End of harvest deserves a celebration

Having a ball: Attending the End of Harvest Ball, were, from left, City of Greater Shepparton councillor Shane Sali, guest speaker Mary O’Brien, and City of Greater Shepparton Mayor Kim O’Keeffe.

Farmers and orchardists celebrated the end of another seasonal harvest in Shepparton on Friday, February 11.

Almost 200 people attended the event held at The Woolshed in Kialla and hosted by Greater Shepparton City Council.

The council’s sustainable development director Geraldine Christou said agriculture in the region drove the city’s economy, created jobs and helped feed families in Australia and abroad.

“Our farmers face many unpredictable challenges such as drought, hail and fires. As many of us have seen, this can change the course of their livelihoods and have a devastating toll on their mental health,” she said.

Attendees heard from guest speaker Mary O’Brien, who is the founder of ‘Are You Bogged Mate?’. She shared her methods of dealing with mental health on the farm and challenges she experienced living on the land during tough times.

“It was a great night, capturing the spirit of our hardworking farmers in the region,” Ms Christou said.

She thanked all the event sponsors for making the evening possible, including Lawrieco, Agriprov, the Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment, Australian Rural Leadership Foundation and The Woolshed.

Take care: Acknowledging mental health needs was part of the theme for the End of Harvest Ball.