At the ripe old age of 20, Oliver Bora has already been farming for three years. What started as a school project – running some chooks on the grounds of his school farm – has turned into a fully-fledged business.
Today, Oliver runs about 2000 chickens on The Farm at Ewingsdale and sells his pasture-raised eggs at the local farmers’ markets. Oliver not only brings young blood but also fresh ideas to the farming industry.
‘I really want to make an app and robots to move the chicken caravans in the paddocks,’ Oliver says. ‘It’s a great opportunity in farm innovation and now that I’m set up and running, I’m looking at research and development.’
Oliver’s other focus is sustainable farming and he says that all farmers have a duty of care to the land. ‘I believe sustainable farming is the key to our future’ he says.
To that end, Oliver manages his flock using a cell-grazing method – his chickens are housed in purpose-built caravans that are rotated around the farm.
‘The chickens can come and go from the caravans so they are free to roam the paddocks as they please, and the caravans are moved every three days and the fences every two weeks,’ he explains. ‘The cattle come in first, eat the grass down and spread manure. Then the chickens come in and eat the grass from ankle height down and spread all the manure. At night they poo from the caravans and that spreads more manure on the grass. By moving the caravans I’m fertilising and regenerating the land.’
Oliver says that while farming comes with its challenges, he can’t imagine doing anything else, and one of the benefits is being able to interact with his customers at the farmers’ market every week.
‘The markets are great because you work so hard to create your product and then the market is a time to showcase that and socialise,’ he says. ‘It’s also an opportunity to ask your customers questions about labelling and the product and get that immediate feedback, which is invaluable.’
You can find Oliver and his pasture-raised eggs at Byron Farmers Market every Thursday morning.
Byron Farmers Market is held Thursdays 7–11am at the Butler St Reserve and Bangalow Farmers Market is Saturdays 7–11am behind the Bangalow pub.