Farmers across the Hunter are battling a crippling drought and they need your help to survive it.
The Maitland Mercury, Newcastle Herald, Hunter Valley News and The Scone Advocate have joined forces with the charity Rural Aid and its Buy A Bale Campaign to help Hunter farmers as they fight to survive the dry conditions.
In the Upper Hunter the drought is so severe it is the worst in living memory. In the Lower Hunter it is as serious as the 1960s drought that turned farms into dust bowls.
There’s no feed in the paddocks and cattle are going hungry. Hay is scarce, water resources are in short supply and farmers are desperate for help to be able to stay afloat.
Group managing editor Newcastle-Hunter Chad Watson said four Fairfax Media mastheads had united to help make a difference.
Farming is such an important part of the Hunter Valley. We are partnering with Rural Aid to help the farmers who have been hit hard by the drought.- Group managing editor Newcastle-Hunter Chad Watson
Rural Aid CEO Charles Alder said hay trucks were already being organised along with water deliveries and volunteers to help ease the workload on farms.
“Rural Aid's drought program Buy a Bale has swung behind the dire need of farmers in the Hunter and will over the coming weeks work to provide the assistance these farmers are calling out for,” he said.
We need the people and companies of the Hunter to get behind our work. We're asking Hunter residents to help us buy the hay and water we need to supply.- Rural Aid CEO Charles Alder
Funds raised for groceries will be used to buy gift cards at the farmer’s local supermarket. That way, the money raised in the Hunter will go back into the region’s economy.
Money put towards water will be spent locally while hay will be sourced from outside the Hunter and transported to farmers because of a lack of supply in the region.
Rural Aid will then distribute the items to farmers across the Upper and Lower Hunter.
The drop off points are Baileys of Greta, Melissa Mastin Stylz on Track in Paterson, Pokolbin General Store, Goldmans Produce in Cessnock, Kirkwood Produce Singleton and Kirkwood Produce Rutherford.
Businesses can also sponsor a truck load of hay. Sponsorship money will flow into the Hunter account and be put towards supplies.
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