Social media support for farmers

03:26, Jun 24 2013

A facebook page aiming to connect farmers struggling to deal with the snow has been established by the South Canterbury Rural Support Trust.

Clayton Station's Hamish Orbell says the Mackenzie District Council and SC Trust have been excellent sources of information and assistance over the past four days.

On Clayton they have had 14 workers out snow raking, operating feed out tractors, a couple in graders, and a helicopter delivering feed to cattle higher up on the hills.

Although without power for two and a half days, the Orbells were greatful that Netcon and the Alpine power companies were able to work through the weekend restoring power to the area.

Several Central Otago farmers need public help after snow storms last week left them isolated.

Federated Farmers and the Otago Rural Support Trust are asking for volunteers to assist with 40 farms in the region that are cut off and need help with snow-raking to reach stock.


Federated Farmers adverse events spokeswoman Katie Milne said some farms needed serious help. The areas hit particularly hard were around Danseys Pass, almost in a line from Naseby and Clarks Junction, between Dunedin and Middlemarch.

There was a shortage of available hands and a lot of work to get through, she said.

Some farmers had employed helicopter operators and she urged neighbours in affected areas to contact one another and try to co-ordinate the use of choppers.

"Our combined plan is simple and that is to match snow rakers with the farmers who need them, but we can only get people to them where we've got some form of access."

She asked people willing to help to get in contact with the rural trust. Volunteers are asked to contact Otago Rural Support Trust representative David Mellish on 021 102 9890.

The Timaru Herald