Isolated farmers urged to socialise with others at country festivals

Farmers fighting to survive one of the worst droughts on record are suffering in silence because they can’t afford the time or fuel to catch up with mates.

Down a dirt track in the far-flung farming town of Purlewaugh, about six hours drive northeast of Sydney, grazier Steven Watters, 42, couldn’t remember the last time he socialised.

Farming psychologist Dervla Loughnane says isolation and the monotony of handfeeding cattle is eroding the resolve of the most hardened farmers.