Editorial May 10, 2018

The good nature of Australians shines through in the toughest times.

Picton farmer John Fairley, somewhat reluctantly, went public this week with a plea for help.

His call did not fall on deaf ears.

It was heard loud and clear and has since reverberated around the nation.  His plight has gained national exposure.

Mr Fairley operates the historic Country Valley Milk farm in Picton and faced with a harrowing winter due to the drought conditions he took to social media to make a desperate call for assistance.

“The time has come to swallow my pride and ask for help. The realisation that we will be fully feeding cows, all winter, has arrived. Even if it rains next week and we get crops in, it will get cold and we will still have no feed. My 83 yr old Dad said he has never seen it worse than this.

One of our options we put on the table to get through the drought was to shut the dairy down. I just can’t do it.”

These was the opening sentences to Mr Fairley’s original post on the Country Valley Facebook page.

He went on to propose an “adopt a cow” scheme where people who cared enough for his plight could donate financially to help feed a cow through the tough winter months ahead.

In return he offered people a chance to meet their cow, tour the farm, help out feeding the calves and choose a sample bag to take home.

People thought that was a pretty fair trade, no pun intended.

The Australian public took Mr Fairley’s idea and ran with it, overwhelming the farm with offers of support and donations.

So much so Mr Fairley has now been able to use the “adopt a cow” initiative to donate to the Dilly Drought Drive, a fundraising initiative with the Lions Club of Tahmoor helping all of the farmers impacted in the region being impacted by this drought.

In response to the public support Mr Fairley issued a public thank you to people “for helping take the stress off me and my family’.

“I am feeling so humble and grateful for the responses and 8 months of stress is draining from my body,” he said.

“Thank you again. We are so incredibly grateful for your help.” 

It’s time like these you know there is plenty of good people left in the world to offset the bad.