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Rural Assistance Authority

Customer stories

The RAA is committed to supporting NSW farmers to become more resilient and better prepared for seasonal challenges. See how our financial assistance has helped farmers improve the productivity, sustainability and viability of their farm businesses in these case studies.

Tom and Judy Robertson, chestnut farmers from Tumbarumba

Tom and Judy Robertson had tried their hand at all sorts of farming activities before they set their sights on growing and producing chestnuts. In 2005, they began planting their now nine-hectare chestnut orchard on their farm near Tumbarumba, in the pristine Snowy Valleys region. Along the journey, Tom and Judy accessed both grants and loans from the RAA, to help grow their operation and also support their recovery following the devastating Black Summer Bushfires.

Tim and Katrina Myers, avocado farmers from Barham

On their family farm near Barham in Southern NSW, you will find Tim and Katrina Myers, a couple who grow avocados, an uncommon choice of fruit for their location and climate. They've overcome climatic challenges and future-proofed their operation by installing a world-first, retractable-roof greenhouse to protect their avocado trees. This project was made possible, using a Farm Innovation Fund loan (now referred to as the Drought Infrastructure Fund) that Tim and Katrina accessed through the RAA.

Justin Walsh, dairy farmer from Jaspers Brush

Justin and Libby Walsh operate a dairy farm on the south coast of NSW, in Jaspers Brush, near Nowra. In 2016, they officially took the reins of the family farm from Justin’s parents, and since then have set about expanding the operation and overcoming the many hurdles they’ve faced along the way. In the last five years, Justin and Libby have experienced drought and, in contrast, extremely wet conditions on their farm. By accessing financial assistance through the RAA, they've been able to not only recover, but have also 'changed their business for the better'.

Tom Ledingham, cattle and cropping farmer from Cobbadah

Tom and Belinda Ledingham operate a cattle breeding and trading operation and also grow, stock and sell pasture seed on their farm in Cobbadah, in the NSW North West Slopes. Over the years, they’ve accessed financial assistance through the RAA to purchase and install infrastructure which has  helped future-proof their operation.

Sally and Sam Kirby, cattle and cropping farmers from Molong

On their property near Molong in the Central Tablelands, Sam and Sally Kirby run a mixed grazing and cropping enterprise. Over the years they've experienced their fair share of challenges including drought and devastating flood. Using a Farm Innovation Fund loan (now referred to as the Drought Infrastructure Fund), Sam and Sally were able to purchase and install silos for grain storage, build a laneway system, drill a bore and get it operating using a solar power system. These and other projects have seen them become more productive and will allow them to be more resilient when the next dry period hits.

Cattle yards and bore water system secures farm for generations

George King is a fifth generation cattle producer from Carcoar in Central West NSW. He was able to access a Farm Innovation Fund loan (now referred to as the Drought Infrastructure Fund) through the RAA to get some "once in a lifetime" projects off the ground, making his operation more efficient and setting up the farm for generations to come.

Mixed farming business prepares for challenging conditions

Jack Wright and his family run a lambing and cropping enterprise on "Rockley", south of Cowra in the Western Slopes region. Jack says they struggled through many dry years before looking at ways to better prepare their business for challenging climatic conditions. A Farm Innovation Fund loan (now referred to as the Drought Infrastructure Fund) allowed the family to put in place infrastructure that would assist with drought mitigation, including a new bore and solar pump, fodder and grain storage, water tanks and sheep yards.

A benefit to future income and future efficiency

Clifford Kelly and his family were able to access a Farm Innovation Fund loan (now referred to as the Drought Infrastructure Fund) to help their farm business not only recover from extreme drought but become more efficient, profitable and better prepared for future dry periods. The loan was used to sow perennial pastures. purchase fertiliser, establish laneways and fencing and also purchase and install a new silo.

Solar success in the Mallee

Darryl Cumming is a wine grape grower in the Mallee country of western NSW. Darryl accessed a Farm Innovation Fund loan (now referred to as the Drought Infrastructure Fund) to establish a solar powered irrigation system for his vineyard. On completion of the project, Darryl noticed an instant reduction in operation costs and he has been able to better monitor and manage power and water usage going forward.

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