News Release

Drought Stricken Farmers Receive Support From Latter-day Saints and Friends

Baradine, a country town in New South Wales, Australia, 491km North West of Sydney, is in the grip of the severe drought presently affecting much of Eastern Australia. Farmers in this rural community are struggling to earn a living as drought conditions mean no crops and reduced stock numbers.

Mark Hamstead, a member of the Emu Plains Ward (congregation) in the Penrith Australia Stake (diocese) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints became aware of their plight after reading their story in the news. The report told of the Baradine CWA (Country Womens' Association) efforts to establish a 'drought pantry' to provide basic food and household items for struggling farming families in the area. The supplies for this pantry come entirely from donations, so Brother Hamstead contacted Nea Worrell, president of the Baradine CWA Drought Aid Pantry, to offer assistance.

Subsequently, with the approval of the Penrith Stake leadership, non-perishable foods and other household goods were collected over a period of three weeks. Several church members also invited donations from their workplaces, gyms, and other friends and family, who likewise donated generously.


A convoy of four utilities and two trailers were needed to transport the estimated four to five tonnes of donated goods and, after a six hour drive on Friday 15th November 2019, the volunteers were warmly greeted by some very excited and grateful members of the Baradine CWA. They and other helpers assisted in unloading all the donations. 


The volunteers were then invited to visit the mayor’s property and several local farms. To see firsthand the barren cropping fields plowed but unsown, farm dams at extremely low levels,dead animals in the fields amongst the living, and hugely depleted stock numbers, proved a sobering experience for all. The stories were sad and poignant, but the resilience of the farmers and their families was inspiring. 

Everywhere the volunteers went, they were introduced as the people who had re-stocked their 'drought pantry', and the gratitude of the beneficiaries was extended to all who had donated so generously. 

For suggestions on other ways to lighten someone's load this Christmas, click here.

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