Farmer or not, you really have to save the date for the 6th Agri-Expo Livestock and The Groot Plaasproe. This event brings the country closer to the city, and it promises to tickle your taste buds from 10 to 13 October.
Aside from providing top-notch entertainment for city-folk, the event also offers Mzansi’s top breeders a world-class stage to parade their animals and market their breeds.
Livestock’s third family farm experience, The Groot Plaasproe, kicks off on Saturday 12 October on International Pinotage Day with a Pinotage and biltong tasting. Festival goers can experience farm life with farm style foods such as Boer goat meat, roosterkoek (fire grilled bread) and skaapstertjies (sheep tails).
A braaibroodjie and build-a-burger competition is another highlight on Saturday and Sunday with popular Mzansi Chef Pete Goffe-Wood acting as judge. Those who want to participate can enter their secret recipe burger and braai braaibroodjie show off their braai skills.
The entertainment line-up for Sunday the 13th includes live performances by Nic Stevens, The Wildberries and Pieter Mohr, as well as line dancing competitions. There will also be World Cup Rugby on the big screen, ice cream and braai competitions and a Shiraz and venison tasting on Sunday the 13th.
Johan Ehlers, Agri-Expo’s chief executive officer says, “The goal is to provide South Africa’s top breeders with a world-standard platform to showcase their animals and market the breeds, but also to engage the youth in various facets of the agricultural sector with training and knowledge transfer, forming an integral part of the expo.”
Ehlers believes their much anticipated event brings farmers and the public together. “Visitors can look forward to more than 150 exhibitors, meet 300 farm animals up close and even behind the scenes at the washing bay and milking parlour. Livestock is a wonderful, honest agricultural experience.”
The event has created an opportunity for upcoming beef cattle and goat farmers to sharpen their skills through free information days. Breyton Milford, Agri-Expo’s operational manager, says that space is limited and farmers who are interested to join should register in advance.
“These information days are the ideal opportunity for emerging as well as commercial farmers to broaden their knowledge and obtain the latest information in order to think and farm innovatively,” Milford adds.
Farmers can join the goat information day on Thursday 10 October and beef cattle info day on Friday, 11 October.
Speakers such as Dr Faffa Malan (South Africa’s well-known virtual veterinarian), Etienne Van Wyk (young livestock farmer from the Northern Cape), Samson Morebodi (Fairview’s dairy goat supervisor), Leon Kruger (livestock researcher) and Kleinjan Gasekoma (cattle farmer) will share their expert advice.
Ruwaida Majiet a new farmer from Schaapkraal, Cape Town, says meeting Dr Faffa Malan to ask questions and engaging other farmers made her realise the importance of equipping herself with more farming knowledge. Majiet hopes to grow from strength to strength and says she looks forward to attend many more expos and information days to enhance her knowledge in depth.
A major part of Livestock is the free agricultural educational programme in partnership with the Western Cape Department of Agriculture. This year close to 3000 learners from schools join the activities. The event offers learners a chance to interact with specialists presenting the dynamics of the agricultural industry and the career opportunities within the sector.
The learners will enjoy activities such as sheep shearing, where they can touch wool and learn to distinguish between different sheep breeds. Students will also get a chance to see and touch different beef cattle, see how cows are milked and learn about milk systems.
Other presenters include experts in the red meat industry, the poultry industry, hygiene and food safety, veldfires and the Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute. Learners will also visit the Connect Agri career and services exhibition of the department, showcasing their eight main programmes to the public.
Cuan Bergstedt, principal at Joostenberg Primary outside Kraaifontein, says their school has been involved since the learner education programme started. “The 710 learners at our school can’t wait to attend the upcoming event. We want to ensure our pupils are aware that there are many opportunities in agriculture and that it is more than just being a farmer or agri-worker,” Bergstedt adds. Aside from the learners, Bergstedt feels that this is a great experience for the teachers too.
This year’s event boasts 30 different championships and competitions. Other highlights include Mzansi’s biggest dairy show, the biggest beef cattle interbreed championships and the Cape Rabbit Club’s Spring Championship show with 12 rabbit breeds.
The crowning of the BKB Red Meat King or Queen as well as the FNB Dairy Queen will take on Saturday 12 October in the Kaap Agri Showring. New activities that have been added to the list are the South African Merino Youth Competition, the Cape Arabian Horse Championships and the Milk Producers’ Organisation (MPO) Nedbank Stewardship Awards.
For more information visit https://livestock.org.za/