Saying G’day as a formal greeting, considering a 35-degree day to be of average temperature, the greatest public holidays on our calendar aren’t Christmas- they include putting a bet on the horses as they gallop around Flemington on Cup Day and of course, Boxing day, where we eat the leftover Christmas ham and eggnog, have a bowl in the backyard and watch the national team destroy the travelling side in the Boxing Day test. Even an outlaw can be considered a hero. WELCOME TO AUSTRALIA!
We are proud of many things here in Australia, but one thing I think we are most proud of is our sense of mateship and community spirit.
As a country, we have gone through much heartache and disaster- ranging from bushfires to floods, but when times get tough, Australian towns always seem to unite as one and band together to get through the tough times.
In 2014, one town and one man in particular, Brendan ‘BUMPA’ Farrell heard about a farmer in Bourke (NSW) that was struggling in the drought. He contacted the farmer and offered to bring him a truck load of hay to help him out. From that, the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners were born.
Since that date in 2014 they have completed 13 successful hay runs to help drought affected farmers all over NSW & QLD. It’s astounding how this journey all started from a bloke in a small rural town of NSW who had a heart of gold… and a truck.
Burrumbuttock Hay Runners or BHR is about mates helping mates in a time of need. Farmers impacted by drought often struggle to ask for help - the financial strain of trying to keep the farm afloat can often be a trigger when it comes to battling mental health issues.
Brendan and the BHR team know that the hay they deliver will only provide temporary relief but it’s about showing fellow Australian’s that someone cares about them. Brendan is very passionate about awareness and education; the team believe our Aussie Farmers are critical to our future in Australia.
Majority of QLD is currently ‘drought declared’. Insert pic of drought declared area Drought doesn’t just impact farmers it also impacts on the local businesses and schools within that community.
All hay is donated from generous farmers all over Australia. The money fundraised and held in the Rotary Club bank account is used to fuel the trucks that transport the donated hay. No one in the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners group are paid a wage, everyone involved donates their loyal time as volunteers. This includes all the truck drivers who also donate the use of their trucks & machinery to load and unload the hay.
In April 2016, BHR etched their name into the Guinness World Record books for the largest ever Hay Truck Convoy. The hay run started in Brendan’s home town of Burrumbuttock and with 258 trucks, 406 trailers, over 500 volunteers and 6 million dollars’ worth of hay, the team ventured 1800km north to Ilfracombe in QLD. With the long distance between Burrumbuttock, NSW to Ilfracombe, QLD it was estimated that a truck would use approximately $2000 in fuel each.
The trucks delivered over 13,500 round and square hale bales, which helped out 800 farmers and a massive 300,000 animals. The volunteers who gave up their time and donated the use of their trucks came from TAS, VIC, SA, NSW and QLD which just goes to show how much Australians unite and work together in an hour of need.
Although the primary focus of BHR is to take hay to farmers, on this trip to Ilfracombe, the trucks also had donations of dog food, fruit/vegies, pantry essentials, toiletries, & many other household items. All these necessities were sourced by BHR members and donated by community groups & local businesses from all over Australia.
As you can see, this group is not just about delivering the hay to the farmers to help feed their livestock. This cause is about shaking hands with fellow farmers, talking to local businesses and letting struggling towns know that we care. It’s about mates keeping mates comfortable, content and mentally fit so that they can try to resume their lives as farmers until the rain comes in. With funds received from charity events and merchandise sales, the BHR group have also managed to build a bar in Ilfracombe, a golf shed/function room in Muttaburra and are now trying raise money to build a toilet block in Cunnamulla. These special projects provide much needed hope to these struggling towns.
The motto of Burrumbuttock Hay Runners is ‘keeping the dream alive’. They believe in doing whatever it takes to help keep the dream alive for our Aussie Farmers.
On Australia day weekend this year, BHR embarked on their 13th Hay Run to Cunnamulla in QLD. This time around, the convoy consisted of 150 trucks, pulling 200 trailers to donate 2 million dollars’ worth of hay to 160 struggling farmers in Cunnamulla. This run might not have been their biggest but it’s certain that it’s still just as important.
Although this last event was a great help to the area, the run cost them just over $200,000 and it has left the bank funds in a drought of their own. The team can’t continue to grow and help these farmers without Australia’s support. Whether it’s, truck, trailers, hay, food or cash donations, Burrumbuttock Hay Runners need your backing. If you wish to help the guys out please contact Burrumbuttock Hay Runners Facebook Page or Brendan Farrell on 0439 322 605.