From Malmsbury to Gippsland, with love

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Central Victoria is extending its support to dairy farmers in need on the other side of the state.

Malmsbury resident Sue Love will make the more than 200 kilometre journey to Warragul late next week to deliver donations to struggling farming families. 

She has called for donations of non-perishable foods, cleaning products, toiletries and pet food. 

Ms Love said people had given “about a station wagon full” of goods to the campaign since it started on Wednesday, and is hoping to be able to fill a trailer with items before setting off.

People can donate at the Malmsbury Town Hall between 9am and 3pm on July 27, or at Malmsbury Primary School during school hours until July 27. 

“We’ve got the support of the local IGA and an account has been opened for any cash donations,” Ms Love said. 

“There is about $600 in there at the moment.”

Donations from the Malmsbury community to support dairy farmers at an event in Warragul. Picture: SUPPLIED

Donations from the Malmsbury community to support dairy farmers at an event in Warragul. Picture: SUPPLIED

The donations are bound for an invitation only event in Warragul on July 29, organised by Drouin mother of four Bec Olsson in support for Baw Baw Shire dairy farmers. 

“I have watched my dad for the last 30 years struggle to support his family,” Mrs Olsson said. 

“The devastation this sort of thing causes is unbeknown to a lot of Australia.”

She said she had an apple in her throat and tears in her eyes when Ms Love called to offer her assistance.

“I am absolutely blown away,” she said. 

“Although I always knew the dairy industry had a lot of local support behind it I am absolutely gobsmacked by the number of people that have contacted me that want to help but haven’t known how to.”

She said a Facebook group called Gippsland Farmer Relief Incorporated was further supporting dairy farmers in the area.

Ms Love said the idea for the Malmsbury charity drive came from an awareness about how hard dairy farmers had been doing it.

“I’ve been following the plight of the dairy farmers for quite a while,” she said.

“I think it is important to encourage them to hang in there and stay on their farms. 

“We are a very small community [in Malmsbury], but I believe we are a caring community and would like to do something.”

Ms Love said people could call her on 0408 336 352 for more information about how to donate.

Dingee dairy worker Sharlene Crage, organiser of the Milked Dry campaign. Picture: SUPPLIED

Dingee dairy worker Sharlene Crage, organiser of the Milked Dry campaign. Picture: SUPPLIED

Milked Dry

Out of the dairy farming community of Dingee has come the Milked Dry fundraiser.

Dairy worker Sharlene Crage, 53, is behind the crowdfunding campaign.

It seeks to raise money to buy dairy products, which will then be donated to food relief charities to distribute to people in need. 

“Farmers are telling us that if we can purchase their dairy products, it will move the stockpiled product and stimulate the industry and save their businesses,” Ms Crage said. 

Twenty-six people have donated $2735 since the campaign started, just over a quarter of its $10,000 goal.

Ms Crage said the campaign was inspired by a mood of “quiet desperation” she had sensed in the Dingee community.

“After emerging from a drought, this could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back” she said.

She said towns and communities throughout Australia would be affected if dairy farmers went broke.

”Four towns in my area will die if the dairy farmers go broke and stop spending money locally,” she said.

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