Hay runners race to help flood-affected farmers

Need For Feed is offering a helping hand to flood-affected farmers in NSW’s mid north coast, with six truckloads of hay already on its way – and more to come.

The trucks left on Wednesday and when Big Rigs spoke with Need For Feed founder Graham Cockerell, he revealed they were heading into Sydney and due to reach Taree by Thursday afternoon, where they’ve since arrived.

“They’re all regular drivers for us and volunteer for nearly every hay run. A lot of people have been affected by these floods, so this will help to get them a start. These drivers stopped whatever they were doing to help,” said Cockerell.

“The run was pretty much organised overnight. We could have gone a day earlier but we had to wait until the roads were open.”

Two truckloads are being delivered to farmers in Taree, followed by one at Telegraph Point and three at Kempsey.

“One of the farmers we’re delivering to at Telegraph Point doesn’t know where some of his cows have ended up. There are some pretty sad stories out there. In Taree, I know some of the farms have been completely under water. It’s such widespread devastation, so we will be helping out there for a while,” Cockerell added.

“Besides the actual relief of the fodder, these farmers have been stressing about what the animals will be fed. I think the most important thing with droughts and fires and things like that is that those people who have lost everything at least know someone out there cares about it and that’s got to be a boost to their mental health too. It’s a very Australian thing to do, for people to pitch in and help their mates when they’re down.”

Along with the first lot of trucks sent in to assist with the flood crisis, more are due to head into affected areas this coming weekend. Need For Feed is also in the process of setting up a much bigger hay run over Easter. “We’ve had a fair few people sign up for this already,” Cockerell said.

Stopping at Jugiong Roadhouse on Tuesday night.

Last year, following the devastating bushfires, Need For Feed organised about 20 hay runs. With the floods currently impacting parts of NSW and Queensland, the organisation will be doing its bit to help where it can.

“There are still pockets of drought left even with all of this rain. As recently as the Victoria Labour Day weekend we were in western Queensland and on Australia Day we were a bit further east. There’s bits and pieces that miss out – not everyone gets the same rainfall.”

Need For Feed is asking people to help wherever they can. If you have a truck and trailer and can spare some time to help, please click here for details. Truck drivers taking part in the hay runs will be reimbursed for fuel.

For anyone that has spare fodder they’d like to donate or those who’d like to make a monetary donation, please click here.


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