As many of you would know Queensland is suffering from one of the worst droughts in living history. With over 86% of the state officially declared drought stricken it’s taking a toll on our hard working farmers and their families.
Fertile pastures have turned to dusty red soil plains and river banks have dried up and worse still communities have struggled to feed their families simple foods like fresh fruit and vegetables that the rest of us take for granted.
Longreach, which sits in the middle of Queensland in one of the driest parts of the state, has become somewhat symbolic of the drought affecting the livelihoods of these small towns.
After becoming aware of one of our staff members direct connection to the people of Longreach and with Christmas fast approaching, we felt it was only right for us to do what we could to help ease the burden on these families who work so hard year after year to provide for the rest of Australia.
So, late last year we got together with our staff here at Associated Grain and our friends at Betros Bros & Beauty with Perfection to raise donations. We drove our rig, fully loaded with donations, out to Longreach to make the delivery and see first hand how these Aussie battlers were defying the drought to keep their communities going.
We had the privilege to meet some wonderful farming families at Mt Victoria Station, approximately 45 min drive from Longreach. We met 9 of 11 families that day with some neighbours travelling over 80 klms to be there.
What we saw that day was a small community coming together. Some neighbours had to travel over 80 klms just to be there.
A little background information for you; The sheep station we stayed at is 43 thousand acre. There is no grass for the sheep to feed on just stones and dirt. In an average year they can run 5-6 thousand head of sheep, in a very good year 10 thousand head.
Since the drought worsened in May last year they have been hand feeding 1800 sheep every second to third day.
These are people with big hearts and an even bigger Aussie spirit. It’s people helping people, and it was wonderful to see.
1 box of donated food and personal items,
1 box of Christmas goodies, Fruit and vegetables,
Seed and grain to help feed their livestock,
Plus a range of other donated goods.
Toys were also divided between the two families with children.
After all the hard work was finished a BBQ lunch was supplied and people socialised. I can’t explain how much of an emotional time it was for all.
I think it’s important to thank a few people who helped make this possible.
To Melissa and Nic who helped me with the fresh fruit and Vegetable decisions thank you for your patience, kindness and thoughtfulness.
Thank you so much to all the Associated Grain staff who gave cash and goods. Thanks also to Ken Kummerow for the lend of the lead trailer and fuel card and to Betros Bros and Beauty with Perfection for their donations and support.
If only the rest Australia’s population had a pinch of the toughness, steely commitment and true Aussie Spirit that I saw in the folks out at Longreach!
We look forward to visiting our new friends at Longreach again albeit under better circumstances.
Visit the Associated Grain Facebook post where you can see more photos of the trip and can leave a comment.