Icy climb for drought relief

Beef Central, 15/11/2013

Brisbane agribusiness lawyer Trent Thorne pictured at Mt Cook last year.As severe dry weather tightens its grip on rural Australia a Brisbane agribusiness lawyer will attempt to climb one of the world’s most challenging peaks to support primary producers.

Trent Thorne, from McCullough Robertson Lawyers, will travel to New Zealand in early December to climb Mount Cook in a bid to attract donations of funds to purchase urgently-needed livestock fodder through the ‘Buy a Bale’ campaign.

Trent, who has strong family ties to the rural sector, said the climb would not only be a personal challenge but also a means to support producers struggling to keep pace with worsening drought conditions.

“Through my dealings with farmers across Australia and my own personal involvement with the industry it is clear to me this drought is one that is having some of the most devastating impacts on agriculture on record,” Trent said.

“In Queensland alone more than 60 per cent of the state is officially drought declared.

“Recent surveys have indicated some individual producers have spent many hundreds of thousands of dollars keeping livestock alive and obviously this is impossible to maintain for extended periods of time.

“Through my climb I hope to encourage everyday Australians to get behind the people who produce their food and fibre and donate money that can be used to help provide additional supplementary feeding and to alleviate some of the financial and personal pressure placed on our farming families.”

However conquering Mount Cook will also be a long-held personal challenge for Trent, requiring climbing skill and a high level of personal fitness.  In December last year he attempted the climb only to be forced to abandon his effort due to poor weather.

“Mount Cook is regarded as one of the more difficult climbs in the world and to be foiled by weather conditions last year was deeply disappointing,” he said.

“The mountain is a physically demanding and mentally challenging task and this year I hope to not only make it to the top for personal satisfaction but also so that I can help give back to the agriculture industry.”

Buy a Bale is a joint venture between Aussie Helpers and The Give Back campaign with donations being used to purchase not only bales of hay but also to fund transport of fodder and other support measures.

“These charities continually achieve great results for rural and regional communities and to me Buy a Bale was the ideal avenue for me to make my Mount Cook journey even more worthwhile,” Trent said.

“Australian primary producers are the best in the world and their contribution to our economy and society is of critical importance to the nation.

“Please help me to support them through this extremely challenging time.”

To donate to Trent’s Mount Cook Climb go to



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