A young first generation dairy farming family is seeing friends and community rally around after their second heartbreaking loss in the space of four years.
Byron and Richelle Jackson are well known in the Coolagolite and Cobargo community as respected, loving and supportive, even as they experience their own hardships.
They have three young boys and were "always generous" in helping others, friends said.
Their regenerative farm at Coolagolite was burnt out in the Black Summer bushfires of 2019-20 and now, not long after the final fence lines and infrastructure had been repaired, it has been decimated once more.
A raging fire that began on Coolagolite Road around lunchtime on Tuesday, October 3, has since burnt more than 6700 hectares and destroyed four homes, livestock and significant swathes of farmland.
Family friends of the Jacksons, Honey Atkinson and Georgie Kite, have launched an online crowdfunding campaign to assist in what will be yet another heartbreaking and exhausting rebuild.
It has raised more than $37,000 in just its first 20 hours online.
"Just over three years ago they were hit by those fires and lost a lot of fencing and farming infrastructure - they'd only really just finished replacing a lot of that recently," Honey said.
"They've lost their water supplies, their fences, silage and feed for their animals this summer. And they lost a few animals this time around as well, because it all happened so quickly."
Honey said she saw the fire early on as it burnt across the rear of her own property, but under the hot and very windy conditions it quickly tore across the Jacksons' land and then jumped into bushland, racing towards Cuttagee and beyond.
"Of their 700 acres I'd guess around 550 acres have been burnt," Honey said of the Jacksons' property.
She said the Jacksons operate their dairy farm with sustainable, ethical and regenerative practices.
In the Gofundme campaign bio, she wrote "despite endless obstacles, they have held their commitment to upholding the highest ethical standards in their sustainable farming practices, caring deeply for the land and their livestock and using zero single-use plastic packaging to deliver local fresh milk to our community".
Honey told the Bega District News to farm in this manner requires more fencing and tree planting than other farms - and therefore more expensive to replace.
"I'm guessing it would hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs [to replace].
"The crowdfunding is just a start, you've got to start somewhere."
Understandably, the family was traumatised and "at absolute breaking point" after this week's disaster "finding it difficult to envision how we can rebuild once more".
Anyone able to assist can make a contribution to the Gofundme campaign by clicking here
Honey said the was family would be immensely grateful for any contribution, or even just to share the link with others to ensure they could put funds towards critical needs like animal feed and fencing supplies.
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