Buy-a-Bull project launched for drought-affected farmers


Brendan Farrell, of Burrumbuttock Hay Runners, launched the Buy-a-Bull project at the Henty Machinery Field Days.

Australian of the Year nominee Brendan Farrell used the Henty Machinery Field Days to launch his latest project to donate bulls and rams to drought-affected farmers.

Mr Farrell, the founder of Burrumbuttock Hay Runners, spoke at The Stump on September 22 about his newest charitable project, Buy-a-Bull.

He also flagged a delivery of 500-600 trailer loads of hay planned for Victorian dairy farmers early in the New Year.

Mr Farrell, of Stanbridge, NSW, said stock agents were inspecting herd bulls in Queensland for the Buy-a-Bull program.

“If we can buy bulls at $3000-$4000, we will donate them to farmers who want to rebuild their herds,’’ he said.

“There will be a category on the application form so producers can nominate what type of bull they require.

“The bulls will be delivered to Blackall saleyards and distributed into a 500km radius of Longreach, taking in Hughenden, Winton and Cunnamulla.

“It all depends where the farmers are – if we have four or five farmers in Cunnamulla, we will truck some down to them.’’

Mr Farrell said the next phase of the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners was to look to the future, despite drought breaking rains in western Queensland.

“We need to start this program to get mouths to eat all that grass that is growing,’’ he said.

“The grass is good but it only needs to be dry for six months and they are back to where they started.’’

Mr Farrell said Ray White Narrandera and Wagga had come on board to also source rams from the Riverina for the project.

Freight for the seedstock has already been donated.

“We have triple road trains and stock crates ready to rock and roll – blokes are over the moon to do whatever part they can,’’ he said.

Mr Farrell attended the field days for the first time in 25 years and was blown away by the event.

He donated the use of the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners courtesy bus in the field days car park, and sold merchandise from the BHR trailer to raise money for drought-affected farmers.

“It’s an absolute pleasure to be here and hopefully we can keep doing it,’’ he said.

“The Hay Runners look after drought, fire and flood – we will tackle the dairy industry now to keep the dream alive for them.’’

The Hay Runners have completed 12 hay runs in the past three years to Bourke, Weimoringal, Brewarrina, Tilpa, Louth and Lightening Ridge in NSW.

In January, 167 trucks crossed the Queensland border carrying donated hay to Ilfracombe.

This was followed in April by a world record 160km long convoy of 252 prime movers pulling 405 trailers of hay to Queensland.

This equated to 14,000 big squares transported from Darlington Point to Ilfracombe in 48 hours.

“When you see someone down, just give them a hand up,’’ Mr Farrell said.

“The Australian of the Year award nomination is all good and well, but they would have to chop it up into about 700 pieces, as that is how many truck drivers, wives and kids come along on the hay runs.’’

To date, Burrumbuttock Hay Runners have donated 60,000 square and round bales to more than 7500 farmers.

A former dairy farmer, Mr Farrell said a delivery of 500-600 trailer loads of hay was planned for Victorian dairy farmers early in the New Year.

“There are lot of people on the HMFD committee who come on our hay runs,’’ he said.

“I call it the pill of giving – once that pill goes in your heart, you can’t stop.

“We have had truck drivers who have been on 12 runs and they can’t get enough of it.’’

Donations to the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners appeal are collected by the Rotary Club of Sydney.