The very welcome sight of truck loads of hay rolling into drought-ravaged farms in the Cobar area was greeted by extremely grateful farmers with huge smiles.
Local farmers Max and Shayne Smith, Rob and Angela Anspach, Errol and Annette Howard (Wannamal), and Greg and Ginny Linke (Mogumber) have recently returned from a hay run across the country.
Scorching temperatures, limited water supply, coupled with new changes to clearing laws meaning farmers can no longer use bulldozed mulga as feed, are just some of the challenges the farmers are enduring on the east coast.
47 trucks carrying 3500 tonne of donated hay and fodder arrived in Cobar on Australia Day — a perfectly timed arrival for an act that truly embodies the Aussie spirit.
550 rolls organized by Anspach Agricultural Services came from the Wannamal/Mogumber area. Four trucks left from Wannamal and two from Mogumber. Another three associated trucks were picked up at Esperance, hometown of Anne Bell and Sam Starcevich who started Farmers Across Borders — Hay from WA in 2014.
Lions Need for Feed – Disaster Relief made sure the donations got to where they were needed.
“They were extremely efficient in organising the dispersal of 67 truck loads of fodder and relief hampers within a 500km radius of Cobar,” said Annette Howard.
As the sun set at the end of the return journey, two of the Wannamal hay runners rolled into Wannamal. They had travelled an amazing 6823 kilometres in 11 days, whipped through 9063 gear changes (plus or minus a few!) and zero flat tyres. Five of the days were spent driving in temperatures over 45 degrees.
“We survived plenty of challenges and made some awesome new friends. Best of all we provided relief and support for some of the farmers in crisis,” said Annette. “I am looking forward to sleeping in my own bed again and know that trucking is not the life for me!” she laughed.