My uncle is a dairy farmer who lost everything in the Gippsland bushfires. But he still has to milk the cows every day, so he can’t get away from it. Even though there’s the $75k fund for him, we’re concerned it’s not going to last long. I also worry about his mental health too. What can we do for him?
(I can picture my editor now saying “ this isn’t finance!” And you know what? He’s right. And you know what else? I don’t care.) Look, I know just how tough fire-affected farmers have it right now. Generally it’s the farmer’s wife who comes in to see me, and they often say the same thing: that their husband hasn’t left the farm since the night of the fires — they can’t as they have too much work to do.
As one cocky told me: “the cows won’t milk themselves.”
Can you imagine how hard it would be to work and live in a place that’s been decimated by fires?
Well, one idea, which came from the local community, is to get students from the agricultural colleges to do a few days work placement at these farms. The students could take over the farm so the farmers could get away with their family somewhere that’s not black and burnt, for some much-needed respite.
So, Casey, it may be time for you to take the udders by the hand and help out your uncle!