56 trucks. 1800 bales of hay. Hundreds of farmers in need. When the convoy rolls into Scone this afternoon, it won’t be a moment too soon for the Upper Hunter community.
It’s the third delivery the Aussie Hay Runners charity has made to the region, and will be welcomed with open arms by local farmers still recovering from fires, weather extremes, and inconsistent rainfall.
“This one was planned but it wasn’t going to go ahead unless needed,” says Hay Runners founder Linda Widdup.
Lion’s Club of Denman president Steve Carter is coordinating the distribution. He says that while the logistics of getting the bales onto farms is daunting, a bigger challenge has been getting the word out.
“A lot of people don’t have mobile phone coverage – they rely on landlines, which makes it very hard to get messages out,” says Carter.
“I’ve got farmers ringing me the day before yesterday, and they hadn’t heard about this third hay run.”
Carter, who was involved in the two previous hay runs, says this time around there’s been a strong desire to volunteer and to share with neighbours who might have missed out.
“I’ve done a lot of work in the community over a lot of years. I haven’t seen the communities come together as much in the past as they have this time.”