Pho­tos boost fod­der fund

Droughted fam­ily sells ru­ral images to feed their live­stock

The Western Star - - Rural Weekly - [email protected]­ral­weekly.com.au ANDREA DAVY

AF­TER seven long years of well-be­low-av­er­age rain­fall and liv­ing the re­lent­less daily slog of hand­feed­ing stock, a NSW graz­ing fam­ily has come up with a clever so­lu­tion to gen­er­ate hay money.

They can’t grow grass at the moment but they can sell beau­ti­ful pic­tures of the great body of grass that once was.

A GoFundMe page has been launched, ba­si­cally, to trade strik­ing ru­ral pho­tos for bales of hay.

The farmer be­hind the ini­tia­tive is a pri­vate per­son.

Talk­ing to the Ru­ral Weekly she stressed she wasn’t “look­ing for a hand­out” and the ini­tia­tive wasn’t about seek­ing do­na­tions – the Pho­tos for Feed plat­form was sim­ply her fam­ily’s bid at cre­at­ing a cash flow. It took an aw­ful lot of courage for her to ac­cept help from her cousin to cre­ate the

GoFundMe page ini­tially.

She feels her fam­ily’s story is shared by many on the land, so she has penned a pow­er­ful mes­sage ex­plain­ing where the con­cept comes from.

These are her words:

Grazier’s mes­sage

My hus­band’s fam­ily has been as­so­ci­ated with the land for eight gen­er­a­tions.

It started with a pi­o­neer pas­toral­ist im­mi­grat­ing to Aus­tralia in 1802, who died in 1840 leav­ing an es­tate own­ing a string of graz­ing prop­er­ties run­ning from Su­rat to Syd­ney.

We are well ac­quainted with drought, and dif­fi­cult con­di­tions.

But this is ex­treme.

Since 2012 we’ve had less than 30 per cent of our av­er­age monthly rain­fall per year (88 months).

Our av­er­age an­nual rain­fall is 400mm (16 inches).

This year, we have recorded 70 points, or less than one inch on the old mea­sure­ments.

This has come along­side ex­treme heat, winds and dust.

Cur­rently we are hand feed­ing ev­ery­thing we own and our cat­tle num­bers are down to 20 per cent of the usual herd.

This week we ran out of wa­ter for the gar­den (our respite from all things brown, dry or dusty).

We wa­tered the gar­den from what has al­ways been a per­ma­nent nat­u­ral 2km wa­ter hole, now it only has 30 me­tres of slurry.

Ev­ery­thing is very test­ing at the moment.

We truly don’t want hand­outs, in­stead we are look­ing at other ways to sup­ple­ment our in­come, hop­ing to sell an­other of our re­sources and find a way to cre­ate some cash flow so that we can keep buy­ing feed for our re­main­ing cat­tle, with­out go­ing into more debt.

So, over the years, in my spare time, ie while wait­ing for the school bus or the mail­man, chang­ing over stock horses, walk­ing cat­tle to yards, dur­ing smoko, and so on, I have taken many pho­tos of our land, its grass, its sun­sets, its beauty and its harsh­ness.

Now that we are not able to pro­duce grass, we thought that maybe I could sell some pho­tos of grass, and some pho­tos of no grass.

Per­haps it will be the start of an­other in­come that’s also pro­duced by our land.

Please sup­port our new ven­ture and help us stay drought re­silient.

In­ter­ested?

The images vary from cap­ti­vat­ing sun­sets, to bar­ren pad­docks and shots of peo­ple mus­ter­ing.

The pho­tos are to­tally unique and sell for $220, which is the go­ing rate for a bale of hay.

One pic­ture buys one bale. At the moment there are 10 images ready for pur­chase on­line, more will be­come avail­able if de­mand con­tin­ues.

For more in­for­ma­tion search “Buy a photo to buy feed for cat­tle” on­line at

www.gofundme.com.

WE ARE WELL AC­QUAINTED WITH DROUGHT, AND DIF­FI­CULT CON­DI­TIONS. BUT THIS IS EX­TREME. SINCE 2012 WE’VE HAD LESS THAN 30 PER CENT OF OUR AV­ER­AGE MONTHLY RAIN­FALL PER YEAR NSW GRAZIER

Pic­tures: PHO­TOS FOR FEED

BUSH PHO­TOG­RA­PHY: A NSW graz­ing fam­ily has launched a GoFundMe page to help gen­er­ate an al­ter­nate rev­enue steam to buy more hay for their stock. The fam­ily has been farm­ing for more than five gen­er­a­tions. .

A graz­ing fam­ily from NSW has launched a GoFundMe page to swap pho­tos for hay money.

The fam­ily have farmed through seven years of be­low av­er­age rain­fall.

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