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Media release. Robert Peffer. 2015 Scholarship winner

Media release. Robert Peffer. 2015 Scholarship winner

Robert Peffer, from Molong in New South Wales, has been awarded a prestigious Nuffield Scholarship supported by the Australian Egg Corporation (AECL).

He will study world’s best practice in non-cage egg production systems.

Robert is principal manager of egg sales and distribution for Peffer Pastoral Co – producing, packing, marketing and distributing barn and cage eggs throughout central-western NSW under the brand Canobolas Eggs. They rear their own pullets from one day old to production and have capacity for approximately 100-thousand hens, 20 per cent of which are in barns and the remainder caged.

The family operations also include over 3,000 ewes, 150 cows and 1,000 hectares sown mostly to wheat and canola.

Robert hopes to bring back the latest management techniques from around the world in non-cage egg production systems.

“Alternatives to cage systems generally lose several percentage points in production through higher mortality, higher instances of disease, social stresses and eggs laid on the floor or broken by other birds.

My hope is that adoption of several good ideas from around the world might begin to reduce the deficit in performance of alternatives to cage systems,” he explains.

As the industry expands in non-cage production to meet consumer and supermarket demand, Robert says a small improvement should translate into substantial benefits for both farmers and birds.

“We know the birds have the potential to perform better so it would be very beneficial to the industry to realise more of that potential in non-cage hens,” he says.

Robert plans to tour the UK, Europe, New Zealand, USA and Canada.

James Kellaway, AECL Managing Director, says “It’s great to see that a young, up and coming, intelligent and energetic egg farmer like Rob Peffer has been selected as this year’s Nuffield egg scholar.

I am certain that Rob will make a worthy contribution to the egg industry as the Nuffield Scholar,“ he concludes.

Nuffield Australia is an organisation which provides an opportunity to Australian farmers to travel overseas on an agricultural research scholarship. It is a 16-week program consisting of both group and individual travel. The next groups will be travelling through New Zealand, Brazil, USA, Mexico, the UK, South Africa, Kenya and Europe in March-April 2015.

Robert is available for interviews to talk about his planned study.  Mobile: 0447 669 234

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