More than 1,200 bales of hay and 22 tonnes of ryegrass seed have been donated to North Coast farmers in need, with local communities still reeling after this year’s devastating flood disasters.
Organised by the Rapid Relief Team, the donations were made at the second Farmers Community Connect event held in Lismore.
More than 300 locals turned up to accept the support, after RRT was advised both short and longer-term help would be welcome.
The ryegrass seed was divided into 880 25-kilogram bags and is known for being a resilient, annual product. This means it can be planted in winter and help bring paddocks back to life earlier.
A convoy of 28 trucks was responsible for transporting the hay and seed from Cowra and Griffith in the Riverina.
The flood recovery effort is proving challenging, in fact, the number of farmers needing RRT’s support has increased by 50 per cent to those needing help two months ago.
In a quirky twist a helicopter blade lost in the floods, which was later found, was auctioned off for local charities – raising $20,000.
It was donated by local pilot Mike Barnes – owner of Rotorwing helicopter services– who lost the blade while airlifting hay bales to farmers cut off by flooding in early April.
A community BBQ was also hosted by RRT to help lift spirits, with more than 400 locals turning up.
Additional support services were offered, including rural financial counsellors, mental health counsellors and veterinary support.
The Plymouth Brethren Christian Church established RRT in 2013 to express its principles of care and compassion. It is staffed by Church volunteers who provide catering services at a range of charitable events and emergencies.
Globally, the RRT has more than 14,500 volunteers and operates in Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, France, the United States, Canada and Germany.