How to Help Australian Farmers?
This is the worst Australian drought in living memory and there’s no rain in sight. We’ve seen the endless plains of brown, scorched earth on television. We’ve heard the desperate stories from farmers having to sell livestock.
With Aussie farmers struggling to survive, it’s fair to say that many of us feel helpless. There are lots of things you can do to help Australian farmers such as organising your own fundraiser, or donating to drought relief funds.
Why Australian farmers need our help
Drought is not unusual in Australia. Ever since records began, various areas of the country have gone through times of extreme dry. However, this drought is different – it’s the worst on record. 99.9% of NSW and 67.4% of Queensland is now drought declared. It’s not getting any better with the Bureau of Meteorology predicting a dry summer outlook for most of the east of Australia.
For several summers now, drought relief for farmers has been front and centre of fundraising efforts across the country. We hope this guide on how to help Australian farmers will help you with your fundraising efforts too.
What is the government doing to help?
Australian farmers are resilient however relief from the drought isn’t likely to come soon. This is why the federal government introduced a $500 million drought stimulus package in November 2019. According to the Australian Government Drought Response:
“As a consequence of climate change, drought is likely to be longer and more severe in some regions and over broader areas. It means that farmers and communities in some regions are likely to see drought more often.”
The stimulus includes concessional loans for businesses with a two-year interest free period. There’s also millions of dollars’ worth of funding for regional and rural community projects to help with drought relief for farmers too.
What can we do to help Aussie farmers?
While the government stimulus is no doubt helpful, there’s more that can be done. We rely on farmers for some of the freshest and best quality food in the world. The Aussie spirit is all about being there for each other, backing a mate in their time of need and it’s time to give back.
There may be nothing we can do about the drought but there are many ways we can donate to Australian farmers to help them get back on their feet.
Support a charity
There are so many charities providing drought support for farmers. You could Buy a Bale for a Farmer, or donate money to Australian farmers through organisations such as Rural Aid or Drought Angels. These charities often work on the ground and in the communities, so they know what’s needed and where. They can distribute food, water or gift cards and cash to struggling families.
Help out regional and rural small businesses
It’s not just the farmers who are doing it tough, it’s also the people living in towns. When farmers don’t have as much money, they’re less likely to go into town to spend money so every business suffers. Which is why organisations such as Buy from the Bush are so important. Through their social media accounts, they highlight rural and regional small businesses. It gives us the chance to find out about wonderful products and our money goes into the pockets where it’s needed.
For many communities, tourism is a vital cog in the financial wheel. One of the best ways you can support drought-hit farmers and communities is to visit. Stay in a local BnB or the pub. Buy produce from the markets and visit local restaurants. It will all support rural communities to help stay afloat in this difficult time.
Volunteer your time
If money is tight but you have oodles of time you could volunteer to help out. Organisations such as Aussie Helpers facilitate people to head outback and help out at a property. There’s also the Lions Club Need for Feed that are asking for volunteers on their next Hay Run.
Donate to a fundraiser like Fiver for Farmer
In 2018, Sydney school student Jack Berne set up a hugely successful Fiver for a Farmer campaign. He asked people to donate just $5 to help with drought relief for Aussie farmers and raised over $700,000. He has set up another campaign in 2019 and it is still going. He’s raising money for Rural Aid and Drought Angels and is sending regular updates through his GoFundMe page.
Become a fundraiser in your community
There are lots of ways you can help fundraise donations for Australian farmers. You could set up a collection in your local community, school or church for non-perishable food supplies and water. You could hold a fete, raffle, cake stall in your local area. By setting up a GoFundMe to facilitate your fundraising, you can easily donate all your proceeds to Australian farmers through one of the charities mentioned above.
Donate to Australian farmers today
With no rain forecast, it’s likely our farmers will need some help for some time to come. Farmers are tough but there’s only so much they can handle. Without support, there’s no doubt we can help them get through this crippling drought.
Maybe your friends are asking for advice on how to donate to farmers in Australia. Try starting your own GoFundMe page to gather their donations on behalf of a community or relief charity.