The Buy A Cow campaign has delivered its first 39 young Brahman cows to a property in the Winton district as part of a concerted effort to rebuild the North Queensland cattle herd, which was decimated in a catastrophic weather event in February.
The beneficiaries are Jeff and Debbie Nichols, who said the replacement livestock were a much-needed boost to the family’s operation.
“Like many cattle producers up this way we have been doing it tough for a long time,” Mr Nichols said.
“We are so grateful to receive this support, but there are still so many families on the land who feel like they have nobody to lean on.
“If you care about the quality and ongoing sustainability of the Australian beef industry, I encourage you to give generously so that other producers can receive the assistance they so desperately need to get back on their feet.”
After enduring eight years of drought, hundreds of thousands of cattle were lost in 10 days of monsoonal rain in late January and early February. Herds across rural Queensland – including that of the Nichols family – were totally devastated.
Similar to Rural Aid’s successful Buy a Bale campaign, the Buy a Cow initiative allows Australians to donate money, which will be gifted to farmers to purchase new livestock.
Each cattle producer that registers will receive $15,000. The charities aim is to raise a total of $7.5 million which will benefit about 500 farmers. Some $250,000 has been raised in the first two weeks.
In the coming weeks Rural Aid will be delivering cattle deliveries to the Winton, Cloncurry and the Julia Creek areas.
Rural Aid chief executive officer Charles Alder said it was important to support these cattle producers who are struggling financially and emotionally to recover.
“The thought of having to deal with one natural disaster after another is difficult to contemplate but that’s what these farmers are going through,” Mr Alder said.
“Many of these farmers are staring at the prospect of not having an income for two years.”
Mr Adler said 100 per cent of funds raised through Rural Aid’s Buy a Cow campaign would be allocated to buying cattle. This was in addition to other grants Rural Aid was making towards bill payments, groceries and fodder assistance, he said.
“We’re calling on Australia to continue their support to help farmers rebuild their livelihoods,” Mr Adler said.
Source: Queensland Country Life