First and foremost the Otago Rural Support Trust is about rural people helping rural individuals and communities to cope during difficult times.

The Trust and its coordinators are skilled in assisting rural people through adverse events such as flooding, drought, snowstorms, and also financial, animal welfare, and personal crises. The Trust is well connected with rural networks, Civil Defence, local and central government agencies, making the Trust well placed to get things done that might be difficult for individuals.

More specifically the Trust can:

Help during and following an adverse weather event

The Trust is directly linked into local civil defence and can provide you with information and assist you in getting emergency or on-going help. This may include movement of stock, financial support, labour or other needs during or following an adverse event.

Help facilitate and advocate

The Trust's coordinators can help by facilitating assistance from financial organisations, government agencies, and farm management consultancies.

Support during personal, environmental, and/or financial difficulties

The coordinators are trained to help find ways to manage these types of rural challenges. Often all that's needed is someone to talk to and listen to your problems. They may assist with referrals to appropriate professional help for stress management, mentoring, financial and farm management counseling.

Services are free and confidential.

News & Alerts

Flooding in rural Otago and Canterbury

as at 10am 26 July 2017

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Author: Terri Anderson

Useful contacts for rural people affected by flooding:

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After the rain - coordinated rural cleanup begins

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Author: Terri Anderson

The rural clean-up has begun after the weekend storm which caused extensive flooding throughout Otago and Canterbury.

A recovery team including CDEM, Federated Farmers, MPI, DairyNZ, Beef + LambNZ, Fonterra and the Otago Rural Support Trust is coordinating farm support and information events as the floodwaters in Otago start to recede.

“While farmers in on the Taieri are used to flooding, the intensity of the deluge on already sodden land has left a few farms at least half underwater,” says Otago farmer and Rural Support Trust Trustee Mike Lord.

The first priority in such an event is always the safety and wellbeing of people.

“We’re a pretty connected community here,” says Mike, “and in a flood like this we all tend to knock on doors, check on each other and help out our neighbours.  It’s a good idea to check in especially on the elderly lady down the road, as it has to be pretty bad before some of these people will ask for help!”

Federated Farmers has activated their helpline for both members and non-members, and are encouraging any farmers who can offer immediate grazing to get in touch. There have been more than 20 calls over the weekend, with some offers of feed and several urgent grazing requests. Farmers are encouraged to log their needs including cleanup.

“Flood affected farmers looking for help should contact Federated Farmers’ 0800 327 646 helpline, which is a primary source of contact for farmers who want to request or offer assistance,” says Federated Farmers’ Adverse Events Spokesperson Andrew Hoggard.

“This is a tried and tested resource, operated by people who understand farmers and farming.”

“We’re also working with the Local Rural Support Trust. Those feeling stressed or getting overwhelmed should contact them on 0800 RURAL HELP. It’s free and confidential,” says Andrew.

DairyNZ and Fonterra have been in contact with farmers throughout the weekend and are assisting with stock movement and milk transport where needed.

“Fortunately its early days for calving and lambing,” says MPI Animal Welfare lead Wayne Ricketts. “Maintaining feed to those animals late in pregnancy has to be a priority to prevent metabolic conditions such as milk fever, staggers or sleepy sickness.

“Farmers and agri-business organisations are working well together. MPI’s animal welfare line has only received one call about animals in floodwaters, and is open should farmers want to seek additional advice.”

A series of information events are also being set up for this week and farmers are encouraged to take an hour and come along.

- Henley Hall, 12.30pm today (Tuesday 25th)

- White Horse Inn, Milton, 12.30pm today (Tuesday 25th)

-  Clutha Vets, Balclutha, 12.30pm Wednesday 26th

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·         If life or property is at risk - call 111

·         Please call Federated Farmers on 0800 327 646 (0800 FARMING) for requests for feed

·         Farmers who can OFFER feed or grazing are asked to call Federated Farmers on 0800 327 646 (0800 FARMING).

·&n

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Weather warning - during and after snowstorms

As at 21 July 2017

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Author: Terri Anderson

After snow and ice ‚Äč

It's all hands on deck!

  • Call your local Rural Support Trust for free confidential conversations on 0800 787 254
  • Look after yourself, your family, workers and neighbours. Ask for help and accept it when offered.
  • Ensure stock and domestic animals have water, food, shelter, and are secure.
  • Ensure that all stock injuries are promptly attended too, after human needs are met
  • Look for and report broken utility lines to appropriate authorities. Treat all lines as live.

Keeping on after a snowstorm

MPI has animal welfare recommendations here (pdf)

Beef+Lamb and Dairy NZ provide some good advice on their websites.

www.dairynz.co.nz/feed/seasonal-management/spring-management/magnesium-calcium-and-energy/

www.beeflambnz.com/Documents/Farm/Metabolic%20disease%20in%20ewes.pdf

Some handy tips from farmers who have been there, done that...

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