Boisdale boosts dairy morale

BOISDALE Consolidated School has rallied behind local dairy farmers, hosting a morning tea for the Gippsland Farmer Relief Drive on Friday morning.

The morning tea was an opportunity for farmers to enjoy a cuppa and some biccies, as well as receiving some support from the community and relevant financial information.

Mary Ward, parent of three Boisdale Consolidated students, explained the school community wanted to show the farmers that there was help available.

“Today is all about getting farmers out of houses to see what support networks are on offer,” Ms Ward said.

“I appreciate that I can go to the store and get my milk, my butter, my cream without the hardship, these guys are getting paid peanuts to work 24 hours a day.”

Principal David Keil said the community had been rocked by the latest dairy price announcements.

“It’s all been an awful shock,” Mr Keil said.

“We can’t do much about the milk prices, but we can let them know the school is here to support.

“The farmers in this area have been generous, with enormous contributions in good times, so we need to show the farming community we value them as much as they value the school.”

Cattle producer Melissa Ferguson launched Gippsland Farmer Relief Drive by putting a call out on Facebook, and coordinates “low-key” but “practical” relief efforts.

Friday’s morning tea was the first of many that will be occurring throughout the Gippsland region over the coming months.

“Today is the first catalyst in regenerating the community,” said Ms Ferguson.

“It’s much more personal than going into the government offices, it’s brought the information to a community level.”

Wellington Shire councillor Malcolm Hole said the morning was a great display of community solidarity.

“When people are experiencing similar events in their lives, it’s important they come together it strengthens communities.”

The kitchen, which has only been in operation since November last year, was the perfect setting for the morning.

“The kitchen was built by families, tradesmen and the like, and the community raised all the funds necessary,” explained Ms Ward.

“So when we were looking for ways to bring the community into the kitchen, we decided what better way than combining the two for farmers in need.”

The food was prepared by the Boisdale Composite School grade four, five and six classes in the school’s kitchen, where the children usually prepare the produce they grow in the school garden.