A Merriwa farmer has joined forces with Aussie Helpers to ‘feed a farmer’ – a concept that starts with a donation and ends up helping a farmer in need as well as the people in between.
Mathew Grace runs Merrifield Farm, a free range pork, beef and lamb business at Merriwa and he said pork producers in particular were suffering through the drought.
Unlike the strong beef and lamb prices – for those who have finished stock – pork prices haven’t increased or kept pace with the cost of feed. Likewise many vegetable growers are at the mercy of big supermarkets who have the power to set their own prices and dictate the size and look of the produce they purchase.
This inspired Mr Grace to get in touch with Aussie Helpers and the Feed a Farmer project was born.
“We are not just helping the people who receive the boxes of produce but we are helping local farmers and businesses along the way by offering a fair price for their produce and processing and packing it locally,” he said.
Feed a Farmer will source vegetables direct from local growers, plus process meat from pork and beef producers and package up the food for delivery to Dubbo first and then to the Tamworth region.
“We want to help growers who are not going to be able to survive this drought and reduce the huge and ongoing impact on the communities downstream,” Mr Grace said.
“People just aren’t making enough money from their produce.
“We have got a couple of pig farmers from around the Tamworth and Gunnedah region on board, veggies from the Hunter region plus we’ve been donated potatoes from a farmer in Queensland and eggs from around the region.
“The money donated will be used to pay a fair price to farmers for these products, which supports their family, then this produce is processed, butchered and packed by local businesses who provide employment and support to local communities.”
Mr Grace said we are compounding the impact of every dollar donated to help more farming families.
The first boxes will be distributed around the Dubbo area on August 13, with the run after that, on August 27, for the Tamworth district.
Mr Grace said a number of local business and rural supply stores had offered to help act as a base, with Elders Tamworth offering up their cool rooms as well.
To find out more or to make a donation go to www.feedafarmer.today.