‘Hit rock bottom’: How rural aid helped our farmers
WHEN Murgon farmer Allan Wilkins had a stroke he could no longer do everything needed on his property.
Wife Lynda Wilkins said she was thankful for the work Rural Aid volunteers did on their property last week.
“When Allan had a stroke, he became paralysed and we hit rock bottom,” she said.
Rural Aid jumped in and helped fix yards and fences, built a dog house and dug a trench around the shed.
“It makes it easier for me to handle it all by myself,” Mrs Wilkins said.
“Just like family, they looked after us.”
The Wilkins’ property were one of six South Burnett farms assisted by the Rural Aid volunteers.
Many families were thankful for the chance to celebrate the big week with their new friends at the Farmers Big Day Out event in Wondai last Saturday, October 26.
More than 800 people came out for the event with mechanical bull riding, whip cracking, bush poetry and chainsaw rip competitions.
Rural Aid program managers Julia Hahn and Grant Miskimmin said it was lovely to see many of the farming families come out for the day.
“Some haven’t been out for an outing for more than a month,” Mrs Hahn said.
“The drought can be very isolating and this was a great way to forget about it for the day.”
Around two thirds of the Rural Aid volunteers stayed back for the community event.
Most of their work was based in Wondai, including repainting the Wondai Showground grandstand.
“We’ve achieved everything we’d come to do and more,” Mrs Hahn said.
Mr Miskimmin said often the farming families will become lifelong friends with the volunteers.
“It’s good they can have someone else on their farm showing interest,” he said.
Cr Kathy Duff said it was great to see people taking advantage of the family day.
“People thought it was wonderful to come together and talk to people they hadn’t seen in a while,” she said.
Cr Duff and Michael Hunter were the driving force behind the event.
Mr Hunter said he was really overwhelmed so many farming families had come along.
“I know exactly what people are going through, I’m working full time and on the farm to keep it in the family,” he said.
They said the community support for the event was overwhelming with many businesses getting behind the day.
Struggling farmers are encouraged to register with Rural Aid to see how they can be supported.