A farmer is planning to recruit a team of people who can step in to help farmers who are finding the burden of drought too much.
David Donnelly who farms 30 kilometres from Glen Innes wants former farmers and farm workers to come forward so they can step in for short periods when farmers on drought-stricken land need to take time away. He was proposing the idea to Rotary to see if it would help organise the relief team.
Mr Donnelly said that Tenterfield and Glen Innes were not as crook as further south, particularly the Walcha and Tamworth areas, but it was bad and getting worse. He said the catastrophe of drought was incremental.
In this area, the problem is that incipient drought is compounded when other problems occur like wild dogs getting at cattle or sheep or illness strikes. Some older farmers find it impossible to get away and the pressure grows – hence the need for human relief.
On August 15, there is a separate offer of help for farmers in the Tenterfield and Glen Innes areas. At the Services Club in Glen Innes, there is to be a forum on drought where emergency food and other immediate aid will be on offer.
There would also be advice, including about the raft of federal, state and local agencies which might help and also on the nutritional value of different feeds. Some feeds might need supplementing, for example.
There are about 500 farms in the Glen Innes area and 300 in Tenterfield, and the forum was aimed at them.
Separately, some people are making heroic individual efforts.Two students at Glen Innes High School, for example, plan to raise money to help those who are struggling.
Hope McIntyre who lives near Pinkett and Tori Potter who lives near Wellingrove plan a sausage sizzle, a raffle and a mufti day where students come to school not in uniform and pay for the privilege.
On their family properties, they are now buying in feed so they see the pain first hand.
To volunteer to help David Donnelly with the team of relief farmers, call him on 6732 1768 or 0429 107 545. As well as being a farmer, he chairs the group of New England North West group of radio stations.
Geography and history teacher, Kelly Gaden, said: “It’s great that these two girls have developed this idea on their own and approached the school to get the community involved”.