Help feed the hungry stock
WHILE much of Victoria has been burned in bushfires or are severely drought stricken, there is always someone thinking of those affected.
Ray Mathieson of Alexandra is one such person who has re-instigated his ‘Need for Feed’ campaign to help those farmers in need of hay.
“I, in conjunction with the Lions clubs of the region, initiated the Need for Feed two years ago helping drought stricken farmers,” he said.
“But most of all the need this year is going to be fire affected farmers who desperately need hay to feed stock that have survived the ravaging fires of East Gippsland, Northern Victoria and in the southern parts of New South Wales.
“What I desperately need now though is a local Mansfield farmer to help me out to coordinate the donations of hay for this program.
“I need the use of a paddock to temporarily store the hay, but it must have access for a B-double truck to get in and out of,” Mr Mathieson said.
“I can organise the trucks, the loading and the shipping of hay, but I don’t want to have to cart the hay to Alexandra and then rehandle it to get it out to the farmers in need.
“Of course we also need donations of round bales – to date I have around 200 promised in and around the Murrindindi Shire but am now asking the farmers of the Mansfield area to help us out.
“Normally we would be sending hay to drought stricken Queensland and New South Wales, but with the devastating fires we will be called upon to distribute feed to Victorian farmers as well.”
Being an ex-police officer Mr Mathieson has the skills to ‘organise’ along with the practical experience to help distribute and transport these hay bales.
“For it to be a goer in Mansfield I really need someone to help me out,” Mr
“From my reading there is a difficult situation ahead of us.
“If we send the feed to Gippsland it means the farmers in New South Wales and Queensland may miss out.
“I am going to have to get on to my coordinator down at Pakenham and have a chat and find out how we can look after them all.
“Given the time of the year when everyone has taken a bit of a break it is not easy to get the communication happening, but it will happen,” he said.
“I can see we are going to see the ‘Need for Feed’ well into the future.”
At present Mr Mathieson has enough donated hay to send away three b-doubles.
“When a donation of 40 hay bales is made, a truck load on its own, then I can organise a truck to go direct to the farm to pick it up – no double handling,” he said.
If you feel you can help Mr Mathieson and the Lions clubs please contact him on 0438 808 586.
FEED OUT: A smaller truck being loaded with hay from a farm at Kanumbra ready for distribution to needy farmers for stock feed in either drought or fire affected areas.