Farmers get advice and support

Rotary Kingaroy worked hard feeding guests free sausages and burgers.

By Neesha Sinnya

For Queensland farmers, overcoming adversity and dealing with the challenges of farming in a drought can lead to stress and isolation.

Farmers from across the region had the opportunity to gather information, seek advice and get support at the community outreach event at the Kingaroy Town Hall on Thursday, 22 April.

The event hosted more than 70 people and was a collaborative effort from the Australian government, drought and flood response & recovery, and Rotary Australia.

$500 debit cards were available on application for farmers, farmworkers, suppliers, and contractors to help assist with the financial stress of farming.

Amongst the stallholders was Rural Aid, BIEDO, NBN, Drought Angels, and Centrelink.

Trudy Obst and Sarah Martin from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries provided farmers with personalised advice about topics including water freight rebates and how to deal with a lack of run-off rainfall.

Gail Courte from Rural Aid shared her story of how she got involved with the organisation, touching on her own experience as a cattle farmer.

“I found Rural Aid when I was seeking assistance for myself, I volunteered for five years with the organisation before I was offered a job.

“I was able to save 13 out of my 18 cows by feeding them hay donated by Rural Aid with the buy a bail program,” Gail said.

Like Rural Aid, Mandy Von Borstel from Drought Angels attended the event to show farmers that help is available.

“We are trying to get the word out to assist primary producers and encourage people to register for assistance.

“Usually we give financial assistance but we like to talk with the farmers and see what they really need, sometimes it is food vouchers, and other times it could be new tires for a vehicle,” Mandy said.

The community outreach event was followed by a South Burnett Ag Network Meeting about protected plant regulations.