Dr. Princess Moswa-Kato, a veterinarian representing MSD Animal Health, engages with learners during the Reitz leg of the VKB Food For Mzansi Agri Career Roadshow.

“I never, ever thought that agriculture could be so cool,” exclaimed the 14-year-old Kgomotso Mbele, a gr. 9 learner at the Kgotso-Uxolo Secondary School in the Petsana township of Reitz during the second leg of the VKB Food For Mzansi Agri Career Roadshow.

Mbele counted among the nearly 900 learners who discovered for the first time that agriculture is about much more than farming.

Learners at the VKB Food For Mzansi Agri Career Roadshow have the rare opportunity to engage with leading agricultural and educational leaders.

During a fun-filled programme led by TV personality Solomon Cupido, learners were introduced to the immense study and career opportunities in the world of agriculture – from journalism to economics, marketing and IT. The day was hosted by Reitz High School.

According to Elfrieda Lotter, the Marketing Manager of the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Agricultural Sciences at the University of the Free State, the initiative is a real eye-opener for learners. “It serves as a tool to enlighten them about the career opportunities available not only in agriculture, but also supporting industries.”

Lotter says, “We, as a university, visit most of these schools already (as part of a marketing drive to attract future students), but what is done additionally with the VKB Food For Mzansi Roadshow is to provide them with practical insight about the chain of people serving in different job descriptions under the umbrella of agriculture. Consequently, they can make more astute decisions for their own future concerning career and study choice.”

Popular TV actor Solomon Cupido hosted the Reitz leg of the VKB Food For Mzansi Agri Career Roadshow.

The Free State leg of this roadshow is presented in partnership with the provincial education department and SAATA, the South African Agricultural Teaching Association. On Wednesday and Thursday the career days will be hosted by Wilgerivier High School in Frankfort and Kroonstad High School in Kroonstad respectively.

Next week the leading exhibitors, including VKB, Bayer and MSD, will join forces with the Eastern Cape Department of Education for career days in Cookhouse, Somerset East, Pearston, Graaff-Reinet, Jansenville, Steytlerville and Willowmore.

Reitz High School learners featured with Food For Mzansi co-founder Ivor Price at the VKB Food For Mzansi Agri Career Roadshow.

Food For Mzansi co-founder Kobus Louwrens says they’re excited about showing agriculture’s new face to the 5 000 learners who are registered to attend the Eastern Cape leg of the roadshow. The roadshow will also later continue in parts of the Western Cape and Limpopo.

Participating in a panel discussion at the Reitz agricultural career day were Dawn Noemdoe from Food For Mzansi, Phillip Oosthuizen from the Sernick Group and Chris Pakathi from Bayer.

EASTERN CAPE

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

10h00 – 11h00 Cookhouse Secondary School, Cookhouse

12h00 – 14h00 Aeroville Secondary School, Somerset East

15h00 – 17h00 Somerset East Youth Center, Somerset East

Wednesday, 24 July 2019

09h00 – 10h00 Pearston Secondary School, Pearston

11h00 – 13h00 Spandau Secondary School, Graaff-Reinet

14h00 – 15h00 Umasizakhe Hall, Graaff-Reinet

16h00 – 18h00 Union High School Hall, Graaff-Reinet

Thursday, 25 July 2019

10h00 – 11h00 Jansenville Secondary School, Jansenville

12h30 – 14h00 Carel du Toit Secondary School, Steytlerville

15h30 – 17h30 Willowmore Secondary School, Willowmore

WESTERN CAPE

Monday, 29 July 2019, Bernadino Heights High School, Kraaifontein

Tuesday, 30 July 2019, Hoër Landbouskool Paarl, Paarl

Wednesday, 31 July 2019, Bastiaanse Secondary School, Beaufort West

LIMPOPO

Tuesday, 6 Augustus 2019, Merensky High School, Tzaneen

Wednesday, 7 August 2019, Settlers High School, Settlers