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.
Nuffield Australia 2019 Scholarship winner
Thomas Moore from Tenterfield, New South Wales, receives a Nuffield Scholarship supported by the Royal Agriculture Society of NSW Foundation (RASF). Through his research, he will investigate innovative housing methods to promote the growth of Australia’s free-range egg industry.
Together with his wife, Thomas owns and operates a free-range egg business, which runs 8,000 layer hens and produces around 3,500 dozen eggs per week, in a modern and open group ‘colony’ system split into four ages.
Currently, the free-range egg industry is faced with several key challenges. The most notable of these are rising production costs and a changing public perception of what it means to be truly free-range. This has prompted Thomas to pursue global research for the betterment of the entire industry.
“There is a lot of debate on the stocking density of free-range, which is currently 10,000 birds per hectare. It’s a key sticking point for industry and the public alike. As such, I’d like to look into a housing system that not only keeps our birds happier, but also provides reassurance of animal welfare to customers.”
“For the scholarship, my focus will be largely on Europe and the UK as the world-leaders in cage-free egg production and alternative housing systems. Having access to this knowledge will not only help accelerate my business, but the industry more broadly.”