About 18 months ago we were made aware of the government’s plans to drive some funds into our region in the form of a dollar for dollar match to expand business creating jobs and growth. One of the main goals is diversifying the economics of the regions they are targeting.

We have never applied for a grant before but thought we would give it a shot. We had a fair bit going on during the application period, given that we were preparing everything required for 6000 hens during that same time, and Lyndal was also 6 months pregnant with our first child, but we somehow got it all done, and in true style down to last minute of course!

The grant allows us to do the following:

  1. Drill seed in new pasture species to further improve our soils, create biodiversity in our pastures and of course making a great egg even greater
  2. Expand our grading room to allow for faster processing of more eggs
  3. Expand our flock taking our operation to over 10,000 layers
  4. Raise day olds, both layers and meat birds, in a custom brooding facility
  5. Build an onsite abattoir allowing us to grow and process poultry onsite, creating a completely closed loop system
  6. Various other supporting odds and ends to help us in the above operation, including solar power and the ability to grow feed onsite for the birds
  7. Employ more people and increase the skill set and experience of our current team
  8. Support others getting their own meat bird operations off the ground now that there is an abattoir here in the local region again.

So far the AusIndustry team have been fantastic to deal with, helping us through the final stages to signed paperwork. Bega Valley Shire Council has also been great too with regards to DA advice around the abattoir. Our neighbours are very keen on being taste testers for us. Not a bad cheer squad!

We are speaking to as many people as we can regarding abattoir setup, both locally, interstate and abroad (the US in particular has a lot of farmers with experience here) as we want to get this right so that it’s sustainable for both us and other professional producers we will make it available to in our beautiful region. If you have strong knowledge on any element of the project outlined above, feel free to get in contact via email and share your experience, we can never learn too much!

Best of all, our little boy will grow up surrounded by a diverse group of people with a wide range of experience, learning about our food system first hand and observing chaos and enterprising ventures as a normal part of life.

Be sure to follow our social media channels and website journal as we share our experience.