A 'virtual' mob of online cows has joined a charity cattle drive in western Queensland.

The fourth biannual 'Stock Up for Hope' cattle drive involves almost 400 cattle being moved from Aramac to Longreach in the state's central-west, to raise funds for school chaplains.

Massive numbers of cattle have traversed Queensland's stock routes this year due to the drought that is affecting more than half of the state.

The cattle drive also involves a virtual mob where Australians can buy a cow online to support the cause.

Organisers say drought conditions and tough times in rural towns have highlighted the work of school chaplains.

Stock Up for Hope patron and former deputy prime minister John Anderson says chaplains play a vital role in schools and the tough times are affecting rural families.

"I really do feel for them - I have seen it before," he said.

"But this is perhaps tougher than anything because of the high levels of debt and it will play out in children's lives."

Organiser Duncan Brown says there has been generous support for the drive, which finishes later this week.

"In the past we've raised $300,000, but you have to remember the last drove in 2011 was on a very buoyant cattle market and a good season," he said.

"We are going to raise a fraction of that through the cattle, but we are hope that between cattle donations, virtual mob donations, donations along the way - we still hope to reach that $300,000 target."

Mr Brown says it has been a challenge to coordinate the drive this year, but it is important to ensure chaplains continue their work with rural youth.

"Their families are struggling financially - we have third and fourth generation cattle producers who are at risk of their properties being defaulted by the bank," he said.

"Young people watch this destructive theatre being played out and they need a place to process it.

"The one place where every young person must go everyday is the school."

 

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