Tamworth drought: Murgon Rotary Club organises hay delivery for farmers in dire situation

INCREDIBLE SUPPORT: Loomberah property owner Karen Nugent with her son Riley and daughter Caitlin battle the drought. Photo: Peter Hardin
INCREDIBLE SUPPORT: Loomberah property owner Karen Nugent with her son Riley and daughter Caitlin battle the drought. Photo: Peter Hardin

HUNDREDS of kilometres away in Murgon, Queensland, the whisper of one mother to another at a local grocery shop started something incredibly special.

Karen Nugent lives on a property in Loomberah with her partner Les Blanch, this is the first time in more than 15 years they’ve seen the big dam run dry.

Things were looking dire, until a truck driver, a gaggle of Rotarians and the Group 4 football team rocked up with bales of hay and lick blocks on Wednesday morning, all the way from Murgon.

“I just went to tears of disbelief from the kindness,” Ms Nugent said.

“I cried and cried when I saw the truck coming.”

Mr Blanch works in Scone during the week, leaving Ms Nugent to look after the farm herself.

The drought has driven ewes to leave their lambs, nine of them cry out for attention in Ms Nugent’s backyard.

DESPERATE: Loomberah Farmer Karen Nugent on her property. Photo: Peter Hardin

DESPERATE: Loomberah Farmer Karen Nugent on her property. Photo: Peter Hardin

A born-helper, she struggled to accept the help when it was first offered.

“Someone said to me, ‘Well the feeling you get, that’s what you’re denying someone else’, so I had to get over that hump in myself,” she said.

“You don’t mind working but it is sad, every time I would go out they associate me with food and that’s the thing, seeing animals hungry.

“That’s what gets to you.”

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The Murgon Rotary Club in Ms Nugent’s hometown overheard her struggles from her mother, using the Rotary hotline they contacted another club in Tamworth.

A HAPPY DAY: Loomberah farmer Karen Nugent's son Riley Blanch. Photo: Peter Hardin

A HAPPY DAY: Loomberah farmer Karen Nugent's son Riley Blanch. Photo: Peter Hardin

Within a week a truck full of aid was on its way to the farm.

“It was just incredible to have it all come from home, from people I’ve never met,” Ms Nugent said.

“You just take it in your stride, this is life at the moment, hopefully it will rain and we’ll turn the corner – I suppose you’ve got to be a bit optimistic.

“There’s no badge of honour in it, it’s just life.”

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