A grazier in Far West New South Wales who received hay donations from farms in northern Victoria during the drought has decided to return the favour.
- More than two dozen lambs have been donated to a farmer who helped Far West graziers in drought
- Victorian farmers made life-saving hay deliveries when much of the country was in widespread drought
- The money raised from the lambs will help establish infrastructure at Ouyen Lake
Terry Smith from Scarsdale Station near Broken Hill has donated 25 of his lambs to the hay runners who made life-saving deliveries to some of the most drought-stricken areas in the region.
“We’ve got a bit of a season behind us now so I thought I’ll donate 25 lambs to the sale day and the boys can put the money towards a charity of their choosing.”
Jarrod Munro from Ouyen, 100km south of Mildura, coordinated the hay run when the drought was at its worst in 2018 and 2019.
“We took seven trucks with hay and grain and several other cars with personal items for the ladies up there as well,” Mr Munro said.
“It wasn’t the delivery of hay it was more or less they were wanting to catch up have a yarn that sort of thing, so it was hitting them very hard.”
Lamb sales skyrocket
The lambs sold for $290 a head at a charity auction held at the Ouyen saleyard last week to a total of $7,250, with fees waived by the sale agency and local livestock exchange.
“We couldn’t actually get up close and personal with the buyers to see how they went but the sale was back a little bit from normal but when it got to that pen the buyers went very active,” Mr Munro said.
Terry Smith wasn’t able to attend the sale due to border restrictions but hoped the gesture was well-received.
“They were a bit surprised I think a lot of people had support through the drought and random packages would turn up in the mail and hay drives which helped a lot of people out,” Mr Smith said.
“I now feel I’m in a position to be able to put something back into the community and hope others in similar positions do the same.”
Mr Munro said the support between pastoralists in neighbouring regions have been long-standing, with widespread community efforts put into action during difficult times.
“In ’82 when we were struggling, we sent cattle up there on agistment and they looked after us very well so there was a chance that we could give back and that sort of how it came about.”
The funds will go to establishing more infrastructure at the Ouyen Lake Project.
“We’ll put it to some permanent infrastructure that we can capitalise which is going to be massive to the community,” he said.
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