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Otago snow-raking volunteers hailed

25 June 2013

Otago snow-raking volunteers hailed

Otago Rural Support Trust Coordinator David Mellish is hailing the amount of support snow stricken farmers in central and north Otago have received as a result of a recent call to arms.

“The amount of work to be done on many farms is tremendous,” says David Mellish, Otago Rural Support Trust Coordinator.

“But I want to pay tribute to the amount of support local farmers have received from both rural communities, Federated Farmers and further afield including the Ministry for Primary Industries.

“Hopefully that has lessened the workload for some of these farmers.

“Whether it is the hundreds of people who have offered to give up their time and energy to snow rake, the agricultural sector businesses who have contacted us to offer assistance, the neighbour or the local communities teaming up with the Rural Women network to feed hungry workers, I don’t think you could get a better example of the spirit of rural communities.

“It is well past the point where the amount of volunteers exceeds the number of farmers who are asking us for assistance.

“We simply cannot thank all of the people who have stepped forward to offer help individually so I’d like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to you all, on behalf of the farmers affected.

“These people are spending the majority of the day wading through snow up to and over their waists, concerned about the health of their stock. The feedback I’ve had is that the knowledge there are so many people willing to step forward to help, has been a boost in itself.

“I’ve lost count of the number of ex-farmers who have called and asked what they can do. They know this isn’t an everyday situation and they know how hard it can be to keep those feet moving forward in these conditions, both literally and figuratively.

“With that in mind we still want to hear from any farmer who needs a hand, so if you need a bit of assistance personally or think there’s a neighbour who needs a hand, give us a call on 0800 376 844.

“A number of the callers offering assistance are saying they have been in a similar position and know what it means to have someone offering to help out. That’s how it works in rural New Zealand,” David Mellish concluded.


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