Aussie Hay Runners (AHR) is answering the SOS call of alarmed farmers in the Upper Hunter Shire in NSW.
With the rapid return of drought conditions in a region still feeling the impacts of devastating bushfires, the hay runners are sending in 34 loaded trucks for the first time, thanks to some generous backing from supporters.
NSW Rural Assistance Authority, Scott Stevens and the Heyfield Lions Club, Ray Akers of Gippsland Hay Relief, Steve Carton of Denman Lions Club and Linda Widdup and her amazing team of volunteers have all come on board to make the project happen.
This will be AHR’s 11th run since launching in 2019, with hay donations coming from Victoria and southern NSW.
The trucks will travel to their meet-up point of Marulan, NSW, on Thursday, October 12. The next morning the convoy of 34 trucks will set off via the Hume Highway travelling through Sydney via the M7 and M2 at around 9.30am, onto the M1 with a rest stop at the Ampol Service Centre Wyong.
They will continue up the M1 onto the Hunter Express Way around 11am to arrive in Merriwa in the early afternoon.
You can follow the convoy’s progress on the Facebook page here, and if you see them on the road – it really is a sight to see – make sure to show your support with a toot and a wave, said organisers.
“Friday night and Saturday morning our volunteers and drivers will be well looked after by the wonderful Denman Lions Club who will kindly provide dinner and breakfast,” said founder Linda Widdup, who lives in country Victoria.
“Saturday will be spent delivering to drop off locations. AHR is proud to help our farmers. It’s not a hand out – it’s a hand up.”
Since AHR’s inception, the group has delivered a staggering number of donated bales to NSW farmers far and wide. This run will see 34 trucks travelling a total of 77,660kms, carrying 1200 bales of premium hay valued at $114,000, directly helping 125 farmers, their families and their communities recover from the dry and fires.
Five more runs are being organised for the remainder of 2023 and organisers need your help.
See the Facebook page for more details, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.