Member for Northern Tablelands and Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall was a special guest at the first gathering of the Inverell Retired Farmers Group since the COVID-19 pandemic struck.
Wednesday, 4 November 2020
THE Inverell Retired Farmers Group received a special visit for their October gathering, back for the first time after their COVID-19 hiatus, with Northern Tablelands and Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall last week calling into the Inverell RSM Club for a cuppa and a yarn with the 20-strong group.
The NSW Farmers-run Retired Farmers Group has been operating for 18 months, but was forced to ‘hang up the hat’ in March due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Mr Marshall said it was great to see the innovative program back running and helping these important members of the community to remain socially connected.
“They say farming is not a job but a lifestyle, which is why it’s so great to see this group supporting former primary producers with life after the land,” Mr Marshall said.
“On the last Tuesday of every month this group of like-minded, predominantly graziers, come together to shoot-the-breeze and reminisce about old times.
“One of the biggest issues facing retirees, predominantly men, is maintaining good mental health and remaining socially active once they leave work.
“Nearly everyone who was at this week’s meeting told me how much they look forward to these events and how it helps to get them out of the house and meeting new people.
“I thoroughly enjoyed and learnt so much from my visit with the group and urge all retired farmers, both men and women, in the Inverell area to make the most of this fantastic social opportunity.”
NSW Farmers Northern Regional Services Manager Michael Collins said the monthly catch-up had been described to him as medicine for the soul.
“The seed for this group was sown at AgQuip two years ago by NSW Farmers member Bob Moore, who identified a lack of opportunities for retired farmers to come together discuss their experiences and talk about the one thing they know best,” Mr Collins said.
“Since then we have grown to having around 15 attendees each month.
“It’s a great way for NSW Farmers to monitor the health and wellbeing of these people who have contributed so much to the success of primary production in the Inverell region.
“Farmers who have retired to Inverell from outside the area have used the group to create new friendships, after not knowing many people when they first arrived to town.
“COVID-19 really put the handbrake on our regular gatherings and I had several phone calls from the wives of our regulars, expressing how much their husbands were missing their monthly outing.
“I am very proud of how our group has grown and developed over the time and thank Adam for his interest and attendance to our latest gathering.”
Those interested in attending the monthly Retired Farmers Group can contact Michael Collins on 0439 958 163.