Home Changemakers Agri Careers: Meet an operations manager

Agri Careers: Meet an operations manager

His job description is not cast in stone and to succeed he has to wear dirty boots and suits. Breyton Milford (33) is an operations manager for agri marketing company, Agri-Expo (Agricultural Society, The Cape of Good Hope Agricultural Society).

His agricultural career started when he was in high school and it has since grown into a deep seated passion. But what does it take to fly the agricultural flag in Mzansi?

1Sum up your job:
I promote the image of agriculture to the general public, focussing on exhibitions and public relations initiatives.

2So, what does the day-to-day of your job entail?
I lead a marketing and communications department which runs youth shows, rural agricultural shows and agricultural school programmes.

3

What qualification do you need for this career?
Agri-Expo is unique in South Africa and the rest of the world so it’s difficult to say, but I studied agriculture which helps a lot especially when organising      agricultural events.

4What are the character traits you need to be great at your job?
Work well with people, be adaptable and always go the extra mile. Understanding that you are constantly “working for agriculture” and not a specific commodity is important.

5Have you always worked in the agriculture sector?
Yes. I started at Agri-Expo when I was just 21 years old and I’m still here.

Agri ambassador Breyton Milford (pictured in the middle) has travelled to more than 10 countries across the globe and is convinced that South Africa is a very good position despite its challenges.
Agri ambassador Breyton Milford (pictured in the middle) has travelled to more than 10 countries across the globe and is convinced that South Africa is a very good position despite its challenges.

6What do you love about agriculture as a space to work in?
Agriculture is what I am born for. Working with the people in agriculture is what I enjoy most. Their stories of success, innovation and their struggles and lessons learnt is was drives me.

7Don’t be modest, tell us about your proudest career moments?
The promotion to operations manager, developing Agri-Expo Livestock and The Groot Plaasproe events, being elected as chairman for the Western Cape Agricultural Youth Society in 2009, and as chairman of the National Agricultural Youth Society in 2014 and receiving the Merit Award for my contribution to youth in agriculture at the ALFA Expo in Parys, Free State.

8What do you do when you’re not at work? I spend as much time as I can with my wife Sharnielle, and daughters Sharné and Breylinn. I have a herd of beef cattle on a friend’s farm near Clanwilliam. I try to go there regularly, because I’m actually a farmer. I enjoy hunting especially in the Karoo and the West Coast where I grew up.

9Any advice for young people who are inspired by your career story? Follow your dreams, no matter how difficult it may seem. Things have a strange way of turning out as it should. Listen more than you speak and find a great mentor, it will only make you stronger.

Staff Reporter
Staff Reporter
Researched and written by our team of writers and editors.