Letter from Jamie Drury, dairy farmer from Emmie-R Farms, Attunga, Peel Valley, New South Wales.
My name is Jamie Drury and I’m a seventh generation dairy farmer. I’m writing on behalf of many more farmers like me to say thank you for helping us to get by during the drought by choosing Dairy Farmers milk.
Farming is a tough business. Last year we had the worst rainfall in more than 100 years on record. We came into this drought about two years ago and we’ve seen input costs rise substantially due to shortages. As examples, our water bill is now 12 times higher than before the drought, hay is four times more expensive and grain prices have doubled, let alone all of these being extremely difficult to source.
Recognising how hard the drought was impacting its dairy farmer partners, our milk processor partner – Lion Dairy & Drinks – launched its Be True Blue Farmer Drought Fund and added 10 cents per litre to the wholesale milk price of Dairy Farmers 1, 2 and 3-litre fresh white milk at participating retailers in NSW, Qld and Victoria from October last year until the end of January this year. The campaign has raised $3.487million, all of which goes to dairy farmers who supplied the milk.
The extra money has helped to offset the significant increase in the cost of producing milk during the drought, supporting farmers and our local communities to get through a very difficult time. The campaign has also shown farmers that people know we’re doing it tough and are prepared to give us a hand to help us through. That means a lot to us.
Since the start of the program, rain has fallen in some of the drought-affected areas of New South Wales, (unfortunately not in ours) and conditions have improved, but we still have a long way to go. We need a lot more consistent rainfall. New grain crops have to be planted and will take a season to grow so we can get feed, and most farmers need to rebuild their herds after having to reduce numbers through the drought. It will take many years for farmers and rural communities to financially recover from this drought.
Thanks again for buying Dairy Farmers milk. Your ongoing support really does make a big difference.