The excitement and nerves among young farmers are building ahead of this year’s Toyota SA/Agri SA Young Farmer of the Year and New Harvest competition. Agricultural role players from all corners of Mzansi will make their way to Johannesburg tonight (17 November) to celebrate agricultural excellence and crown the new young farmer of the year.
The process initiates at a regional level where various farmers are put through an evaluation process. From a provincial selection to a regional winner, the farmers then compete against each other nationally.
That’s not all. Farmers must be between the ages of 18-35 and needs to be a member of AgriSA’s provincial organisation for at least two years to qualify. Finalists are all selected by the provincial departments and of course, challenged in various ways to be able to qualify on a national level.
These challenges are not taken lightly as finalists are tested on financial, farming and management skills, among a multitude of other challenges. And finally, they are nominated on a national level based on their regional performances.
Who will take this year’s title?
The nine finalists representing their regions are looking forward to enjoying an evening where their hard work will be displayed and be able to cheer for each other as the top harvest winner will be announced.
Agri SA’s media and communications manager Thea Liebenburg shares more information on the finalists:
Free State Agriculture: Jaco Burger
Burger farms with sheep and cattle on the farm Eureka in the Wepener district. He believes in creating a working environment where employees are empowered to reach their full potential.
Agri North West: Herman du Preez
Du Preez farms on the farm Gruisfontein in the Lichtenburg district with poultry, cattle and game. The use of technology is one of his priorities for the upcoming season.
Mpumalanga Agriculture: Org Lindeque
Lindeque farms between Kaapsehoop and Nelspruit near Barberton with macadamia nuts and also operates a macadamia nursery.
Agri Western Cape: Ian Cunningham
Cunningham farms with deciduous fruit and wine grapes in the Elgin and Villiersdorp districts. He says he is working on a legacy that is synonymous with innovation and quality.
Agri Eastern Cape: Morné Fritzhenry
Fritzhenry farms with merinos on the farm Hartbeeshoek in the Aberdeen district. He believes in the importance of resource conservation and his cultivation practices make provision for contour walls to counter erosion and improve veld density.
Agri Limpopo: Hannes Wolvaardt
Wolvaardt Boerdery is located in the Letsitele district of Tzaneen, with 30 ha of sweet peppers produced under specialised farming netting, as well as 26 ha of tomatoes and 42 ha of citrus.
Agri Gauteng: Davydd Jenkins
Jenkins farms on the farm Plantforum in the Tshwane district. He is a specialist vegetable seedling grower and also produces micro vegetables and edible flowers.
Agri Northern Cape: Dewald Dempers
Dempers produces maize and barley under irrigation, as well as summer crops, which include groundnuts and pecan nuts. In the winter months, he produces seed oats and lucerne. He farms on the farm Dempers Boerdery in the Vaalhards district.
Kwanalu: Tammy Williams
Williams farms on Canelands and Sekela Estates in the Inanda district of KwaZulu-Natal. She produces macadamias, bananas and litchis.
Importantly, each farmer comes with their unique farming style and will bring amazing people together as they share this special moment in Johannesburg on Thursday.
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