The RAS Foundation (RASF) was created in 2007 with a mission to support the development of sustainable and resilient regional and rural communities Australia. Together with generous donations from supporters, the RASF provides community grants and educational scholarships to promote individual and community growth.
To date, the RASF has supported over 700 rural scholarship students to reach their educational dreams and awarded vital community building funding to 145 organisations.
2023 Nuffield Scholar
NSW lamb producer to use Nuffield Scholarship to discover value-add opportunities for industry
Central West NSW lamb producer Fiona Aveyard has been awarded a Nuffield Scholarship to explore how to incorporate value-add opportunities into the red meat industry.
It is a topic close to this fifth-generation farmer’s heart. Fiona has established Outback Lamb Pty Ltd. In this business, they make and sell single-origin, lamb sausage rolls for the retail and food service market.
With her Nuffield Scholarship, supported by the RAS Foundation (RASF), Fiona plans to travel to the US, Germany, France, UK and Ireland.
“Farming cannot continue to focus solely on increases in animal productivity to achieve the increases necessary to best feed and clothe a growing world population,” Fiona says.
“I see a need for a reimagined business model where portions of our global value chains are unbundled to better meet changing consumer demand, particularly in regard to traceability, carbon-neutral production and consumer health.
“As Australian agriculture moves towards its goals of farm gate output of $100 billion and carbon neutrality (CN30) by 2030, I envisage a situation where more and more producers will integrate value-add components that incorporate manufacturing or processing into existing farm businesses.”
Fiona’s study will focus on opportunities that include niche marketing, investment and mechanisation, as well as the potential impact on succession, population and jobs in regional centres.
Fiona works on the family’s mixed farming property at Peak Hill. They run cross-bred and Merinos on a family block that is 5060 ha, and they crop about 1000 ha each year.
A Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) Meat Ambassador, Fiona’s study topic aligns well with the MLA Strategic Plan 2025. Its objective is to double the value of Australian red meat sales by 2030 and set out six priorities: people, customers, livestock, environment, markets and systems.
Ph: 0427 697 245