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Helping hand for farmers

28/03/2014
Lending a Hand for Farmers in Need
The Malanda State High School community has shown their support for farmers in drought-stricken Queensland by providing hampers of food to families on properties south of the Hughenden-Richmond line. Despite some rain in the region the drought has not broken for all producers and many grazing families are still under pressure. Bernie English from Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (formerly DPI) based in Mareeba had been approached by the Malanda High School Fun for a Cause (FFC) committee for suggestions to assist farmers battling the long term drought. Bernie is a member of the FNQ Beef Team which provides expert advice to cattle property managers across the region.  He explained that grazing families could use hay and fodder for the few cattle and weaners that were still on hand, but local supplies were tight and groceries and other household items could be delivered straight away, and would be much appreciated in these hard times.  The Malanda High School Home Economics students have also had a big ANZAC biscuit cooking effort with ten containers on their way.
Students, staff and their families rallied to the call for donations of non-perishable items and a mountain of food and household goods was collected in the school library. “The response was overwhelming,” explained Lyndell Sellars who is the teacher co-ordinating the student charity group. “People in our small rural community were keen to show their support of another regional area which is experiencing difficulty.”  The students worked as a team to sort and box all of the items and included a personal message of support in each hamper. Year 12 student and chairperson of the FFC Tiarni Potts said, “Students from Malanda experience rain at least once a week and it is important to support farmers who are fighting tough drought conditions. We wanted the families who are receiving the hampers to know that the people of Malanda are thinking of them.”
The hampers will be distributed to the families by staff at the Cloncurry DAFF office, Emma Hegarty and Rebecca Gunther