The Royal Agricultural Society of NSW Foundation (RASF) was created in 2007 with a mission to support the development of sustainable and resilient regional and rural communities across New South Wales. 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 400 rural scholarship students to reach their educational dreams and awarded vital community building funding to 45 organisations.
2021 Scholarship winner
Michael Cains from Robertson, New South Wales, receives a Nuffield Scholarship supported by the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW Foundation (RASF).
He will research the benefits of raw milk cheese (RMC) production for the dairy industry, investigating best-practice approaches to production and RMC’s position within the mature cheese market.
Michael is the owner of Pecora Dairy, the sole sheep milking enterprise in New South Wales, milking 150 ewes across 80 hectares and producing over seven tonnes of cheese annually.
Michael is particularly focused on exploring the education and training required for Australia’s local cheese industry to have the expertise and confidence to diversify through the production of RMC.
“There is a growing enthusiasm for Australian specialty cheese, yet imported cheeses continue to outsell. The further development of a world-class local cheese industry presents a huge opportunity to build demand and resilience for local, family-owned dairy farmers,” Michael said.
“Through my Nuffield Scholarship, I plan to investigate global agricultural methods of dairy farming for RMC production, how to harness the presence of beneficial local micro-flora and seasonal conditions, create unique, safe cheeses that reflect our landscape, the market opportunities and analyse the business model of RMC to quantify opportunity for business growth.
“I will also look at global education, skills and training initiatives that can be implemented in Australia, to successfully share the productivity and profitability benefits in RMC production.”
Michael will explore best-practice approaches to RMC production, training and marketing across the United States and Canada during his Nuffield Scholarship.
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