Helping in the drought’s ‘black dog’ battle
NOTHING could be more demoralising for a farmer than to get out of bed each morning to look out over a field of dust, Moranbah resident Bob Kohler said.
But the 61-year-old cattle producer said this was the view that many rural communities faced each day.
"I know how hard it is on people. What they're going through," Mr Kohler said.
"It's very emotional when you get out of bed in the morning and are met with nothing but dust."
For graziers, whose life and livelihood was about protecting their herd, the drought was especially devastating, he said.
"You're looking at your cows and they look back at you like you're the only thing that can help them," Mr Kohler said.
"To see them starving would just pull your heart out.
"You think that you're to blame".
Mr Kohler said the current drought was worse than any he had seen.
"We've been through drought before, but we've never been through what they're going through," he said
"The banks don't ring up and say 'don't worry about paying your bills this month'," he said.
"I've had my run-in with the black dog".
"It's a horrific thing to go through."
After reading stories about the drought, Mr Kohler decided it was time to act.
He took his truck out to a station and bought 44 bales of hay.
But that was just the start.
"Instead of just sending the hay down, we can send two waves of help down," he said.
Mr Kohler plans to auction each bale to raise money for mental health services for farmers.
By holding a charity event where individuals and businesses can bid to sponsor the bales, Mr Kohler estimates he can raise $15,000-$20,000.
He said one business, Platinum Blasting, had set the bar with a preliminary bid of $300 for a bale.
The self-described "bloody bushy" admitted he was new to organising charity events, and his plans were still in their early stages.
Nevertheless, he said was optimistic about the good the event would bring to troubled farmers.
To assist in Mr Kohler's Moranbah Drought Appeal, or for more information, contact either email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org