On April 21, the Dyldam Parramatta Eels start a new chapter in their rivalry with the Wests Tigers with an Easter Monday blockbuster at ANZ Stadium.
This game has a special meaning: it’s not just a great game of footy, it’s also a celebration of all things country and a chance for us to show our support #forthefarmers.
Second-rower Ben Smith headed to Quirindi in North-West New South Wales to sit down with Helen, Darryl and John Smith, and find out what life on the land is like.
"I heard a lady talking one day about her husband having to go out and shoot stock, and she said 'it’s as if every time you do a tiny bit of your soul dies with it’. How much resilience do we have, how long can we keep going?” - Helen Smith
Times are tough on the land in New South Wales. More than half of New South Wales farmers are receiving drought relief, and in some areas, there has been no rain for more than 12 months.
With not enough crops and no opportunity to make hay, 85% of farmers are trucking in feed to hand feed their stock. Feed is expensive, but prices to sell livestock are so low, they have no choice. Farmers are left with the agonising choice to kill their own livestock when they get to weak to survive.
The emotional toll can sometimes be too heavy to bear.
“You’ve just sort of got to get to the other end of it, try to find light at the end of the tunnel." - John and Darryl Smith
That’s why this Easter Monday, our match against the Wests Tigers is #forthefarmers.
We’ve taken this opportunity to partner with NSW Farmers to support our farming communities.
With entertainment thanks to the Royal Easter Show, and the option for exhibitors to attend the game as guests of the Dyldam Parramatta Eels, we’re taking this chance to reach out to country New South Wales and show that we’re here.
When you show up to the game, you show our farmers that you understand what they’re going through.
And when you share this video, you share the hardship that our country families are dealing with.
“The fact is that people in the country need a hand when the going gets tough.” - John Smith
This one is #forthefarmers.