A VICTORIAN family with a heart for their farming counterparts have stopped off in the region during a three-week drive to learn how drought is affecting families on the land.
Luke, Tanya, Molly and Charlotte Purcell live in Maindample, north-east Victoria, but have covered more than 1000km on their quest.
They dropped in on Luzelle and Will Van Rensburg at their Upper Manilla farm on Wednesday afternoon.
There, they heard about the significantly lower-than-normal rainfall in the past quarter, learnt how the couple were bringing in corn and hay to feed their sheep, and helped to feed the dorpers and their lambs.
As a thank-you for having them, the Purcells left the family with some handmade cards, a cake and a care package of grocery goodies.
Mrs Purcell said she and her husband had decided to use their three weeks’ leave in this way after talking about farming with their daughters, aged 9 and 4.
“We thought it was important that they know where our food comes from,” she said.
“When Charlotte learnt what drought was, she would say, ‘Poor farmers, poor animals’.
“The next time it rained, she went outside with a bucket and tried to catch the rain, saying, ‘Quick, Mum, let’s take it to the farmers’.
“She wanted to take her piggybank money to go and buy food for the farmers and the animals.”
Mrs Purcell is an at-home parent and her husband a mobile diesel mechanic.
She ... tried to catch the rain, saying, ‘Quick, Mum, let’s take it to the farmers’.Tanya Purcell
“When we can, we donate to Buy a Bale and Drought Angels, and we thought it would be nice to [show the girls] why people need it.”
Mrs Van Rensburg said they were happy to show the visiting family their farm.
“I’ve got kids myself that are almost the same age, and I thought they’d like to see what goes on.”