Vet shaves her head to raise money for struggling Hawke's Bay farmers

Alanda Rafferty also joined a movement of farmers posting photos of themselves "baring all" to raise awareness of drought conditions.
Alanda Rafferty also joined a movement of farmers posting photos of themselves "baring all" to raise awareness of drought conditions. Photo credit: Supplied

A vet in Havelock North is vowing to shave her head in a bid to raise money for drought-stricken farmers in Hawke's Bay.

Alanda Rafferty says she's determined to do her part in helping locals get through a tough spell brought on by the driest conditions in recent memory in the area.

"I need a haircut, so I might as well do it for good and raise some funds for a much-needed cause," she says.

Rafferty, who lives on a lifestyle block with her husband and two children, says even for her "handful of lifestyle animals" it's been tough to find food in recent months. She says she can only imagine how difficult it must be for farmers struggling to feed more stock.

Anyone wishing to donate to the cause can do so through her Givealittle page.

Although the region's drought was officially broken last month after a period of sustained rainfall it came too late for many, meaning the effects of the dry period will continue to be felt for months to come.

The tough conditions led to many farmers being forced to use their winter feed supplements in autumn, leaving them with a significant feed deficit as temperatures drop.

The Government has allocated more than $19 million so far this year to helping drought-stricken farmers around the country.

And though Rafferty's contribution will be modest in comparison - she's aiming to raise a couple of thousand dollars - she says she's determined to do her part.

"It's really trying to give them a helping hand as much as I can.

"It's really about helping the farmers out whose livelihood this is and who have been working non-stop throughout the COVID lockdown trying to keep their animals fed and struggling with that."

As well pledging to shave her head, Rafferty has also joined a movement of other farmers "baring all" to help their fellow workers. 

The challenge to strip down in a bid to raise awareness for struggling farmers was started by Poppy Renton, who set up the Hawke's Bay Drought page on Facebook, which has since gained more than 5000 followers.

Rafferty says the decision to post a photo of her stripping off and feeding hay to her cows was made off the cuff. 

"It was a spur of the moment thing and it was very tastefully done. If it draws more attention to farmers' plight, then I am happy."

She will shave her hair on July 25 at the VetEnt veterinary clinic in Havelock North.