Retirement village donates bales to desperate farmers
A RETIREMENT village north of the Toowoomba region has made a generous contribution of livestock feed to drought-stricken Darling Downs farming families.
The staff at Carinity Brownsholme retirement village at Highfields harvested 320 bales of hay from their unused land and donated it to six families in around and Highfields and Goombungee.
"We had the idea to harvest our unused paddocks for hay as many local farmers are struggling with the drought and the extraordinary increased cost of feed for their animals," Carinity Brownesholme Village manager Garry Slik said.
"I found a local farmer who was kind enough to harvest the hay.
"He supplied all equipment and fuel and manpower."
Farmer Amanda Park said the donation was an incredible gift so close to Christmas.
"You will never understand how much this means to me and my children," she said.
"If only you could have seen the relief on my 11-year-old son's face when he came home that afternoon and there was hay to feed his beloved sheep, some of which were bottle-fed orphans.
"He had already mentioned to me that he understands if he doesn't get presents this Christmas, as long as he can have a bag of chicken feed and a bag of sheep feed."
Ms Park said the drought had taken a huge toll on her family.
"We're unable to qualify for larger drought relief as our main income was only horse breeding/trainers and not primary producers, so we have had to face this drought alone," she said.
"With paddocks bare, water tanks almost empty, the price of hay almost tripled and hungry animals, I reluctantly returned to the workforce full time just to try and keep our heads above water."
Ms Slik said he was overjoyed at the response from the families.
"It was a wonderful thing for Brownesholme to do and it certainly aligns with Carinity's core values - helping others in need," he said.
Ms Park urged people in the community to support struggling non-primary producer farmers by donating to the QCWA Public Rural Crisis Fund.