This is a post that I have started several times but haven't been happy with how I was wording it so this time I am posting it regardless. Around the world there are currently weather conditions that are testing the human strength. Right here at home in Australia we have drought conditions that are crippling farmers, their families, their towns (businesses, employment and populations) and will ultimately affect every person in Australia when there are no crops or stock left for our consumption. There will be many businesses lost because they depend on our farmers for their income - trucking, ag machinery sales & repairs, fuel depots, spare parts shops, and the list goes on.
Towns will disappear also as their populations move to larger towns looking for work and lifestyles that drought towns cannot offer. Farmers in Qld, NSW and Vic are doing it tough. They have dead stock meeting them every morning, noon and night in every paddock they drive into; they are carting water and feed long distances to try to keep their stock and ultimately their lives, incomes and dreams alive. But the worst effect of this drought is the suicides that are happening - the farmers who just cannot cope with the pressure of trying to keep their farms going so they have something to try to start again with if the drought breaks; cannot cope with the huge debts that they are facing and not getting any help from a government who can hand millions of dollars to what I label non essential causes (boat people, overseas aid); who cannot face another day of watching their families suffer too.
Some of these photos that I am posting today are from my blogging friend Chookyblue who is living through this devastating drought rig now. You can click on her name to go to her blog and learn more about what the drought is doing.
There are a lot of 'unknown' people doing their best behind the scene to help our farmers. The Country Women's Associations in all states of Australia have a long history of supporting our rural families and communities. They are a highly regarded and respected not for profit organisation that are constantly meeting with government ministers and taking the concerns of the Australia's rural areas to their tables. The NSW CWA State President has a weekly blog post that makes interesting reading: Snippets.
The following photo I have borrowed from: https://www.facebook.com/aussiehelpers?fref=ts
BUY A BALE - this site provides an avenue where you can make a monetary donation to go towards the purchase of hay and feed for the drought stricken farmers.
AUSSIE HELPERS - you can also make donations to this site - all are channelled into providing 'care packages' and stock feed to our aussie farmers who are doing it tough.
Charity Auction - official Aussie helpers Charity Auction on face book.
BURRUMBUTTOCK TO BOURKE - today a convoy of trucks passed through our town (Griffith NSW) on its way to Bourke - each truck loaded with hay that has been donated and is being distributed to farmers around Bourke.
These are just a few groups and events that I know of - there are many more who are doing all they can to help - it doesn't matter how much or what you can give - it will help someone who needs it.
Probably the most important thing that anyone can do for these farmers and families is to just ask them how they are going, give them a few minutes of your time - you never know it may be the few minutes that will save a life, or at the very least make them feel good because some ones cared enough to ask!!!!
The above picture is part of a photo that has been appearing on a lot of face book pages - I have tried to find the source but have been unsuccessful - I have been able to find out that the original is from a QLD property and was taken recently.
I am not a dry area farmer but I have family who are, I grew up on the land (a farmers daughter) and am married to a farmer - but we are fortunate that we are in an irrigation area and we also have off farm income (something that many of our farmers do not have).
As I said this post has taken me a couple of weeks to write; I only have a small number of followers but I encourage any of my followers in Australia to post a photo and a few words so that the effects of this insidious drought are made known to as many people as possible.