Why is Canada Bay Club Adopting Cows?

Our farmers are struggling in the grip of the worst drought in memory so Canada Bay Club is getting behind local Country Valley Milk’s innovative ‘Adopt-A-Cow’ initiative to do our bit to help support this local farming family.

The drought is reaching crisis point. In Sydney it is sometimes easy to feel disconnected from our farmers but they are an intrinsic part of our community just the same. Canada Bay Club has adopted seven cows to date, contributing funds from our September meat raffles with proceeds going to Adopt-A-Cow.

Adopt-A-Cow was started by local dairy farmer John Fairley of Country Valley in Picton, just a short drive from Sydney. He is a 6th generation farmer and the dairy has been in the family since the 1850s. In May this year, he realised he need to swallow his pride and ask for help so he could afford to feed his cows through the winter after calculating it would cost $1350 to feed each cow until September; he has 130 cows. He came up with the creative idea of asking people to adopt his cows.

“One of the options to get through the drought was to shut the dairy down,” explains John to Wollondilly Advertiser. “I just can’t do it. The dairy is part of who we are,” he says. “We all grew up helping our dad and grandfather on weekends and school holidays. I want my grandkids to help my son and maybe my daughter in the future.”

When you adopt one of John’s cows or calves you get sent a photo. You can also visit your cow, tour the farm, milk a cow and help feed the calves. John will also let you know when your cow has a calf – a birth announcement if you will! It’s a great gift for young children and grandchildren. What better way for them to understand what is going on in rural Australia than to visit a farm and learn firsthand where the milk they drink comes from? A visit to Country Valley dairy is an easy daytrip from Sydney and a great experience for the whole family.

Initially John thought he would just need to raise enough money to keep his cows fed through the winter, but there has been very little rain since May and the drought has worsened. In August, all of New South Wales was declared in drought by the government after a drier than expected June and July. Feed for livestock has become more scarce and prices have risen. “My 83-year-old dad said he has never seen it worse than this,” says John.

Pop down to Canada Bay Club reception for details on how to Adopt-A-Cow and help a very special farmer and his family during a tough time. Alternatively, follow his story on facebook. And don’t forget to keep buying tickets in the meat raffle!

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