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Rain misses Queensland graziers

Somerset region graziers are battling dry conditions. Mum Annette Schimke took this photo on her parents' property. Her daughter, Makeea, helps out on the farm when she can.
Somerset region graziers are battling dry conditions. Mum Annette Schimke took this photo on her parents' property. Her daughter, Makeea, helps out on the farm when she can. Framed Forever Fotos

IN A YEAR of good news stories about rainfall reaching drought-stricken regions across the country, graziers in a small pocket of south-east Queensland have missed out.

Photographer Annette Schimke captured the dry conditions on her parents' property in the Toogoolawah area, which is about two hours from Brisbane, and posted the images to her Facebook page, Framed Forever Fotos.

The photos were accompanied with Annette's call for people to "pray for rain” this Christmas.

In one of the powerful pictures, her daughter Makeea stands proud in vivid pink boots, wearing a bright checked shirt with the contrast of a barren paddock behind her.

"Somebody (on Facebook) questioned the image. They said 'why is the girl in the picture?',” Annette said.

"And I said, 'because my parents are fighting for the next generation - and this is theirs'.”

Annette's folks, Peter and Fran, have lived in the Toogoolawah region for most of their life.

It's not the first time the area has been gripped in a dry spell.

"I went through it with my parents in the 1990s,” Annette said.

"It's probably getting close to that, but not as bad yet.”

On the property where the pictures were taken, the family has chosen to lighten stock numbers to just 100 head.

When speaking with the Rural Weekly, Annette said she was feeling "overwhelmed” with the reaction to her post.

So far it's been shared more than 1000 times.

"I was just speaking from the heart,” she said.

"I just wanted to show people what it was like.”

In her post she explained the conditions were the driest she had seen in 10 years.

"No feed, no water,” she wrote.

"The struggle is real not only for the animals but to watch my family endure the pain and fight to keep their dreams alive for us, the next generation.

"We as a family are not looking for charity. What we are looking for is hope and prayers for the skies to open up and for mother nature to bring us some rain.

"The pain, the struggle, is real. All I want for Christmas is RAIN. Please pray.”

Annette said she was supporting her parents as much as she could.

"I understand so much more now,” she said.

"In the 1990s, when I was a kid, I wondered why dad got rid of a horse, and some cattle.

"But now I know he was just trying to hang on, to survive.

"I got hurt with some decisions he made, but I now realise he did it for the best.

"It was the best decision he could make at the time. I now understand why he did it.”

Annette is confident her family will get the rain they need.

"You always have to have hope don't you?”

Topics:  dry spell toogoolawah


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