Rural Aid hay donation fundraising campaign ‘Buy a Bale of Hay’ has opened registrations in South Australia for drought affected farmers to receive assistance.
The national fundraising campaign leverages donations from families and businesses across the country, including those in cities with no experience of the drought.
After pressure from Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey, the campaign began delivering bales of hay to South Australian farmers over the past few weeks.
A delivery is set to reach Cowell in the next two weeks.
Rural Aid General Manager Wayne Thomson said it was important for farmers who need help feeding livestock to register with the fundraiser as soon as possible.
“Don’t be too proud to ask for help and don’t be too late,” he said.
Mr Thomson said many farmers the fundraiser had worked with in the Eastern states were in dire situations when they reached out, and should have asked as much as six months earlier.
The focus of ‘Buy a Bale of Hay’ has been mainly on New South Wales, because the state has been 100% drought declared.
Mr Thomson, who is based in Queensland, said the fundraiser used drought declarations as a “trigger” for sending help.
With SA no longer using drought declarations, assessing the situation from afar has been complicated.
A benefit of the varying conditions within South Australia is that the hay will not be travelling far.
Farmers on the Eyre Peninsula will be both donors and recipients of the ‘Buy a Bale of Hay’ program, with some of the South Australian hay so far coming from from Lock.
However Mr Thomson said the organisation was reliant on the generosity of monetary donors to cover freight costs, and encouraged the whole state to help out.
He said the movement was about connecting the city with the bush, which in other states had lead to some heartwarming stories of “Aussies helping Aussies.”
“That’s what we’d like to ignite here in SA.”
Those wanting to donate or register for assistance can visit buyabale.com.au