Egg-citing times for new farm business thanks to RIC low-interest loan 

RIC loan customers and eggs farmers standing together

Although husband-and-wife team Trudy and Andrew Pilmore were experienced farm operators, working in primary production for decades, purchasing their first farm business in September 2022 was a leap of faith.

“We had been working for other people for 22 years and we wanted a change,” Trudy said.  

“It was really a grand leap of faith but I think everybody needs a good egg.” 

“The industry suited the size of our farm and it allows us to intensify,” Andrew said.  

Earth Eggs is based in West Range, South Australia, and is home to 8000 hens producing up to 4500 eggs daily. 

Its product is classed as pastured free range, a type of production which focuses on lower stocking densities and rotational grazing so there is always ground cover and plant species for the hens to eat, in addition to grain.  

But to start the operation, the Pilmores needed to buy their equipment upfront – that included 15 chicken caravans, a tractor, a grain cart and an egg grading machine. 

Discovering RIC low-interest loans for new farmers at a local field days event, the Pilmores said an AgriStarter Loan sounded like a good way to accelerate their business plans. 

“We were looking at how we were going to finish off some of the projects to build the business and it was pretty tough with the interest rates – our cash flow was very tight,” Andrew said. 

With its 5-year interest-only period, the Pilmores used their AgriStarter Loan to refinance some of their existing business debt.  

Settling their loan at the end of 2023, they became the 3000th farm business customers to receive Australian Government funding through a RIC loan since the organisation started in 2018 – a welcome event for the Pilmores and another significant RIC milestone.    

“We found everyone from RIC very friendly, we received answers quickly and they were easy to talk to,” Trudy said.  

“Having a cheaper interest rate means we can keep going and finish those projects, such as extra shedding, and we buy in additional pullets about four times a year.  

“Our RIC loan also means we can eliminate our equipment finance loan and the extra money we will save will be used to keep the interest on our remaining debt down.” 

The Pilmores hope to increase their flock over time to 9000 chickens to bring their output to 7500 eggs a day and grow their financial nest egg over time.

Chicken on car window