Truck loads of silage were a welcome sight for Macleay farmers recovering from the flood at today's special reach-out event organised by the Rapid Relief Team (RRT).
The RRT set up camp at Kempsey Showground with free bales of hay for registered farmers, mental health support, rural financial counselling and veterinary support on offer.
The hay and silage were donated by farmers in the Southern Highlands and RRT in response to the flood event which impacted farmers across the Kempsey Shire.
RRT Operations Director, Daniel Alderton, said the response from farmers and volunteers at the Farmers Community Connect event was amazing.
"We had 74 farmers register for hay in the Kempsey area and there were 640 large round bales delivered, some of which were donated to RRT," he said.
Daniel said the Farmers Community Connect event isn't just about hay, but that its main focus is mental health and well-being.
"We had over 80 farmers visit the service stalls this morning where they were able to connect with services that they need," he said.
"The hay gets the farmers to the event, but the mental health support and services is our main focus."
Overall the event has run smoothly. It's great to be out here and helping farmers who are doing it tough.- Ron Arkcoll
Local farmers impacted by the recent flood were able to grab a free coffee and some food while they connected with support services and each other.
"It really lights a fire in your belly when you can make people happy and bring people together," Daniel said.
Local Belmore River farmer, Robert Fraser, attended the event and said it was very well organised.
"RRT is a great organisation and events like this really do help," he said.
Robert and his family were impacted by the flood In March and had to more 560 head of cattle off their property.
"We were also impacted by the fires in 2019 and now the floods," he said.
"Seeing what has gone on today at this event makes us want to help others and we will be looking at donating hay to RRT in the future," Robert said.
RRT's Managing Director, Ron Arkcoll, said RRT were prompted to visit the Mid North Coast by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
"We were at another event not too long ago in Windsor and the Prime Minister was there and said that RRT needed to get to the Mid North Coast," Ron said.
Kempsey wasn't the only stop on the hay run, RRT also delivered much-needed fodder to farmers in Wingham on Thursday.
"Overall the event has run smoothly. It's great to be out here and helping farmers who are doing it tough," Ron said.
RRT is the charitable arm of the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church, and the hay run is part of RRT's Farmers Community Connect program.
Find out more about RRT at rrtglobal.org.
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