Hay run helps NSW fire-ravaged farmers
MORE THAN 200 tonnes of hay and stock feed supplies, as well as $100,000 worth of fencing gear was delivered to fire-stricken Uarbry and Leadville farms in the upper Hunter region of New South Wales on February 26.
In the wake of the Sir Ivan fires more than 150 volunteers and multiple trucking companies banded together to help out the farms.
The day kicked off with the 55-vehicle-strong convoy, led by the Kingdon Ponds Rural Fire Service, taking off through the thankful streets of Scone.
From Scone the volunteers dispersed, delivering hay to 13 farms in the Cassilis and Coolah regions, while fencing crews worked hard at eight properties along the decimated stretch of land between Uarbry and Leadville.
Brad Smith, one of four event organisers, says the day was a huge success, but there’s still so much more work to be done.
“Our crews worked for about nine hours yesterday and repaired in excess of 6km of destroyed fencing,” Smith says.
“But on just one property we visited, the farmer has over 70km of fencing that has been destroyed, so there’s still so much more we would like to do.
“One of the farms we visited simply had nothing left.
“Their house and outbuildings were gone, their machinery, tools, stock feed, everything had gone up in flames.
“It was a lot of organisation and work leading up to the weekend, but seeing the smiles and the hope return to the farmers made every bit of hard work all the more worthwhile.”
With so much more work to be done, the team plans to organise another weekend in the coming months to continue rebuilding fences in Uarbry and Leadville.
“The work we did yesterday saved one farmer a month’s worth of work, so if we can get more donations and more people to volunteer their time, we can make a huge impact in restoring these people’s lives,” Smith says.