20 May 2009

Farmers credited for success of IHC calf scheme

9:28 pm on 20 May 2009

The patron of one of New Zealand's most successful fundraisers, the IHC calf scheme, says the success is due to the generosity of farmers.

Each year, thousands of dairy farmers donate up to 5000 calves to the scheme, which benefits the intellectual disability charity IHC.

The scheme on Wednesday celebrated 25 years and has raised $20 million from the sale of 80,000 calves.

It originally dreamed up by farmers Norm Cashmore from Taranaki and Mick Murphy of Blenheim. One of the first people to become involved was All Black legend Sir Colin Meads, who is now patron.

Sir Colin says its continued success is all down to rural people.

"Farmers are very generous people and the calves they're donating range from $300 to $400 ... If you went to somebody in the middle of Auckland and said give us $400 you'd be run out of town."

IHC fundraising manager Lyn Fiebig says money raised has made a significant difference to people with intellectual disabilities.