The Farming Help Appeal 2007 is raising money from those in the countryside who are able to contribute to support those in dire straits.

Foot-and-mouth, low livestock prices, bluetongue, wet weather, floods and the prospect of a winter feed shortage mean it’s an incredibly tough year for some. Others, however, are seeing higher prices for their crops and are experiencing better times. In many ways, agriculture is a business of two halves at the moment.

These respected charities – the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI), the Farm Crisis Network (FCN) and ARC-Addington Fund – are hoping that those who find themselves in a slightly better position will be able to help their neighbours and peers who are experiencing tougher times. It’s a case of farming helping itself.

The three charities, working together under the Farming Help banner, are expecting to be called upon to help far more rural families over the coming months.

“All of our workloads have risen dramatically and we expect demands on our services to rise over the coming winter,” says Lise Venthen from RABI. “We want to ensure that we can meet the increasing demand and this appeal will be a great help.”

Helen Bagwell from FCN says: “The charities forming the Farming Help Partnership have been working closely together through the recent difficulties and have helped many farming people in different ways.”

Sue Eeley from ARC-Addington Fund says: “Although many farmers are facing real hardship, this year has seen a marked upturn in fortunes for some. This initiative is in response to a number of approaches made for an appeal such as the ‘send a ton’ of earlier years and enables the farming community to help its own. Past experience has shown this self-help frequently exists, but often goes unsung.”

Prince Charles and the Duke of Westminster are among those recently making donations to rural charities, but they need more money to help them with the invaluable work they do. This appeal has the backing of the NFU, CLA, TFA and the National Federation of YFCs.

Peter Kendall, president of the NFU, said “My brother Richard and I are aware of our good fortune as arable farmers and are signed up to support this excellent initiative, and would encourage other farmers to do likewise.”