Hay on way
. . . Invergordon farmer Leanne Rovers and Barooga Lions Club president and northern Victorian and southern NSW Need for Feed Disaster Relief co-ordinator Linda Ryder stand in front of one of six trucks loaded on the Rovers property on Friday. More than 100 trucks filled to the brim with hay arrived in northern NSW at the weekend to help drought-affected farmers. To read the full story, and for more Alana Christensen photos,
One hundred trucks loaded with 4000 bales of hay have travelled more than 1000 km to put smiles on the faces of NSW farmers battling drought conditions.
The latest Lions Club Need for Feed Disaster Relief hay run saw hay, care packages and food delivered to farms across the region, with trucks heading to farms in Broken Hill, Nyngan, Tamworth, Walgett and Gunnedah across the weekend.
A total of eight trucks arrived at Leanne and Eddy Rovers’ Invergordon property late last week to be loaded with hay as part of a strong response from the local region.
A total of 17 from the local area were loaded to the brim with hay for farmers before setting off across the border.
Barooga Lions Club president and Need For Feed Disaster Relief northern Victoria and southern NSW co-ordinator Linda Ryder said the response from local farmers and townspeople had been incredible.
‘‘It’s all about giving (drought-affected farmers) a bit of breathing room,’’ she said.
‘‘It just helps to show them that someone out there cares and is thinking of them . . . the response is amazing.
‘‘The communities are just coming together and it’s an incredible response.’’
With the hay runs only getting bigger — Barooga Lions Club member David Stillard said the latest hay run was three times the size of the previous run to northern NSW — the need for hay has continued to increase.
‘‘There’s virtually no hay in the southern Riverina and northern Victoria, it’s all coming from the Western District and South Australia,’’ Mr Stillard said.
‘‘Ninety per cent of hay has to be purchased . . . that’s why we need cash donations.’’
Ultimately, as the hundreds of trucks made their way north to the farms, everyone agreed that it was a rewarding and emotional experience for all.
Mrs Rovers said she and husband Eddy didn’t hesitate to put their hand up for another hay run, with the couple undertaking their third. She too said the event had helped her meet some incredible people.
‘‘I had a woman who drove all the way from Yarrawonga to just drop off a donation. She dropped it off, hopped back in her car and headed home,’’ she said.
With rain falling at their property on Friday as hay was loaded onto trucks, Mrs Rovers said she hoped the rain would be yet another thing they could bring to their northern neighbours.
‘‘We’ll hitch it onto the truck and hopefully take it with us,’’ she said.
■ To donate to Need for Feed Disaster Relief or volunteer for future hay runs visit: needforfeed.org
Lending a hand . . .Barooga Lions Club secretary and Need for Feed Disaster Relief assistant secretary Darren Laffan (back left), Barooga Lions Club member David Stillard (back right), Barooga Lions Club president and Need For Feed Disaster Relief northern Victoria and southern NSW co-ordinator Linda Ryder (front left) and Belmont Lions Club member Helen Schultz.
Stacking . . . It was a busy day of loading at Leanne and Eddy Rovers’ Invergordon property last week as they prepared to join the 100-truck hay run to northern NSW. Lions Club volunteers have been purchasing hay across the district to send to drought-affected communities.
Helping others . . . Invergordon’s Leanne Rovers and Barooga Lions Club president and Need For Feed Disaster Relief northern Victoria and Southern NSW coordinator Linda Ryder say the hay runs are always a wonderful but emotional experience.
Almost ready to roll . . . More than 100 trucks were assembled for the hay run to northern NSW, delivering more than 4000 bales of hay to drought affected farmers.