Generous donations from Shoalhaven residents are putting smiles back on the faces of farmers battling the drought.
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Four truckloads of fodder, plus toys, groceries and vouchers were all recently delivered to farmers in the Dubbo area.
Over $81,000 to pay for the donations came from the Shoalhaven’s Super Six - a group of local registered club who staged fundraisers to support the farmers.
The super six are Club Jervis Bay, St Georges Basin Country Club, Shoalhaven Ex-Servicemen's Club, Culburra Bowling Club, Shoalhaven Heads Bowling Club and Bomaderry Bowling Club.
The money was raised to support Leeanne Oldfield’s Nowra to Dubbo Drought Relief Drive which was supported by Jervis Bay Feeds and many local people.
They were very appreciative and they are very proud men and women who found it hard accepting free hay and stock feed but they were all so full of gratitude,- Rita Muscat
Club Jervis Bay’s Operations Manager, Rita Muscat, made the trip out west and got to meet the farmers.
“It was exciting to make the trip for such a good cause,” Rita said.
“The drive was well worth it to see the expressions on the farmers’ faces when we arrived.
“We were able to see first-hand the devastation caused by the drought and the reduced water levels of so many creeks and rivers we passed over which were devastatingly low.”
Rita described the trip as a humbling experience.
“We (the Super Six and the community) are extremely proud of our efforts raising the $81,000 towards helping our Aussie farmers in need and we are grateful to the local communities who supported the drive,” she said.
Leeanne was also grateful to all the community members who supported this great cause.
Four full loads of stock feed went up and Leeanne said the farmers were happy get some of this much-needed fodder.
“One of the farmers said they are always happy to see us because the feed we deliver is always good quality,” Leeanne said.
Rita added meeting the farmers was another highlight of the trip.
“We met about 10 farmers and some were local, while others arrived after a good hour or so’s drive,” Rita said.
“We helped them load their trucks and utes.
“They were very appreciative and they are very proud men and women who found it hard accepting free hay and stock feed but they were all so full of gratitude.”
The area, despite some rain, is still in a drought.
“They have had a little rain so some parts have greened up a little but not enough to make any difference when it comes to being able to feed their cattle,” Rita said.
“They are heavily reliant on food being brought into their farms and this has created so much added pressure on the families and their budgets.
“The price of hay has skyrocketed and we passed many hay farms on the way that had ‘Sold Out’ signs out the front so they are also paying for the added expense of freight.”
Rita said the whole experience really put life into perspective.
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