Commonwealth Bank Moree branch manager Marla Hosegood is calling on residents to throw their support behind the Burrumbuttock Hay Runner Charity Fundraiser and help farmers who are doing it tough in the drought.
“If you think you can help at all, nothing’s too little, nothing’s too big. Every dollar we raise is a dollar the farmers don’t have,” she said.
And according to Mrs Hosegood, the support for the cause is growing in Commonwealth Banks across New South Wales.
“As of yesterday, the Commonwealth Bank has approved to spread that initiative across central, western and mid-north coast New South Wales branches,” Mrs Hosegood said.
The close to $20,000 raised will be sent to Burrumbuttock Hay Runners, an initiative of recent OAM recipient Brendan Farrell. Known as Bumper, the NSW farmer set up the charity in 2014 to deliver hay to farmers who were struggling to feed their cattle.
Although Mrs Hosegood is over the moon about the money raised, she has kick-started her own fundraiser to add more money to the cause.
“It costs the hay runners $300,000 to make a trip to the farmers. The charity has already raised $200,000. It would be good to raise the $100,000 difference,” Mrs Hosegood said.
Her Burrumbuttock Hay Runner Charity Fundraiser has already received donations from local organisations. Moree’s Men Shed have donated a handmade wooden chair and clock.
“The men then bought the chair for $150. They’ve been amazing,” Mrs Hosegood said.
She added that the display of generosity alone has helped to relieve an otherwise tough time.
Mrs Hosegood recalled a story from a struggling cattle farmer who visited the Moree branch.
“She went down to the dam on her property, and because there has been no rain, the dam has become a bog hole. Her cows still need to drink water, and they’ll go to the bog hole looking for it. They got stuck in the mud and they were physically exhausted from trying to get out, that some of them drowned.”
Only recently, Mrs Hosegood made a trip to Sydney with her husband Hamish, a stock and station agent. While the pair drove through the leafy, green streets of Sydney, her husband got a call.
“A farmer was calling him to ask if it was worth to buy a cow sling—basically a large version of the sling you see in hospitals to hold up patients, but for undernourished cow,” Mrs Hosegood said.
“When they don’t get enough feed, they’re not strong enough to stand up, and they’ll lay down. If they’re on their side for too long, they can develop clots or sores and die.”
After an emotional conversation, it was decided the investment in the slings wasn’t the best option.
“Hamish had to shoot the cow because the farmer couldn’t bring himself to do it. I’ve met this bloke before, he’s a happy and genuine fellow, but he couldn’t bear to shoot the animal.”
Although the Burrumbuttock Hay Runner Charity Fundraiser is still in its preparation stages, Mrs Hosegood hopes to auction the donated items some time in early August.
Anyone interested in lending a helping hand can contact Marla Hosegood. The phone number to the Commonwealth Bank in Moree is 6751 1711.