Drought is at the forefront of everyone’s mind at the moment. When farmers do it tough, the rural towns suffer as well. You have to be an optimist living on the land.
Many farmers have already made the decision to destock, keeping only a nucleus of sheep or cattle breeders, and feeding those remaining stock through the drought till it rains.
The cost of keeping them alive comes at a financial cost, and the commitment shown by our livestock stewards is something to behold. Many, like my husband, have been feeding stock daily for eight months now.
Saleyards have also been extremely busy of late. Last financial year the saleyards sold 74,000 cattle and 1,600,000 sheep at an income of over 400 million. Last month alone 9,000 head of cattle and 200,000 sheep and lambs bringing 50 million worth of stock through the yards. Our rural workforce, farm workers, agents, truckies and Forbes Shire Council should all be encouraged to keep up the good work.
While much is made of the negative effects of drought it is timely to focus on the wonderful spirit of generosity and stoic resilience on display throughout our community.
I am looking forward to attending this Friday night, our local Drought Relief Charity Auction at Sylo with more than $100,000 in generous donations.
The Federal Government has announced more drought support this week which will provide relief for some households and communities. While greatly appreciated, not all struggling farmers will benefit from this assistance. To find out more visit Rural Assistance Authority www.raa.nsw.gov.au or see Robert or Peni at Rural Financial Counselling Service here in town or call on 1800 940 404 .
It is a timely reminder for all the men and women battling the effects of this drought to take the opportunity to visit your local GP, because you need to be strong in both mind and body. Staying positive, getting a little exercise and plenty of sleep will help with your general health, your coping ability and decision making.
Bedgerabong show is on again next week. Please come along and support our little show. Plenty to do, so see you all there.