THE sound of rolling trucks echoed around Gunnedah on Friday as 200 local farmers welcomed donated hay from the Rapid Relief Team.
Coming from as far away as Western Australia and Tasmania, 2000 bales of donated hay and $100,000 of food vouchers were distributed by the group at Gunnedah’s AgQuip site.
Included in the 1000 tonnes of donated fodder was round and square bales of oaten hay, vetch and straw.
The 2000 bales of hay were evenly distributed between the 200 local farmers with each receiving 10 bales.
Duncan’s Creek farmer Cherie Rapley said she was “overwhelmed” to be receiving her share of the donations.
“From the bottom of my heart I want to thank the Rapid Relief Team,” Ms Rapley said.
“I can’t believe they can organise such a big event and allow so many of us to come to Gunnedah and collect this vital feed, it is just amazing.”
Ms Rapley said her share of the donated hay would keep her stock going for another six weeks.
“I still can’t believe we are getting this help,” she said.
“When I got an email saying we would be receiving some help I actually danced around the kitchen floor and cried.
“I just couldn’t believe it, it’s truly amazing.”
Purlewaugh farmer David Sanson said the donations would uplift the spirits of local farmers.
“At the moment it is costing me about $1000 a day in grain and hay to keep my stock going,” Mr Sanson said.
“I am a third generation farmer and we have lived through several droughts, but I think this is the worst one.
“So for something like this to come along is great, it will help keep my stock going for another three weeks, which is three weeks where I don’t have to buy feed.”
Rapid Relief Team spokesperson Micheal Wilson said the group was pleased to help.
“Sticking together is what country people do,” Mr Wilson said.
“So that’s why we wanted to do whatever we could to help.”
Mr Wilson said anyone who missed out on this recent distribution of feed should contact the Rapid Relief Team.
“We want to help as many people as we can and that can be really tough to do all at once,” he said.
“It’s fair to say we have got a big list of people in need of help, we were able to organise some additional loads of hay into Condobilin last time and I think we will look at doing that here too.
“So if someone is in need and missed out on this load please reach out via our website or hotline and we will try and help you in some shape or form.”
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