We have witnessed some of the most selfless acts of kindness extended to battling Aussie farmers who are down on their knees trying to save their precious herds from total annihilation and in many cases the end of the family farm.
This year has been one of the driest on record and it’s had a profound impact on our Aussie farmers.
GME is a proud Australian owned company with strong ties to farmers and the wider rural community, and after hearing the extent of the impact to our communities GME felt a strong call to action and decided to help those who have been supporting them for years.
GME has undertaken a sterling task to assist farmers in need through an array of different fundraising efforts that include:
1.Farm Aid Telethon
2.XRS™ Connect Buy A Bale
3.Internal Staff Fundraisers
Farm Aid Telethon:
GME’s first donation to the farmers in need was through the Channel Nine Farm Aid Telethon that was hosted by the Today Show. GME donated $100,000 to the Telethon with the funds being distributed by the National Farmers Federation to approved organisations to help those most in need.
The funds raised had an immediate positive impact on farmers by providing them with hay and fodder to help their livestock.
In addition, the donation provided relief and assistance for the wellbeing of farmers and their families by assisting with their living expenses in addition to providing better access to mental health and financial services.
Buy A Bale:
GME also raised funds for Rural Aid, through the Buy A Bale campaign that provides relief to farmers in need by providing hay, fodder and water for their livestock.
GME ran an XRS™ Connect Drought Relief Promotion where 10% of the revenue generated from the sale of selected XRS products between the 15th of August and the 15th of September was donated directly to Buy A Bale.
Additionally, the staff at GME held a fundraising BBQ for the Buy A Bale campaign where they cooked up a feast of sausages, kebabs and veggie patties that employees could enjoy for a gold coin donation.
Donation tins were also placed around the GME office for the month with a total of over $2600 raised by the staff.
In addition to the XRS campaign and the staff fundraising, GME also donated additional funds to the Buy A Bale campaign to bring the final total raised to over $200,000.
The funds raised were put towards providing farmers in need with hay bales for their livestock to help lift the burden the drought had caused them.
This donation came to life on the 21st of November when the GME sponsored delivery took place.
Six road trains transported over 400 large bales of hay halfway across Australia, departing from Locke in South Australia on the 19th of November. Two days later they arrived at the central pick up point, local farmer Nadia’s property, on the outskirts of the New South Wales town of Cumnock.
GME employees Mark Gattellari and Lewis Pascoe travelled to the delivery site where the six road trains arrived just after 10am under a police escort to a crowd of farmers and media alike.
At that point, the two GME representatives spent the day supporting everyone involved; the truck drivers who travelled halfway across the country, the media, the volunteers who provided a hot lunch and refreshments for everyone, and most importantly the farmers.
The conversations with drought-affected farmers were an eye-opening insight into their world and the struggles they have been facing.
Their conversations showcased their true Aussie spirit and humbleness.
And although they were extremely thankful of the support they were receiving, they still couldn’t help but feel that the donation could have gone to others who needed it more than themselves.
These touching conversations, in addition to the smiles, joyous laughs between mates, comradery, and bonding that was shared by everyone in attendance showcased the true Aussie spirit of pulling together to help each other in times of need.
Both Gattellari and Pascoe from GME felt honoured and privileged to be able to play a part in this amazing event.
GME are now committed to continuing to assist our farmers and the wider rural community.
They believe it is important to not only help those who are associated with their business, but to embody the Aussie spirit and take the time and effort to help someone out in a time of need.
GME has proven to be a leader in farming community assistance at a time when support has been needed most.
This great Australian company has taken a journey of personal pride and has conveyed an overwhelming spirit, a mateship that all Australians hold as true blue.
Side affects have been severe
The current drought conditions are severe in several regions – particularly in NSW. Rainfall to the end of September 2018 in NSW is the third lowest ever recorded at 190.9mm. Rainfall to date across Australia is as poor as any period in the last 20 years.
However, the only god save is that the extent of rainfall deficiencies is currently smaller than in previous droughts. Analysis of rainfall deficiencies for the first nine months of 2018 indicates that 49% of agricultural land in south-eastern Australia (Queensland south of the Tropic of Capricorn, New South Wales and Victoria) is experiencing 1 in 20-year drought conditions, compared with 81% of agricultural land at the height of the 2002-03 drought.
But that is of little consolation for those deep in the grip of the current drought.