Boulia producer raises $70k for drought

Drought-stricken farmer raises $70,000 in 10 days to get feed to cattle

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Jack Nielson's hope to get 7,000 bales of hay to the drought-stricken farms in west Queensland was realised on Thursday. Photo: Dollar for Drought/Facebook

Jack Nielson's hope to get 7,000 bales of hay to the drought-stricken farms in west Queensland was realised on Thursday. Photo: Dollar for Drought/Facebook

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Boulia's Jack Nielson kicked off a campaign to raise $70,000 and get thousands of bales of hay to drought-stricken properties in remote Queensland.

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In just 10 days a producer from central west Queensland raised $70,000 to get thousands of bales of hay to drought-stricken properties in remote Queensland.

Jack Nielson, a 26-year-old third-generation cattleman from Boulia, used his Dollar for Drought Facebook page, set up in October 2015, to help rally thousands of people wanting to help Queensland farmers who have been hit hardest by drought.

Mr Nielson asked for donations to be made through the OzCrowd crowdfunding site to raise the $70,000 needed to fuel the 130 volunteered road trains carrying 7000 bales of hay up from Burrumbuttock, in New South Wales, to Ilfracombe, central west Queensland, where the hay would be distributed to drought-stricken farms.

More than 1900 people donated to the site and reached the $70,000 goal on Thursday, four days before the campaign finished.

Mr Nielson wrote that his family was battling to get through the "worst drought in living memory", with livestock dying and dams drying.

He said he was "astounded" people had helped raise the money to get the road truck convoy, Burrumbuttock Hay Runners, on the road by January 9, 2016.

"What a great show of Aussie mateship, just extraordinary to be honest," Mr Nielson wrote to the Dollar for Drought Facebook page.

"To the kids that gave their pocket money, the pensioners that gave their last few dollars, the everyday families that went without to donate, the ones who gave thousands and the ones who gave a dollar, every single donation made this happen and you should be very proud."

Burrumbuttock Hay Runners' Brendan Farrell said Mr Nielson had "blown his socks off" with the amount of money he managed to raise to get fuel to the truck drivers "trying to help out a fellow Aussie in times of hardship".

"It's amazing what happens when people put their minds and heads together instead of running around red tape. Why don't we just do the bloody job we are supposed to be doing, and that is helping people," Mr Farrell said on a video posted to the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners Facebook page.

"If we can keep raising money, we will keep sending hay up  we will keep going until Mother Nature does what she does best, rain.

"I am pretty excited; it's going to happen."

Forty-three councils and five part-council areas are drought declared in Queensland and Mr Nielson is just one of many farmers who have taken to social media to raise awareness and ask for donations.

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