TEAMWORK: Eight-year-old Carter Dowd joined Ben Ferris for a 7km run this morning.
TEAMWORK: Eight-year-old Carter Dowd joined Ben Ferris for a 7km run this morning. Ben Ferris

Where is Ferris running to this time?

THE Northern Rivers' very own Forrest Gump, Ben Ferris, is walking the walk and talking the talk when it comes to helping local farmers.

His journey began at his family farm in the border ranges of Kyogle on Monday and will see him make the roughly 200km journey to Byron Bay and back over the next week.

"(It's about) empowering communities," Mr Ferris explained.

Set to arrive in Lismore by Thursday morning, he should get to Byron Bay by Friday afternoon before making his way back through Federal, Dunoon, Chanoon and Nimbin before returning to Kyogle.

Mr Ferris is hoping to raise $5000 to buy hay bails for struggling Kyogle farmers.

"The reason (I'm walking) to Byron Bay is to show people on the coast how important and how serious this is getting.

"They're only 90km or so away from these farms that are in drought.

"It just takes one person to put a bit of time and energy and help generate awareness," he explained.

"If I can keep encouraging people to also do it for their town, it makes a big difference to raising the dollars for the farmers out west."

Mr Ferris has encouraged locals to join him on his walk, to help in raising awareness for the cause.

"I want to invite people of all ages and abilities to join me," he said.

"These hay bails are only a band-aid and our government needs to (install more) water pipes and dams."

This fundraiser isn't the first for Mr Ferris, who is affectionately known at Ferris Gump throughout the Northern Rivers community.

Over the years, Mr Ferris has ran across Belgium, bum naked and barefoot, to raise funds to plant trees near the Great Barrier Reef; run around Australia in thongs, to raise money for drought affected farmers; completed an unassisted 3000km run from Townsville to Darwin while pushing a 50kg trolley to raise $7000 for the Royal Flying Doctor Service and more.

Visit his Facebook page to make a donation.



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