Over the past 16 months Buy a Bale and Frontier Services have been working hard with farmers across NSW, SA and QLD to keep going through one of the worst droughts in history. With some areas now well into their third year without rain organisations such as Buy a Bale and Frontier Services are essential in helping keep these farmers on the land.
In the last 6 months many of the stories from the farmers have changed from “help us keep our stock alive” to “just please help”. Nearly all farmers have reduced their herd sizes to a bare minimum and are struggling with day to day costs of even feeding themselves. Farm equipment and other infrastructure is breaking down or wearing out and farmers are struggling to keep up the maintenance or repairs. This is further minimising their ability to create an income now and also plan for the future when the rains do eventually return.
Enter the Farmy Army and Farm Rescue
In the same way the Brisbane floods galvanized the community, Buy a Bale is putting together a Farmy Army. People across Australia interested in volunteering in rural and remote areas are being asked to register for the Farmy Army. “We’re in need of people with all skill types from cooking to mechanics, builders, plumbers, nurses and more, you name it they’re needed” says Charles Alder, Buy a Bale Campaign Co ordinator.
In the same way TV shows rebuild houses, two coachloads of 65 people will be selected from the Farmy Army and sent out to help the selected farmers repair or replace broken equipment and rebuild infrastructure that will enable them to generate an income and be less reliant on support agencies such as Buy a Bale.
Two weeks of Farmy Army activities are planned; the first leaving from Sydney on November 22nd and heading to the Far North Western region of Goodooga (NSW). The second week, departing from Brisbane on December 6th will support farmers in the South Western region of Mitchell/Dunkeld (QLD).
Each trip will provide volunteers with a unique experience by visiting some of the worst drought areas of Australia and providing help to struggling Aussies. Volunteers will be bussed out to each site and either billeted or camp near the properties in need. The trip itself will not be all work and no play with down time planned to show each of the volunteers what life on the land is like and a huge concert planned for the local communities on the last night of the stay. Country music star Sara Storer has volunteered her time to perform for each of the concerts which will be held in Lightning Ridge (NSW) and Dunkeld (Qld).
Support for the event has already begun with The National Road and Motorists Association, NRMA, coming on board as a major sponsor. NRMA Members and staff proudly joined forces over winter with Buy a Bale to help NSW farming families in drought stricken areas to get the support they need and are committed to furthering their support. In addition restaurant chain Ribs and Burgers will continue their support of Buy a Bale by feeding all the tradies and volunteers at the Goodooga and Mitchell concerts plus all nights at the Mitchell rescue. Frontier Services with 102 years of rural and remote assistance will co ordinate the Farmy Army volunteers matching their skills with farmer requirements through the Outback Links program ensuring that farmers not provided with assistance over the two weeks will receive help in the coming months.
To register as a volunteer or to get behind the rescue as a sponsor go to http://www.farmrescue.com.au