A first generation farmer who has settled in Springfield is taking flight in the poultry industry.
Romsey footballer Benjamin Way traded his Melbourne sales job for country life about 15 months ago to begin Springfield Pastured Eggs and is now kicking goals of a new kind.
He was recently awarded a $5000 Young Farmers Scholarship from the Victorian Government towards agricultural training and study to build on his industry knowledge.
The funds will help Way gain knowledge on disease control and ways to better results, make farm safety improvements and upgrade machinery to better assist his processes.
“We don’t come from a chook background,” Way said.
“This (scholarship) experience has also been really good for getting to meet to people in the field and other young farmers, and that is something just as crucial to us as new farmers.”
Way, who grew up on a property in NSW, returned to the countryside four years ago, with his partner Lena and their children Illian and Ashton, to set up the farm as a lifestyle choice.
“I didn’t want to spend all my time in an office and I wanted to be able to spend time with my family. It was a lifestyle choice for us,” Way said.
“We really wanted to make use of the 120 acres we’re on.”
Springfield Pastured Eggs chooks are housed with less than 600 birds to a hectare while some farms, including some ‘free range’ farms, house up to 10,000 to a hectare.
The low density is to ensure a good environment for the chooks which in turn repay this with excellent quality eggs.
“‘Pastured eggs’ is a very new term – we use this term because ‘free range’ can be applied to a range of farms,” Way said.
“Our chooks are outside from sun up to sun down and they always have access to grass.”
Springfield Pastured Eggs began selling to restaurants and will soon be available to a wider range of consumers, on local supermarket shelves.