Drought Shout aid grows

By Trevor Quinn of the Wairarapa Times-Age -

One of the organisers of next month's Drought Shout at Tui Brewery in Mangatainoka has said he is "overwhelmed but not surprised" by the support for the event.

The Drought Shout is the brain child of business leaders from Tui Brewery, PGG Wrightsons and Baker & Associates.

Sam Orsborn, a director at agricultural consultancy Baker & Associates and one of the event's organisers, said that organisers had raised $65,000 in one week and an additional $16,000 worth of in-kind support had been gifted.

"As soon as we announced the Drought Shout last week, it brought a deluge of support from local, regional and national businesses, many pledging their support financially while others are donating silage, stock feed and agricultural products," Mr Orsborn said.

"We're overwhelmed but not surprised as it reinforces how our business community is all in this battle together."

Mr Orsborn said that any monies remaining will go the Federated Farmers' Drought Relief Fund.

Wairarapa sheep and beef farmer Rob Dick farms a 300ha property near Gladstone and he said the drought was the worst he had experienced during his six years in the region.

Mr Dick said that compared to the drought in 2008, this one had been going on much longer.

"It started in spring meaning there was no spring growth and the hot summer has denied vital rain for stock drinking water and for supplementary feed crops," Mr Dick said.

"Also geographically it affects a much larger region, meaning farmers are now feeding stock with winter feeds and being forced to source supplementary feeds from the South Island. I don't think the full effects of this drought will be felt until next year."

The Drought Shout will run from midday until 5.30pm on April 11 at the Tui Brewery, Mangatainoka.

For further information on how businesses can contribute log on to www.bakerag.co.nz

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