register sooner rather than later.

"If it gets to the point where they need aid, we can switch on things pretty quickly," Mr Marsh said.

The story Farmers 'almost shed happy tears' over Rural Aid hay relief first appeared on Namoi Valley Independent.


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