THE effects of the dairy crisis is rippling throughout the region, with many farmers having to lay-off staff in an effort to cut costs.
A loyal and diligent farmhand in West Creek has recently been handed his notice, after his long-term employers came to the difficult decision that they could not afford to keep him on staff any longer.
Sam Rinaldi and her husband hired Andre Dejong several years ago, despite him having no farm hand skills or experience working on a dairy.
“When we hired Andre, he had never even milked a cow before!” Sam said.
“He just took to the job so well, and he’s fantastic. He loves the work, loves the animals, and it breaks my heart to have to let him go.”
Sam has given Andre eight week’s notice, in the hopes that she can help him find another job soon.
In an impassioned post on Facebook, Sam praised Andre, calling him an incredibly conscientious worker.
“Andre is great with the herd and great with the work that comes with cleaning up a run down property,” Sam wrote.
“He’s fixed many a fence and picked up lots of rubbish, assists with any household repairs and restorations.
“It’s also important to note that no job is beneath him. I can ask him to take down a fan in the bathroom, set up a vegie box, take a bull out to paddock, clean out the chicken coop, repair a fence, change the oil in the tractors, do the horrid change of cup liners or to do something as nice as making hubby his breakfast when he is late in.
“Andre can milk the herd of 260 by himself even through it’s a two man shed. I trust him with my farm, my herd and my kids.”
The Rinaldi family had such faith in Andre that they were even looking at enrolling him in a Diploma of Agriculture and to support him the entire way through.
“We really hope that his next employer can think about that, and potentially plan for his future,” Sam said.
“He is a wonderful worker, and really wants to be working. I will do whatever I can to help this great member of my family find a new job.”
Since posting her public appeal for a future home for Andre, Sam has been staggered by the good will of strangers, with several people even suggesting setting up a Go Fund Me campaign to support Andre’s future education.
“People have offered to help put him through school. The public have just been amazing,” Sam said.
“This Murray Goulburn debacle is making life so hard for everyone. There’s a ripple effect throughout the community.
“Andre is a family guy, with three small children, so it breaks my heart to have to let him go.
“I am hoping that someone will employ him.
“Even if you have one day a week to offer him, that would be amazing.”
To speak to either Sam or Andre about an employment opportunity, contact Sam via email at samanthajkellie@hotmail.com.