THE drought is dragging out and while there are no clouds gathering on the horizon, some local farmers have found silver linings talking to other farmers and welcomed the chance to do a YouTube video for the Local Land Services.
Rob and Jenny Lee from Merriwa, said there are many tough decisions they have made during the drought, but attending some Local Land Services workshops helped them with some practical tips and different perspectives on running their farm.
“We had a really good line of cattle we had been building up and looking at the market and the way the weather was and possibly could be, I just made the decision for them all to go,” said Rob Lee.
“We were set on a particular way of running our place and then we changed it completely and by reassessing that, we are now realising ‘why didn’t we do that years ago?’” he said.
“It’s going to make life a lot easier for us…and a lot of that information has come out of these workshops that we have attended,” said Mr Lee.
Jenny said farmers can be especially hard on themselves, but talking to other farmers in the same position, struggling with the same issues, or dealing with different issues helped them.
“People on the land tend to beat themselves up a fair bit, but when you talk to other people you sometimes think oh well, okay, maybe I am not making too bad of a job of it after all,” said Jenny Lee.
Maria Cameron, regional drought coordinator for Hunter Local Land Services said the resilience and passion of local farmers in these trying times is a credit to the community.
“Across the region conditions have been the worst on record, and there’s no doubt many producers have made some hard and at times heartbreaking decisions, but they are also building valuable experience and this knowledge bank in itself is a resource we want to tap into and share,” said Maria.
“We continue to work with landholders to offer stock feeding advice and technical support but the best promotion for the various drought management strategies is hearing it straight from the horse’s mouth as the old saying goes…listening to fellow producers telling their own stories,” she said.
“We’ve been out there while the going is tough to tell the positive stories, talking to locals to find what’s worked for them tackling the drought and the fact they are willing to share these stories is amazing and really adds value for other local farmers,” Maria Cameron said.
The videos focus on topics including advanced drought planning, early weaning, feeding, destocking, utilising assistance options and the value of networking with neighbours and friends, all aimed at helping people on-farm decision making.
For more information on drought management, animal health and property management phone Hunter Local Land Services: 1300 795 299.