TROY Hendy had seen the elation and relief the Burrumbuttock Hay Run brought to drought-stricken communities during his three previous runs.
But delivering hay directly to Alroy Station, in Queensland, furthered his appreciation of how tough some farmers had been doing it as they weathered extreme conditions.
The Hendy Transport co-owner delivered hay to Mac and Mary Haig, who managed Alroy Station and several other properties.
“Last year they got 40 millimetres of rain for the whole year,” Troy said.
He said Mac and Mary had been living with drought conditions for about 17 years.
“They just keep going forward,” Troy said.
The people he meets and the stories they share while he’s on the hay run is what motivates Troy to keep travelling from St Arnaud for the initiative, year after year.
He estimated he had racked up about 3000 kilometres between leaving home on Thursday and returning on Sunday night.
Just driving from Cunnamulla, the final meeting point for the hay runners, to Alroy Station was a journey of more than 160 kilometres.
Troy said his truck was one of about 120 involved in the Cunnamulla hay run, which coincided with the Australia Day weekend.
“It’s probably the best way to be spending Australia Day,” he said.
The hay run is all about agricultural communities supporting other agricultural communities.
All 40 of the round roles of hay Troy drove to Queensland came from a western Victorian donor, Josiah Pitcher of Buangor.
“They don’t send all the one type of hay out to the farms,” Troy said.
“They like to give the farmers a bit of a mixture.”
So there was a bit of loading and unloading the hay runners arrived at Cunnamulla, as the hay was swapped around.
About half of the hay Troy said he carried to Alroy Station was from the truck’s original load.
His was one of a number of trucks that ventured west of Cunnamulla to the station.
Troy has been part of the hay run since 2016, when he embarked on two runs in three months.
The trip from St Arnaud to Ilfracombe, in regional Queensland, in March of that year involved a round trip of more than 4000 kilometres.
Troy is far from done with the Burrumbuttock Hay Run.
“If there is another one I’ll be on it,” he said.