Looking at a drought affected plain from above looks like something from an Indigenous art gallery – the brown concentric circles of dried out plough tracks resembling the Aboriginal dot paintings we all know and love. But whilst the lack of rain we experienced this past autumn and winter might have been great for getting your washing dry, it’s been terrible for our farmers, with many saying that it’s the worst drought they’ve experienced. Not surprising given that 100% of NSW and 57% of Queensland is now officially in drought according to the official figures.
With many properties too dry to feed their own animals, many farmers are having to spend upwards of $7,500 for a single trailer of hay – which will last about a month – or make the terrible choice to shoot their starving animals. At SOTO, we look after our own, so raising money for our local farmers through the Buy A Bale scheme was a no-brainer.
Buy A Bale started back in 2013 when, after reading about the plight of Queensland farmers who were destroying their cattle or being forced off their land, Charles Alder decided enough was enough and to do something to make a difference. After making calls to agricultural groups and speaking with others, and with a lifetime of experience in marketing, Charles and his wife Tracey decided to create a fundraising program that explained exactly what Australians could do to help. Today, Buy A Bale has delivered over 200,000 bales to farmers in four states and asks every Aussie to do their bit in helping us retain the rural communities that are vital to our nation. Whether through a fundraising drive at work, donating through your local supermarket, buying produce and meat straight from our Aussie farmers or even eating a Parma at your local watering hole, there are so many ways to give back and make a huge difference. It doesn’t take much to help: $4.40 is enough to transport the hay 1km, $100 feeds one cow for a week, whilst $250 ensures that 11,500 litres of water gets delivered to a farm within 100km of a collection point.
Paying it forward and looking out for your mates is the Aussie way, so we’re proud to have raised $1,460 (SOTO matched the generous donations of our staff) for Buy A Bale because a donation to them not only helps farmers and their families get back on their feet but will continue to support our rural communities going forward. Thank you to everyone who donated to lend a hand to our farmers.
If you want to find out more about how you can help our farmers, please visit Buy A Bale.