Australia’s most trusted rural charity, Rural Aid, has been overwhelmed by the generous support for our mates in the bush.

Australians showed amazing generosity for farmers doing it tough as part of the charity’s inaugural Giving Day.

Rural Aid CEO John Warlters said the outpouring of support shows just how loved and valued our farmers are.

“Our incredible farmers push through disaster after disaster to put food on our tables and clothes on our backs,” Mr Warlters said.

“It’s heartwarming to see the public recognise their grit in such a generous way.

“We’re humbled to receive more than $1 million in donations on our first Giving Day. Thank you to the thousands of Australians who dug deep to help our mates in the bush,” Mr Warlters said.

In the past two years, crop and cattle farmer Chris Neilsen has battled through bushfire, drought, mouse plague and most recently, excessive rains.

“We’ve been from one extreme to the other,” Mr Neilsen said.
His wheat and barley crops were days away from harvest before flooding rains caused them to shoot.

“In the period of a month, you’ve seen what you’ve worked the last six months for and it’s gone.”

Rural Aid’s supporters answered the call for help with compassionate gusto.

Hundreds of donors expressed their gratitude to our farmers when making their financial contributions, leaving messages like:
You are the backbone of our society and very much appreciated for all you do. Thank you.

I know this is only a small amount but I am extremely grateful for your hard work, dedication and commitment to farming. Coming from a farming family I understand the challenges and difficulties you face, especially from circumstances out of your control. Hang in there.
Rural Aid originally set a fundraising target of $750,000, but that goal was beaten around lunchtime on Giving Day, Friday the 10th of December.
A revised target of $1 million was reached early this week.
“We’d like to thank our corporate partners that have helped eclipse the $1 million mark including Evolution Mining, Domino’s and Godolphin,” Mr Warlters said.

“We are grateful beyond words for every dollar donated.
“Thanks to the generosity of the public, Rural Aid will be able to help more farmers in more places in 2022,” Mr Warlters finished.
For more information or interviews, contact Rural Aid media on 0447 116 757 or media@ruralaid.org.au

About Rural Aid
Rural Aid is Australia’s most active and trusted rural charity. Rural Aid is helping to tackle the ongoing mental health crisis in a number of ways including disaster and financial relief services, water and fodder donations, and free on-the-ground counselling and volunteer support.
Rural Aid’s first annual Giving Day will raise funds to provide these critical services and give much needed support to rural families for future disasters.
Australia’s most trusted rural charity has extended its fundraising target after beating its first goal in a matter of hours.
Incredibly, generous Australians have helped Rural Aid eclipse its Giving Day fundraising goal of $750,000 before midday.

Rural Aid CEO John Warlters said the charity has now boosted its target to $1 million.

“We’ve been blown away by how quickly and generously the public has reached into their hearts today,” Mr Warlters said.

“We’ve extended our goal to $1 million so that we can better help our mates in the bush into the new year.”

Funds from Rural Aid’s Giving Day will go towards its vital programs including free on-the-ground counselling, financial relief services, water and hay deliveries and volunteer support.

“Our farmers have had a tough year between drought, flood, mouse plague and a pandemic to top it off,” Mr Warlters said.

“Watching the outpouring of support has been inspiring to see. It demonstrates again how generous the Australian community is in support of our farmers. The outpouring of support and messages of gratitude and thanks has been overwhelming.”

“Thanks to everyone who has donated a little or a lot, it all helps us to stand with our farmers when they need it most,” Mr Warlters said.
“Donations from Rural Aid’s amazing corporate partners Evolution Mining and Tabcorp have significantly bolstered our fundraising total. Rural Aid is very grateful for our business supporters.”

Rural Aid CEO John Warlters said there is still time plenty of time to donate, with the Giving Day officially ending at 5pm today.

“Every dollar makes a difference. Please donate if you can,” Mr Warlters said.

To donate head to www.ruralaid.org.au/for-our-mates or call 1300 327 624.
For more information or interviews, contact Rural Aid media on 0447 116 757 or media@ruralaid.org.au

About Rural Aid
Rural Aid is Australia’s most active and trusted rural charity. Rural Aid is helping to tackle the ongoing mental health crisis in a number of ways including disaster and financial relief services, water and fodder donations, and free on-the-ground counselling and volunteer support.
Rural Aid’s first annual Giving Day will raise funds to provide these critical services and give much needed support to rural families for future disasters.

Farmers in the North Burnett have today received dozens of donated hay bales to help offset the ongoing dry conditions.  

Rural Aid CEO John Warlters said the hay and its delivery costs were generously donated by a prominent beef and cattle business. “Rural Aid is very grateful for the support of its corporate partners,” Mr Warlters said.

“This hay drop has provided local farmers with enough fodder to take care of their livestock for the next little while. This takes a sizable burden off their minds and allows them to spend their money on other necessities.” 

The hay deliveries were split over two weeks. One truck arrived Friday the 22nd of October, and the other truck today, Friday the 5th of November. In total, 72 hay bales were delivered to North Burnett farmers.  

“The North Burnett is still very much in drought,” Mr Warlters said.

“We’ve heard multiple farmer reports of below average rainfall for the year. Our farmers are still pushing on through abnormally dry conditions. Hay drops like these also give farmers a chance to take some time off their property to catch up with their neighbour for a cuppa. The benefits from a hay drop certainly don’t stop at the financial level,” Mr Warlters finished.

Rural Aid is urging farmers to register and to reach out if they need a hand. Rural Aid provides fodder, financial, water and mental wellbeing assistance to registered primary producers.  

Farmers can register at www.ruralaid.org.au or by calling 1300 327 624. 
For more information contact Ash Whittaker from Rural Aid media on 0447 116 757 or media@ruralaid.org.au  

Editors please note: The beef and cattle business that generously donated the hay and transport costs wishes to remain anonymous.

ENDS

Australia’s leading rural charity, Rural Aid, has facilitated the delivery of a 22,500L water tank and load of water to dairy farmer Fiona Rourke.

Rural Aid has partnered with Finish and Coles as part of the #FinishWaterWaste initiative to deliver 100 tanks to farmers in drought prone and low rainfall regions. The tanks provide vital water security ahead of future droughts.

“The Millennium Drought and those that followed devastated our farmlands, communities and livelihoods,” Katandra West farmer Fiona Rourke said.

“There is a persistent uncertainty and pressure on water availability in our region, causing great strain on our livestock and ability to care for our families, so the delivery of this water tank makes a big difference in supporting farming communities into the future.”

Rural Aid CEO John Warlters said, “Every drop of water is precious, so to be part of an initiative that encourages us to use it wisely while also assisting our farmers is especially powerful.

“While many farmers are experiencing their first decent run of the seasons in years, there is still a long way to go before farmers are back on track, financially and emotionally. The memories of empty tanks and dusty paddocks are just below the surface for many. 

“Having an extra tank at home will make the drought recovery a little easier for our farmers. It will also give them an added safety net heading into the next dry period. Improved water security and retention can help lessen the impact of drought,” Mr Warlters finished.

Reckitt Hygiene Regional Director, Oliver Tatlow, said,“The Shepparton farming community has faced incredible strain in recent months, both from Victoria’s water resources that continue to be under pressure and the impact the pandemic has had on livelihoods. So, we’re incredibly pleased we can support our farmers in this region to capture precious rainfall today and into the future, giving them, their families and properties water security.”

For more information or for interviews, contact Rural Aid media on 0447 116 757 or media@ruralaid.org.au

ENDS

Australia’s most trusted rural charity, Rural Aid, is reaching out to farmers who’ve been affected by recent rain and flood events.

Much of Australia’s east coast has undergone a drenching in recent weeks, with more rain predicted in coming days.

The downpours have filled water storages and tanks to the highest level seen in decades. But the wet conditions have also hindered many farmers trying to harvest their winter crops.

Flooding has also swept away fencing, crumbled vital roads and damaged infrastructure.

Rural Aid counsellors and community representatives have been visiting impacted areas and phoning flooded-in farmers, as part of a community-wide response.

Rural Aid CEO John Warlters said the rain has received mixed welcomes.
“It’s fantastic to see our water storages filled to overflowing after so many years of bone-dry dams and empty creeks,” Mr Warlters said.
“The memories of crippling drought are still very raw, so to have an abundance of water is a joyful experience that many farmers have spent years wishing for. But as is often the way in Australia, droughts are chased away by flooding rains.

“Some of our farmers have told us this season’s crop was the best they’d ever had in the ground. But just days out from harvest, the rain dealt their crops a fatal blow. They’ve had to watch their year’s income get washed away, or ‘sprung and shot’ growth before they could get in with the harvester.”

Rural Aid Mental Health and Wellbeing Manager Lauren Stracey recently visited farmers in the Forbes region with the National Recovery and Resilience Agency.

“Some of our farmers who’ve endured disaster after disaster say that this flood has ‘floored them’,” Ms Stracey said.

“If farmers are facing a disappointing harvest, it’s important to take a moment to recognise how tough that is. It’s devastating to make it to the eleventh hour and to then have the rug pulled from under your feet. Farmers need time to process losses like these. This might mean spending some special, dedicated time with family or taking time off the farm to recharge their batteries.”

Farmers are encouraged to reach out to Rural Aid if they need assistance.
Rural Aid can provide wellbeing assistance through its free counselling program or financial assistance and fodder support.

Rural Aid can be contacted on 1300 327 624 or by going online to www.ruralaid.org.au
For more information or for interviews, contact Rural Aid media on 0447 116 757 or media@ruralaid.org.au

About Rural Aid
Rural Aid is Australia’s most trusted rural charity. We stand with our farmers when they need us most. Rural Aid provides critical support to farmers affected by natural disaster through financial, wellbeing and fodder assistance. Rural Aid’s community programs help create more sustainable communities by building stronger futures for all Australian farmers. Find out more at www.ruralaid.org.au