Second convoy to help dairy farmers in SA and Vic

By: Anjali Behl, Photography by: Jenni Clark

DSC 5117 A Need for Feed group and volunteers successfully completed this year's first hay run last week. DSC 5117 A
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Plans for third hay run underway


A convoy of five B double trucks carrying over 300 bales of hay will be heading out to Maitland from Mildura today as part of the Need for Feed disaster relief initiative.

The convoy will be led by Englefield K Wine Grape Services owner Kevin Englefield, who donated the trucks to carry the hay left behind after the first run.

"A couple of weeks ago we were calling for trucks to go with us to South Australia to pick up 15 loads of fodder donated to dairy farmers in Victoria," project coordinator Graham Cockerell says.

"We left last week struggling to get 10 trucks, bad time of year, holidays, scheduled maintenance, harvest still going, and then one couldn't make it.

"Well, when we got back, we received an offer from the father of one of our volunteer truckies, to take five B doubles to go back and finish the job.

"Of course we said, yes please, and they're getting ready to roll right now.

"What generous people there are out there, supporting our efforts to make a difference."

The driving team includes Kevin, his son Adam Englefield, nephew Corey Englefield and friend Ryan Judd.

"We are doing it primarily for the farmers, as the farmers are what underpin communities in rural Australia," owner Kevin Englefield says.

"At the end of the day it will give farmers some level of hope – and for them to know they are not on their own and people are there to assist them."

Need for Feed is a Lions Club initiative that started over 10 years back to help raise funds and deliver fodder to fire-, flood- and drought-hit regions.

This year, the project is delivering hay and raising funds to assist South Australian and Victorian farmers who have been affected by the failure of National Dairy Products. 

Talks are underway with creditors to help relieve the company of its over $10 million debt, but until that happens the farmers associated with it are facing a tough time securing hay for their cattle.

The volunteer group completed its first round of delivery this year when it transported over 400 bales of hay to struggling farmers in Victoria using a convoy of nine trucks last week.

The first convoy included five trailers donated for use by Semi Skel Hire, one prime mover offered by Penske Truck Leasing and three other heavy vehicles offered by local transport companies that also provided volunteer drivers to complete the journey, including Sutton Transport, Bundy Ag, Gippsland Hay Supply & Contracting, Digga Demolition, Paul Geyer, Fanny and Shonks Transport Division, K Englefield Wine Grape Services, Acf Transport and Moonshine Motors.

The group is also making preparations for the third convoy of the year on Australia Day.

Visit their website or Facebook page to find out more about the initiative.

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