BUSHFIRE-HIT East Gippsland sheep producers will soon receive up to 30 tonnes of sheep pellets in a special effort by the Michael Manion Wool Industry Foundation.
MMWIF chairman Ken Stock said the industry charity had decided to truck 20-30 tonnes of sheep pellets to farmers in the Buchan area.
The Buchan shipment will be followed up by MMWIF holding a free BBQ and sausage sizzle in that town manned by MMWIF committee members, he said.
In a circular released to the wool industry this week, Mr Stock said the terrible fires that have been raging on most parts of the eastern seaboard have had a devastating effect on all in the rural community. The impact has included the destruction of houses and farm buildings, massive stock losses and most importantly lives lost and livelihoods ruined.
Mr Stock said Nigel Rendell (United Wool), Mal Nicholls (Elders) and Don Rash (Landmark) will be coordinating the pellet shipment.
“So we ask, at this difficult time, that if companies and people in the industry are looking at making a donation to help our friends in the rural community, please consider your industry charity, the Michael Manion Wool Industry Foundation – the charity that looks after those in need in the bush.
“Naturally 100 percent of funds received go to just where it is intended,” he said.
Mr Nicholls said the pellets will go to fire-affected wool growers in the Buchan and Gelantipy areas, where the priorities are now the feeding and containment of surviving sheep. He is aware of 25-30 fire-affected sheep producers in the Buchan, Gelantipy, Omeo and Tambo Crossing areas. The main impacts on wool producers have been the loss of livestock feed and fencing.
Mr Nicholls said the reaction from pellet manufacturers to the call for sheep pellets for the farmers has been “awesome.” He estimated the first load of pellets was valued at about $20,000.
“Once we identified sheep feed was an issue, it (pellets) has been coming at us pretty solidly.
“The big thing for us is that they (the MMWIF) have also committed to coming down here and having a barbecue and a bit of a chat with the wool growers.”
Mr Nicholls said the fire-affected north-east Victorian and East Gippsland farmers also appreciated the donation of pellets and stock feed organised by the Victorian Farmers Federation and the Lions Club’s Need For Feed Disaster Relief arm.
VFF is co-ordinating relief efforts
Farmers in need of fodder or agistment should call the VFF on 1300 882 833 to register for assistance. The VFF will register offers of agistment here for fire-impacted farmers to contact landowners offering their properties. The VFF is also able to put affected landowners and farming families in touch with other services to help support you and your community with immediate needs and further recovery.
Agriculture Victoria is advising farmers in the case of injured livestock to euthanise and dispose if appropriate and to record images and information for insurance purposes. Agriculture Victoria is supporting Gippsland and Upper Murray landholders through animal welfare assessments and assistance, farm impact assessments and the referral of urgent cases of personal need to the appropriate agencies.
If you have any injured livestock, please report it to Agriculture Victoria on 1800 226 226. Agriculture Victoria animal health staff will enter fire-affected areas as soon as it is safe to do so.
Farmers wanting to donate
Anyone with good quality fodder to donate should contact the VFF on 1300 882 833 to register. In addition to donated fodder, the VFF also wants to know if landholders have paddocks available to agist livestock.
For more information on the MMWIF click here.