A university student is hoping to undertake an 18-hour tractor challenge this week to deliver much needed fodder to flood stricken Somerset farmers.
Nineteen-year-old Lucy Harrison, who is a member of Bilsborrow Young Farmers and former pupil of Brabin’s, Longridge High and Clitheroe Grammar, is working alongside eight other students at Harper Adams University in Shropshire to organise a fodder collection and delivery campaign, known as #NeedforFeed.
The students have been appealing to Shropshire farmers, land owners and businesses for fodder to be delivered to a designated location tomorrow which will then be loaded on to trailers and personally delivered by a three-strong tractor convoy, with the journey expected to take nine hours each way, including an overnight stopover.
Lucy, who lives in Chipping, is in her second year studying for a BSc (Hons) Rural Enterprise and Land Management degree. She said: “Everyone has been really supportive so far, but what we now need is sponsorship for the fuel and forage to fill the tractors to pull the trailers.
“We just hope we can raise this money otherwise it will take the funds away from those that really need it, the farmers in the south west.”
Up until to yesterday, half of the forage had been promised and group members were also busy trying sort out insurance problems and raise enough cash to cover their fuel.
The tractors have been donated by three Shropshire machinery dealerships and the students have also secured various other means of sponsorship from other traders . These include signage for the trailers, T-shirts from Harper Adams Students’ Union and two-way radios to ensure the convoy stays together.
Another of the group, Tom Gardner, 22, from West Sussex, who is studying FdSc Agriculture said: “It feels as though the help is starting to die down a little now despite farmers still being very much in need.
“We decided to organise #NeedForFeed because we want to encourage people to keep helping as farmers still desperately need help.”
The group had been hoping for a fourth tractor, but one of the dealerships has now pulled out.
Donations can be made via the Harper Adams SU www.harpersu.com and sponsorship enquires can be made on the #NeedForFeed Facebook page www.facebook.com/needforfeed or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org