Selfless act from Owen Primary School

Owen Primary School students and farmers from Robertstown come together after the delivery of hay.
Owen Primary School students and farmers from Robertstown come together after the delivery of hay.

Farmers in Robertstown and Geranium Plains will be set for the dry season thanks to the generosity of a group of mid-north primary school students.

Last Friday morning, 32 bales of hay were donated and shared between eight farmers from the area.

The donation was made possible through the hard work and dedication by 16 Year 3 and 4 students from Owen Primary School. 

After participating in the Fiver for a Farmer rural aid campaign, the students were keen to continue their efforts and the Rope 4 Hope idea was developed.

The students aged between eight and 10 years old had sacrificed their recess and lunch breaks over the past few months to make bracelets which have been sold for $2 each.

Orders have been placed from far and wide for bracelets, some even coming from as far as Sydney, while schools from around the state have also chipped in by donating money generated through their own fundraisers.

Owen Primary SSO Abbie Tiller said the students had “exceed immensely” what they had initially set out to accomplish.

“The kids were just so enthusiastic,” Mrs Tiller said.

“They were pretty adamant, drought had been declared in other states and there was so much emphasis on Queensland and New South Wales. We had watched a few things and they were just adamant that there were farmers in South Australia that are struggling.

“They just wanted to help closer to home and I think they have done really well.”

This was the second delivery of hay after a number of bales were sent to farmers on the Eyre Peninsula. 

Acting as the decision makers and all given their own roles, the students developed the motto “we might be kids but we can still make a difference.”

Mrs Tiller said that they had certainly made a difference.

A bus carrying the group of students and staff journeyed from Owen to Robertstown on Friday for the handover of the hay.

It gave the students the opportunity to witness first hand just how bad the drought conditions were in parts of South Australia. 

Robertstown farmer Simon Schmidt was one of the eight farmers who shared in the bales.

Mr Schmidt said he was impressed that the group of school students had been able to make such an impact and that their efforts showed at least someone was taking notice of the farmers struggles during the tough conditions this year.

Adrian Schmidt was almost at a loss words last Friday when a group of school students dropped hay bales to drought stricken farmers in Robertstown.

In a speech to the kids, Mr Schmidt thanked them for their hard work to purchase the hay bales.

This year Mr Schmidt, who has 160 sheep, this year has run about 40 percent of the livestock he normally does and he said his biggest fear was not being able to feed his stock.

“The worst thing for a farmer in drought is you will lay in bed at night and you worry about your sheep not eating,” he said.

“Knowing they are getting a feed, you can sleep. We just could not source the hay, that was worst part. 

“This here means the world to me, it means I can actually sleep and have peace of mind.”

Mr Schmidt is no stranger to drought having battled the conditions in 1982 and 2007 but he said both were nothing compared to what he had experienced in the last two years.