FARMERS from across the south-west have raised more than $70,000 through a livestock sales drive for Peter’s Project, bringing back memories of the man who inspired the cause.
Spearheaded by Midfield Meat and running for nearly 12 months, the fund-raiser involves farmers and graziers from across the region contributing a share of their overall sale to the cancer centre campaign.
Peter’s Project founder Vicki Jellie praised the charitable attitude of many primary producers and said a number of participants contributed due to their connection with her late husband Peter.
The late Mr Jellie owned and operated a dairy farm for many years and also worked at Midfield Meat.
He built up a rapport with farmers from across the region after helping to establish the Midfield Direct program, which involved buying livestock directly from farmers for the meatworks.
Mr Jellie died six years ago and the push to establish a south-west cancer care centre is named in his memory.
“There have been so many farmers that have really been keen to get involved,” Mrs Jellie said.
“A fair few would have known Peter either as a farmer or through Midfield, so some people might have done it as a mark respect to his memory and their dealings with him over the years.
“It’s very special to know that people still think about Peter but they’re also donating because they know this will help so many families in the future.”
Nearly $276,000 has been raised by the Midfield Direct fund-raiser — $75,997 of which has been contributed by farmers either through a percentage of their sale, per head of cattle or just a straight donation.
Midfield Meat chief executive Colin McKenna kicked off the campaign last year with a $200,000 donation.
One of the farmers who participated in the livestock drive, Grassmere’s Liam Ryan, said the region’s agricultural sector had a reputation for digging deep for worthwhile causes.
“I think when people saw the Peter’s Project flyers (as part of the livestock drive), they decided to get involved,” Mr Ryan said.
“A lot of people see the value of having a cancer centre in Warrnambool and that it’s something worth raising money for.
“I didn’t know Peter that well but there’s plenty of people that would have taken part because of him, for sure.”