Struggling Australian farmers, impacted by the worst drought in 400 years, will benefit from a small donation of hay bales this month – a critical commodity as many grapple to feed their livestock following months of extremely dry weather.
Comvita’s Olive Leaf Australia (OLA), in conjunction with not-for-profit organisation Drought Angels, are donating more than 200 hay bales to farmers-in-need west of Queensland and New South Wales.
OLA Operations Manager, Aaron Prior, says with 87% of Queensland officially in drought and 77% of New South Wales either in drought or drought-affected, the olive farm team wanted to do their part to help ease the burden for those affected.
“Farmers across both states are struggling to feed their animals. Some have had to euthanise livestock because they’re starving. There’s just not enough food! We’ve heard of farmers walking off their farms, and some sadly committing suicide.
“We have a lot of grass throughout our olive groves, so we figured the best way we could help would be to bale it up and donate it to those who needed it most. We got in touch with Drought Angels, a charity which supports Australian farming families affected by natural disasters, and they were more than happy to support us in our efforts,” says Aaron.
OLA donated enough grass from across its two properties in Wivenhoe and Buaraba to form 200 hay bales, with Drought Angels paying to bale and transport them to their worthy recipients.
“Bales of grass are like gold nuggets here, so Drought Angels were more than happy to get behind our efforts,” says Aaron.
On Monday 20 August, the first truck carrying OLA’s bales traveled west to farming properties in Northern New South Wales. Aaron expects all the deliveries will be completed by early September.
Aaron says helping out during hard times is what being part of the rural community is all about.
“We look out for each other and know it’d be reciprocated if we found ourselves in a similar situation. I’m proud of the OLA team, who acted in line with our Caring value, to pull this all together. We’ve done a few extra hours over the last few weeks to make this happen,” says Aaron.