Rapid Relief Team brings hope and supplies for farmers

Local farmers Tom Mitchell and Ros Manns were among 140 Cobar area landholders to benefit from a fodder drop by the Rapid Relief Team last Thursday. They are pictured with RRT’s Lloyd Grimshaw and Ron Arkcoll.


Relief for farmers

It was definitely a relief for many local farmers to see the Rapid Relief Team (RRT) roll into town last week.

RRT held a Farmers Community Connect ‘Operation Drought Relief’ event in Cobar last Thursday and handed out free one tonne bags of livestock pellets to 140 registered drought affected farmers in the Cobar area.

RRT is a charitable initiative of the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church and brings together volunteers are from all around the country.

RRT director Lloyd Grimshaw said the team is made up of people from all walks of life who’ve volunteered to help out in a variety of ways.

“We do quite a bit with the homeless, in the areas of health and disability and with disadvantaged youth. We also do a lot with natural disasters whether it’s drought, fires or floods,” Mr Grimshaw said.

The RRT volunteers have provided food catering, carted bulk water to help the Rural Fire Service with fires and organised and delivered road trains of livestock feed to farmers in need.

“Last year we were doing a lot of hay runs.

“We did several big hay runs right up into Queensland, Cunnamulla and Charleville, I think about 12 altogether,” he said.

The team also visited the Hermidale area last year.

“We’ve worked our way up and down this part of NSW mainly going to the drought stricken areas. We’ve tried to pick strategic locations where we’re connecting the circles up within the 200km radius.

“This is about our seventh event and we’ve got another seven to go.

RRT’s next stop was Warren last Friday and then they were moving on to Goondiwindi, Inverell, St George, Roma, Bourke and Walgett.

In addition to handing out livestock feed, the day also provided an opportunity for farmers to connect with a range of other drought relief services, have a bite to eat and to catch up with friends and neighbours for a chat.

Local farmers who attended have admitted that they have been “really struggling” and were very appreciative of the RRT’s efforts.

Rod Anderson said the feed would help them to wean off some of their calves so they could hopefully hang on to their mothers for a little longer.

“This sort of stuff is good for the community.

“I think it also gives us that little bit of hope that we can keep carrying on.

“It’s very much appreciated,” he said.

RRT chairman Ron Arkcoll said the Community Connect days were a team effort made possible with support from government and community services coming together.

“Our journey across the state to deliver feed for livestock and support for farmers and their families has been a humble one and a real eye-opener to the goodness found in the power of community,” Mr Arkcoll said.