Navigating the Drought forums feedback

ON THE SPOT: Cattle and sheep farmers Lyle and Ruth Ranger of Gravesend went to the Moree forum.
ON THE SPOT: Cattle and sheep farmers Lyle and Ruth Ranger of Gravesend went to the Moree forum.

Visitors to this week’s Navigating the Drought forums have described it as “like a supermarket for the farmer in drought”, encouraging others to attend next week.

The R U Aware We Care-hosted events have been held in Attunga, Narrabri and Moree, and will go to Inverell on Tuesday and Glen Innes on Wednesday.

More than 20 agencies are represented, and Gravesend’s Ruth Ranger said it was “really good to have everything in one spot instead of having to run around to all these places”.

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She and husband Lyle are sheep and cattle farmers and went to the Moree event yesterday.

They gained valuable help on drought relief measures, livestock nutrition and even tax, she said.

“Our ’net is so slow it’s very hard to try to get information … what we got out of this format was very worthwhile,” Mrs Ranger said.

“It was like a supermarket for the farmer in drought.

“You could go in and get all the information in one shot – it’s not often you can do that, not often you get free advice in one room.

“And that was really, really good.”

Salvation Army rural chaplain Di Lawson said the number of visitors at the Moree event had been down on the first two crowds.

However, she said that could be because the area comprised more cotton farmers doing OK.

HERE TO ASSIST: Helen Robin, Kevin Tongue, Di Lawson, Russell Webb, Isabel Beckett and Geoff Benson provided assistance at the Moree forum.

HERE TO ASSIST: Helen Robin, Kevin Tongue, Di Lawson, Russell Webb, Isabel Beckett and Geoff Benson provided assistance at the Moree forum.

“The smaller farmers came in ... some are not concerned for now but are concerned for later on,” Major Lawson said.

Good gathering

Watsons Creek cattle producer Brett Woods, who went to the Attunga forum, said he had “no regrets about going whatsoever”.

“Whilst you think you’re busy, it takes a lot more effort to find those sources of information in town,” he said.

“Go straight there and you have it all in one place.

“People there are only too willing to help …

“I think it’s a credit to the people that actually saw the need for it and organised it.

“They need to be recognised as well, I think.”

Margaret Bow and Robert Greenaway also went to the Attunga event to learn what assistance they might be able to tap into.

The two are based at Moore Creek and run 1500 crossbred ewes, 500 of them due to lamb soon.

Mrs Bow said they had come away with some good news and tips.

“We were hoping we might qualify for something under the Farm Household Allowance, but we’d gone to Centrelink and had been knocked back,” she said.

“Robert found out he will qualify and they showed him how to fill the application in.

“We also got some advice on feeding requirements.”

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