GLENRAC fit farmer event to help agricultural battle with drought

GLENRAC coordinator Kylie Falconer has invited all members of the Glen Innes community to their annual fit farmers event in Emmaville this month.

The event was launched five years ago during severe drought and aims to build up the physical, mental and financial wellbeing of the community in order to take on dry conditions.

The event will feature a line-up of industry professional speakers who are passionate about ensuring rural people have access to the most up to date help and support.

"Fit Farmers was first launched in the very dry year of 2014 to address issues arising from severe drought conditions, and this year we are seeing a very similar pattern across the region," says GLENRAC landcare coordinator, Kylie Falconer.

"You don't have to be a farmer to participate, and all are welcome to come along and enjoy the morning at Emmaville.

"As an added incentive, eligible participants can leave the day with access to rebates up to $2,500 for business related safety equipment."

The event is held on R U OK day during suicide prevention month, on September 12 at the Emmaville Tattersalls' Hotel from 10.30 to 1pm.

Rural adversity mental health program coordinator Matthew Milne will help explain how to have difficult, but potentially lifesaving, conversations with people who might be struggling, and where to seek support.

Rural financial counsellor Stuart Brummell will give an update on the current financial and income assistance support available for farming operations.

"For many farm businesses, their 'financial health', or resilience, will be tested during a period of drought. For some, there may be significant financial impact that lingers for a prolonged period after a return to normal seasonal conditions," he said.

"I will discuss some of the planning options to avoid cash flow deficits that may erode farm equity and increase family/individual stress. I will also provide an update on the latest drought assistance measures to support eligible drought impacted farm businesses."

The day will include presentations from Safe Work NSW, including a focus on small business and quad bike rebates (to a total value of $2,500) that participants may be eligible for, Achema Insurance, who will be discussing whether attendees are getting the best from their farm insurance and how to manage on-farm risks; and the NSW Police, who will be discussing current rural crime issues.

There will also be displays by Healthwise New England North West, Northern Tablelands Local Land Services and New England Weeds Authority.