Bacon festival raises staggering amount for farmers in need
LOOKING back at the results from BaconFest, chief Baconeer Kathryn Stevens is proud of and amazed by everyone's generosity to donate to farmers in need during the August event.
"We always had the concept of a gold coin donation to enter the market, and we had such generosity shown from our sponsors, so that allows us the flexibility to be able to use those funds to put back into the community," she said.
"We raised $16,000 over the event, and just gave it all to Graham House. It was all strictly from gold coin donations, so you can imagine what it was like to be there. Debbie Cox, who is a great member of the Kingaroy community, sat at the Bacon HQ over that weekend just counting all this money from the buckets and they just kept coming."
Ms Stevens believes people made the extra effort to donate, knowing it was for farmers in need.
"It was so amazing, the generosity of people. We certainly didn't expect $16,000. I think for impromptu donations like that, it's just phenomenal. I'm sure when people came in, they would've donated a little bit more than just that dollar entry," she said.
"We had the buckets clearly marked that all the funds would be going to the famers in the region, who were really in need, and it's not just drought that they're battling, it's a whole lot of different things."
With bacon as the main topic, Ms Stevens feels it's important to give pig farmers the help they desperately need.
"Particularly for pig producers at the moment, they're not eligible for the same drought assistance funding as other farmers, because of a variety of reasons," she said.
"For Graham House to have money that they can be flexible with and use to benefit those sorts of producers who maybe fall between the cracks of government support, is phenomenal.
"Also, since BaconFest we've had those storms as well, so it's had horrific damage that isn't related to drought. That's even more of a reason to give the money to Graham House to use to help local farmers and supporting pig producers as well."