There certainly is light at the end of the financial tunnel for dairy farmers but many are still finding the going incredibly difficult.
I’m a tough old stick but there have been times in the last few months where things unravelled a bit before I could piece myself together again, so I know how it feels first-hand. For me, the saving grace has been to get help from our expert farm consultant, Neil, and build an action plan to insulate the cows from the fodder shortage.
It’s gone beyond that for some farmers who are in desperate positions. I asked Dairy Australia’s issues manager, Julie Iommi, what the dairy farming representative bodies are doing to help.
1. Anyone wishing to donate fodder or funds to buy fodder – please contact the UDV/VFF on 1300 882 833. Want to help but have no hay of your own? Farmer mental health dynamo, Alison Fairleigh, has linked her handy blog to “Buy a Bale“, an initiative of Aussie Helpers, where anyone can donate time or money for fodder to go to people who are in dire straits.
3. VFF, supported by ADF, has asked the state and federal governments to introduce the low interest loan support program immediately.
4. The state and federal governments have also been requested to review other forms of emergency support immediately.
5. VFF and ADF are also pushing the state and federal agriculture Ministers to meet the bank sector to encourage them to continue to take the long-term view when assessing their support of farm businesses.
Dairy Australia is promoting the Taking Stock program, which can help dairy farmers review their individual situations and create their own action plans – Julie says there are still around 50 spots available.
DA also has good info on its site about coping with fodder shortages.
Last of all, if you know someone who might be battling to stay afloat, why not drop them a line, phone or do the good old-fashioned thing and turn up with a cake? It might be just the lifeline they need without you ever knowing it.