Program Manager, Julia Hahn, and Project Coordinator, Rosey Bartlett, cooking up a storm in the kitchen.
Program Manager, Julia Hahn, and Project Coordinator, Rosey Bartlett, cooking up a storm in the kitchen.

Local farms receive a helping hand during tough times

MORE than 9000 farmers are registered with Rural Aid in the hopes of receiving some type of assistance.

From Sunday, October 20 until Friday, October 25, six farms in Wondai are being given a helping hand by 35 volunteers.

Based at the Wondai Showgrounds, each day teams are travellings to the farms to offer their services to farmers doing it tough.

Rural Aid Farm Rescue program manager Julie Hahn said she could never become desensitised to the vastness of situations she has seen across the state.

"Every farm runs differently," Mrs Hahn said.

"We see how deflated they can be when we meet with them at the start of the week.

"I get goosebumps all the time to see the difference in the farmers by the end of the week and how much the volunteers' visits have raised their spirits.

"It's the small things like seeing someone doing work on your fenceline or sitting down with a farmer at morning tea for a cuppa and a chat," she said.

Rural Aid volunteers Bernie Rankmore, Chirley Semmens and Janice James with her dog Alford and their team leader Bill Wallace.
Rural Aid volunteers Bernie Rankmore, Chirley Semmens and Janice James with her dog Alford and their team leader Bill Wallace.

After volunteering with Rural Aid for two years, project co-ordinator Rosey Bartlett and her husband Lee made the switch to work for the organisation full-time.

Prior to a Rural Aid visit, the couple spend a month exploring the local area and scoping out farms that need the assistance plus find catering options for the entire week.

Mrs Bartlett said even though they live out of a caravan permanently, working for Rurual Aid and travelling to new places to help out people in need is the best job in the world.

 

Julia Hahn and Rosey Bartlett preparing the food for the volunteers and farmers.
Julia Hahn and Rosey Bartlett preparing the food for the volunteers and farmers.

"Every single farmer always says there is someone worse off than me."

"They say they are doing okay but you know very well that there not okay.

"Being able to come into places like Wondai and be welcomed by the community is just incredible.

"The friendships we have made with the volunteers and the farmers is invaluable and we love what we do," she said.

A team of volunteers are also working on fixing up the rotunda and Wondai Showgrounds grand stand as part of Rural Aid's visit to the South Burnett.

Rural Aid volunteers working on the rotunda at the Wondai Showgrounds.
Rural Aid volunteers working on the rotunda at the Wondai Showgrounds.
South Burnett

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