He’s the bloke with a truck who has become a social media sensation overnight by simply giving back.
And as he returns home from his latest convoy mission which saw 5,000 hay bales delivered to drought-stricken farmers in central-west Queensland, Brendan Farrell admits it’s been “a very emotional two days”.
The Aussie farmer from outback New South Wales travelled with an entourage of 250 people for more than 30 hours, covering 1,860 kilometres to give 270 farmers hay to keep their livestock alive as they battle the drought.
And while these farmers have been waiting for rain for weeks, the arrival of hay bales saw a lot of tears shed. Including from Farrell himself.
“About three-and-a-half litres of it, and not many people see me cry,” the father-of-three tells The Huffington Post Australia.
“We set out to do a job, and we’ve done it and that was to get hay to farmers.”
“But the most important thing is to raise awareness that Queensland isn’t out of the drought. The drought never went away. You get a bit of rain and everyone thinks it’s okay again, but sometimes you’ve got to put things back on the radar.”
Farrell and his group, The Burrumbuttock Hay Runners have been trending on social media as they returned home from their 10th mission on Friday, with the group’s Facebook page gaining almost 80,000 likes. And there’s been talk the farmer should be nominated for Australian Of The Year.
But as Farrell copes with becoming a household name, the farmer said the politicians were yet to call, with Mount Isa MP Rob Katter the only one to reach out to the farmer.
“Barnaby Joyce hasn’t even touched base, and he’s the Federal Minister for Agriculture. They’ve done f**k all. That’s the best way I can put it,” Farrell told HuffPost Australia.
“I’m just a simple farming truck driver. And I can organise stuff. You don’t have to be a hero, you don’t have to have millions, just go on and give someone a bloody hand. Australia has forgotten that.”
Farrell’s first convoy mission was on his birthday – February 2 – in 2014 where there were just 22 trucks involved.
Now back from his 10th, involving 119 prime movers and 168 trailers, what is next for the livestock and crop farmer?
“I’m going to go on a holiday with the kids to Fiji. Then I’ll come home and start on number 11, I suppose. You never know.”
And if the politicians call?
“They can assist me with the freight and cost of getting things there, but that’s it.”
Donations can be made to The Burrumbuttock Hay Runners through the Rotary Club of Sydney.
BSB: 062 438
Description: Drought Appeal
Or send Cheques Payable to "The Rotary Club of Sydney Drought Appeal"
Post to Rotary Club of Sydney, GPO Box 1523, Sydney NSW 2001.