RRT supported 135 mid-north coast farmers with more than 1,300 bales of hay and silage through the Farmers Community Connect events in Wingham and Kempsey. Donated by Southern Highlands farmers and distributed through RRT, the relief will go towards the recovery and rebuilding process on the mid-north coast.

Designed to be a feel-good day for the farmers and local community, the events bring together mental health support, rural financial counselling, veterinary support and other local support providers all while the recipients share a bite to each, and a coffee with their neighbours.

RRT Director Lester Sharples said that the events were as much about bringing the community together as the hay donations.

“Farmers have done it tough these last few years as they’ve battled through a long-standing drought, bushfires and now to the other end of extremes; floods. Many farmers lost their fodder during this disaster, and as we enter the winter season, it is unlikely the fodder will replenish itself, so RRT stepped in to help.

“It’s been some operation pulling these events together, and when donating hay and silage, there is so much that can go wrong. After all these farmers have been through, we wanted to ensure they received only the best quality hay that meets the highest standard of nutrition,” Lester said.

“To give these farmers assurance, we had our expert team source high-quality hay and silage from the Southern Highlands and we engaged the NSW Department of Primary Industries to complete a standard nutritional fodder analysis, and test for nitrate, nitrite and prussic acid.”

Federal Member for Cowper, Pat Conaghan, shared community spirit and pitching in and helping each other in times of need is what the mid-north coast community is all about.

“We’ve experienced drought, bushfires, the pandemic and now floods over the past 18 months, and while we are a resilient bunch, we need to stay connected and not be afraid to ask for help and take advantage of the various services and grants on offer.”

“These Farmers Community Connect events are a great way to access a number of services over a bite to eat and a coffee, but more importantly to bring us all together as a community,” Pat said.

“I’m proud of the way we’ve banded together to get through everything nature has thrown at us, and want to thank the Rapid Relief Team for organising these great events in Kempsey and Wingham.”

Since 2018, RRT has helped 3,360 farming families with more than 13,000 bales of hay and nearly more than 2,000 tonnes of livestock pellets provided in times of need following drought, fire and flood to more than a dozen locations across NSW and Queensland.

Watch the Farmers Community Connect event live in action!

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