Help feed the hun­gry stock

Mansfield Courier - - Property Guide - By PAM ZIERKMAHON­EY

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

Mathieson said.

“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.

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