Local producers are invited to a Farmers Forum on Wednesday 10 April, to discuss the potential of establishing a cooperative buying group and a collaborative approach to drought response for the Parkes Shire.

The Parkes Shire's Drought Response Officer (DRO) Roger Kitson, based at Neighbourhood Central has been working closely with local community members and groups to identify potential opportunities that can be implemented to assist drought affected residents.

“A number of farmers I have spoken to mentioned that they were thinking about purchasing hay with their neighbours and splitting transport costs," Roger said.

"I researched the idea of bulk purchasing hay/fodder and presented the preliminary results to Council for discussion. It was determined that a farmers forum was required to facilitate further discussions regarding a collective buying group for the region.”

Since commencing in the role in February, Roger has worked to collate and coordinate all available support and financial assistance avenues that our drought affected residents can access.

“As Drought Response Officer, I am hoping this forum will be a catalyst for other ideas to be presented on the day," Roger added.

"Whilst charity hay drops and donations are always welcomed, the future forecast for droughts and other severe climatic events is said to be increasing in both frequency and intensity. Therefore, the more that farmers in the Parkes Shire region can collectively work together the more resilient and sustainable we become.”

As part of the Forum, attendees will have the opportunity to hear from Roger about the cooperative concept and available drought relief avenues, as well as participate in an open floor discussion regarding a collaborative approach to drought relief.

The Farmers Forum will be held at Parkes Leagues Club on Wednesday 10 April 2019, commencing at 9am until 12.30pm. A light breakfast and morning tea will be provided.

For more information about the Farmers Forum, contact Neighbourhood Central and Parkes Shire Drought Response Officer, Roger Kitson on 0428 868 200 or dro@ncentral.org.au.

For more details about drought support measures, click here.