Drought farms back the burnt

By Riverine Herald

THE farming community and local business have rallied behind the community of Corryong in the north east and sent three truckloads of hay to the fire affected area.

A Corryong dairy farmer who lost his dairy and the majority of his milking herd in the blaze, which hit the region earlier this month, received a semi load, while another load went to a struggling beef farmer and the third went straight to the community hay depot.

Former dairy farmers Ben and Wally McInnes co-ordinated the hay and deliveries, donating a load themselves which they delivered with fuel donated by Porter Constructions from Geelong.

Wally said she was happy to do something useful, which directly benefitted the farming community.

“Farmers are struggling here with the drought and for them to donate a few of their precious bales of hay is just amazing. We really wanted to do something to help these poor people who have gone through so much,” Wally said.

Ben travelled up to Corryong in the truck a week after the fires and he said the country was burnt as far as the eye could see.

“It was a horrible sight. There was no feed anywhere, there were dead stock laying in paddocks that hadn't been moved and they were carting them all out in a big mine truck. There were so many burnt power poles and lines down everywhere, it just looked like Armageddon,” Ben said.

Cohuna dairy farmers Col and Jodie Hay donated the second load with cartage donated by Elliot’s Excavations and Bulk Haulage from Gunbower.

Jodie said with less than 5000 dairy farmers left in the country it was important to stick together and support each other.

“The dairy industry is tough enough without the tragedy of fire. Hopefully by donating some hay we can do our small part to help and hopefully these families will stay in the industry and continue to supply Australian milk,” Jodie said.

The third load was donated by farming families from Cohuna, Gunbower and Burnside and delivered in a truck donated by Andrew Broadhead from Double B Metals, fuelled by generous donations from Fitmob and family and friends of Johnny and Mel Micalizzi from Echuca.

Johnny personally knows the Corryong dairy farmer and he was amazed by the generosity of our local farmers who themselves are experiencing such terrible times.

“This whole experience has been incredible and we are truly grateful for the support.”