In November 2016 farmers from across the Parkes and Condobolin shires grew more than 1300 hectares of the specialty high-oleic canola crop, Monola, to raise vital funds for Currajong Disability Services.
Backed by Manildra-based canola processing company MSM Milling, not only did the exercise enable Currajong to survive in both towns and continue operation but also allowed the NDIS service provider to tackle a specialty project to ensure its own long term viability – a jujube orchard at Akuna Road just outside of Parkes.
“So far around 1500 jujube trees have been planted,” Currajong Disability Services Chairman Neil Unger said.
“We could not have done this without the charity of MSM Milling which donated almost $22,000 in total to Currajong. The Charity Partnership was paid $10/hectare of Monola planted by the farmers who attended the grower meetings in the two towns followed by the bonus $5/tonne payment for each tonne of Monola delivered to MSM.
“We can’t thank Bob and Pete Mac Smith and the MSM team enough – this donation has ensured we can continue to service people with disability,” Neil said.
With demand for disability services rising by 8 per cent per annum in real terms for the last 20 years and showing no signs of slowing, Mr Unger is adamant that without the help of MSM Milling and others of their ilk that there would be a huge hole in the disability service industry.
“In dollar terms the NDIS is nearly as big as Medicare coming in around $22 billion a year.
“All these acts of extreme generosity such as that from the MSM Milling Charity Partnership not only ensure our survival but also will benefit those yet to be touched by disability.
“While only a quarter of the population is impacted by disability, it won’t be long before we all get our turn.
“That’s why these acts of kindness can’t be understated enough.”
MSM Milling Director Bob Mac Smith said the Charity Partnership was a unique way to involve farmers growing crops and helping the charity.
"MSM Milling deals with a thousand farmers each year, so gaining buy-in from them to take part was beneficial,” Bob said.
“Many local farmers have families who use the Currajong service, so it made perfect sense.
“To see the result of the Charity Partnership and the 1500 Jujube trees in the ground is fantastic.”