Western NSW farmers dig deep to raise big bucks for cancer


Farmers harvesting in the Western NSW communities of Trangie, Nevertire, Warren and Narromine have banded together, with the help of GrainCorp, to assist one local fundraiser exceed $10 thousand in donations towards cancer support services.

“The world needs more Claire Jenkins’.”

It’s a short note posted online Claire Jenkins’ Stars of Dubbo fundraising page by one of her many supporters. A sweet momento – and fair indication of the impact Mrs Jenkins has on her local Trangie community, a small township an hour from Dubbo with a large farming community, despite having a population fewer than 1200 people.

Ms Jenkins is one of 13 community members participating in a charity dance which raises funds for Cancer Council NSW.

Claire Jenkins is raising funds for Cancer Council NSW

Leading up to the 2021 harvest, Claire was brainstorming ways to raise money as part of her commitment to participate in Stars of Dubbo: Dance for Cancer 2022, when the landscape around her bore inspiration.

“I thought about all the usual ideas of raffles, luncheons, begging friends and family and I kept coming back to the bumper wheat crop and wondering how I could utilize it,” Claire said.

“I wandered into Delta Ag in Trangie to toss around possibilities and ran into Greg Radford from Tottenham, who suggested setting up a sheep feeder bin at the sampling site at the local grain handling facility.”

I drove to Trangie GrainCorp and Nevertire GrainCorp that day to test the water, so to speak, and got wonderful support from the site managers, Jackson Baker and Adam Cooke. I rang Stacey Irvine, site manager at Narromine GrainCorp who was also very enthusiastic.

That was the beginning of Crops for Cancer.

Team effort

Teaming up with fellow stars and Warren farmers, Tim, Brad and Matt, the stars – bolstered by the support of GrainCorp and NSW Cancer Council were able to collect grain samples across four receival sites.

Donated grain is put into a feeder bin expertly designed by Claire’s husband.

“How it works is that the sample taken from each load of grain for testing for grade and moisture etc, usually gets thrown in the next truck, but in this case, the staff put it in the sheep feeder bin set up at the end of the sampling stand,” explained Claire.

“Once the bin is full, it gets tested and then the staff empty the bin into a front-end loader, weigh off and dump in the appropriate silo or bunker.”

Proceeds from the donated grain is then directly transferred to the fundraising tally.

“This whole fundraiser would never have succeeded without the support and enthusiasm of the GrainCorp staff at the Trangie, Nevertire and Narromine sites, and without the tacit approval of the farmers of the district,” Claire said.

Nor she said, without the generous donations of grain by the region’s farming community.

Without the farmers there would be no grain and no income. From conversations I’ve had with them, there is a strong attitude of support for fundraising for the Cancer Council.

“So far, we have raised $11,000, and with the harvest extending into the New Year, I am sure there will be a reasonable amount still to come in. This has been really exciting, and it is not a huge impost on any one individual farmer, but an amalgamation of lots of half-buckets of grain.”

Cancer Council Orange community relations coordinator, Cassandra Sullivan has been amazed by the generosity of the farming community, despite the impacts of heavy rain on the region.

Warren and Trangie are the most wonderful and generous rural communities, and we are so thrilled to see everyone getting behind the crops for cancer campaign.

A sentiment echoed by Claire.

“I really feel for the farmers who were looking at a real bumper year which would help even out the drought years in the recent past, and no doubt, the drought years to come. Not to mention the flood in the middle.”

Cancer support services to reap the rewards

Money donated from local farmers will go towards improving cancer support services and treatment in Western NSW.

“All funds raised will go towards funding Cancer Council’s research, support services and programs such as Transport to Treatment that directly benefits those living with cancer in regional Australia.”

A main driver for Claire to say yes when asked to participate in the fundraiser this year.

“The thought of helping raise funds to support programs that assist rural and regional people to access care, and manage their illness a little more easily really appealed to me. A lot of the money raised also goes to research, and the advances being made in treatment of cancer are strongly supported by donated money,” said Claire.

Both women say the fundraising initiative would not be possible without the dedication of GrainCorp.

“I would like to thank GrainCorp for their support in helping Claire and the team set up this initiative which has already received a huge amount of donations which will make a lasting impact for cancer patients and their families,” praised Cassandra Sullivan.

The whole iniative would not work without the hard work of the GrainCorp staff – it is up to them to handle the bins, and this is an extra job each day, in addition to their usual work. I give my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to them, and their management that has allowed it to happen

Claire Jenkins

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