Rural Aid has seen a massive increase in demand from drought affected farmers looking for on-farm support so is putting the call out to caravaners or campers who may be looking for a new adventure.
Rural Aid CEO Charles Alder says campers and caravaners can stop in towns out west and do something to help drought-affected farmers for a week and change a life forever.
“Our Caravaners, campers and grey nomads are an amazing asset for rural Australian communities because they have invaluable life skills which can be used on farms during the drought and tough economic times,” he said.
“We have had more than 100 farmers register for farm assistance via our Farm Army website in the last month seeking help to upgrade their property through maintenance.
“In many places it’s almost impossible to find people with trades that will drive the distances to do work. On the other hand, there are thousands of retired tradies on holiday who might be willing to help but just don’t know where to look!”
Mr Alder says Rural Aid’s Farm Army have helped hundreds of farmers through their volunteers comprising grey nomads, retirees, tradies and holiday-makers who travel across Australia in their thousands every year.
“It really is a unique experience doing work on a farm and I would encourage all those travellers to consider helping a farmer in need so come and join our Farm Army”, Mr Alder said.
With the 2019 Queensland Caravan, Camping and Touring Supershow on at the Brisbane Showgrounds with 40,000 attendees, there’s an interest in the outdoors so now is the time to think about helping others.
John Little, 66, from Wandoan was one struggling farmer finding it impossible to maintain his property after recovering from a heart operation and a tractor accident, but the Farm Army came to the rescue.
Mr Little said the Farm Army worked tirelessly for a week and helped with fencing, stock yards, the farm grid and installed a pump to improve water pressure in their house among other things.
“It was something I really appreciated, and we achieved a massive number of tasks in the time they were here, and they worked so well as a group,” he said.
“Some had caravans, motorhomes and tents enjoying a variety of camping and it was people from all walks of life with many of them skilled tradies, ex-farmers and their contributions were really appreciated.
“It gave people a chance to use their talents and we’ve developed enduring friendships from it.
“People got a sense of fulfillment, it was a time for fun, fellowship and a chance to give help to a farmer who was alone at the time with my wife away for work.”
Rural Aid volunteers work to reinvigorate the community lifting people’s spirits and forming lasting connections with country folk.
If you are interested in getting involved in Rural Aid’s Farm Army visit: ruralaid.org.au/farm-army or telephone 1300 327 624.
Rural Aid Communications Officer Lara Caughey 0436 035 188