From donating funds for animal feeds to volunteering your time and skillset, here’s how we can help out.
We’re all well aware of the current and distressing state of affairs for farmers across the country. The entire state of New South Wales has been declared officially in drought, while large regions of other states are also seriously affected by the lack of rainfall, especially in north-west Victoria, eastern South Australia and parts of Queensland.
And here are some examples of how this plays out: farmers are being forced to cart water onto their property to keep both their family and animals alive. In some cases there is not enough coverage in their paddocks, necessitating the spending of more than $20,000 a week on animal feed alone. Extreme cases call for farmers to make the heartbreaking decision to sell the bulk of their livestock, many of which have bloodlines that have been within the family for generations.
All donation methods listed below are registered charities and tax deductible, and not every way to help is monetary.
Provide animal feed
The easiest way to help is providing respite in the form of animal feed, $20 will cover a farmer with a small bale of hay, including transportation costs. Companies such as Rural Aid Australia – Buy a Bale and Lions – Need for Feed allow you to make one-off donations or set up continuous contributions.
Provide human feed
Assistance need not cost you a thing. Farmers and community groups are collecting signatures to send a message to the government and encourage them on to do more. Maitland Mercury is heading up a petition with the aim of receiving 10,000 signatures to start a parliamentary debate on drought support.
Some farmers have taken matters into their own hands. The Fairley family behind Country Valley Milk in Picton has started an ‘Adopt a Cow’ program, whereby you can donate a nominal amount and in return receive a photo and profile of the dairy cow you have taken under your wing. Other individual live campaigns for drought relief can be found on Go Fund Me pages. It is worth noting campaigns such as Adopt a Cow and Go Fund Me pages are not tax deductible.
If you are living in an area where you are in a position to volunteer your time and skillset, head on over to Aussie Helpers. These guys connect tradies willing to donate their time to farmers who have jobs needing completion but are lacking the necessary funds. Alternatively, should you live in an area with a higher rainfall count and have suitable acreage for agistment (grazing livestock), offering your land free of charge will assist farmers greatly with fresh feed for their animals.