Phone a farmer on February 11: conditions are still tough in agriculture

Robert Alexander and his canine mate Snoop. Photo by Pernelle Alexander, Narrabri - @pernellealexander

Robert Alexander and his canine mate Snoop. Photo by Pernelle Alexander, Narrabri - @pernellealexander

Do you know a farmer or someone working in agriculture? Have you caught up with them lately?

While the drought has slipped off the national news, and certainly some storms have delivered good rain to isolated pockets of the district, nothing has changed for many of our farmers who continue to feed stock and cart water in hot, dry conditions.

The Thank A Farmer For Your Next Meal team is urging everyone with agricultural connections to make a call and see how someone is going. Or, if you’re farming, make a call to a neighbour or friend you haven’t seen in a while.

They’ve named Monday February 11 the day to make the call.

“There's no denying that 2018 was one of the hardest years Australian agriculture has seen in living memory,” founders Sam Johnston and Jim Honnor have written.

“Though media coverage seems to have disappeared the drought certainly hasn't. It's a harsh time on the land and in our regional areas at the moment.

“Not just for our strong men and women working the land, but for all those involved in our agricultural sector, and all those in our regional towns and cities that rely on agriculture ...

“We would like to strongly encourage everyone to take five minutes out of their day, pick up the phone and ring a cousin, a friend, an old work colleague, anyone that’s out working on the land or involved with agriculture that you might think would appreciate a phone call.

“Ask them how they're going, tell them you're thinking of them and let them know that you hope it will rain soon too.”

Rural Adversity Mental Health Consultant Di Gill added her encouragement to people to remain connected with family and friends.

“This hot weather is tiring, it’s draining,” she said. “When people are exhausted, they stop thinking clearly.” 

Making sure people drink plenty of water, use the air conditioning and get enough sleep is vital.

Older people and retired farmers should also be on your list to check in on, Mrs Gill added.

She encouraged people to discuss issues that do come up with their GP.