The importance of finding a good mentor as a new farmer can never be underestimated. Matshidiso Mooketsi was hailed as the 2020 Agricultural Research Council national mentor of the year, and she joined the Farmer’s Inside Track podcast to share her secrets for what makes an extraordinary mentor.
“An exceptional mentor will be someone who has the welfare of their mentees in their heart, who is knowledgeable and eager to invest in others,” according to Mooketsi.
Good mentors are not just found, she says. People should look for mentors who fit their needs and who will be devoted to their mentorship; someone who will be able to listen actively and be able to provide feedback to their mentees.
“The value of mentorship to smallholder farmers and beneficiaries of land reform is to encourage and guide,” says Mooketsi. “As a mentor I have been there, I have seen it and have done it.”
This value of mentorship is achieved through the three Cs of mentorship, says Mooketsi. Those are consultation, counselling and cheerleading.
“Beneficiaries of land reform can benefit a lot from mentorship,” she says. “They gain skill, knowledge and choices of farming enterprises.”
They are also empowered, and hopefully this raises their self-esteem.
“I would advise government to invest in mentorship, seeing as I am a product thereof,” she says.
Other podcast highlights:
This week’s episode of Mzansi’s favourite agriculture podcast also has other highlights for the agricultural sector:
- 5 steps to start farming with grain: Journalist Dona van Eeden chats to Buchule Pama who will share a few steps to start farming grain.
- Farmer’s tip of the week: Our farmer tip of the week comes from the winner of Free State Agriculture’s Young Farmer of the Year competition, Doug Osler.
- Book of the week: Our book of the week is Wanted Dead and Alive, The Case for South Africa’s cattle by Gregory Mthembu-Salter. He takes us on a journey across Mzansi to consider the role of cattle in our society. Carolien Samson, Grobank’s executive for strategy, environment, social and governance affairs, reviewed this book.
- App of the week: The ARC Hub app provides farmers with critical information and best-practice knowledge that allows them to be productive, economically efficient and contribute meaningfully to the nation’s food basket and keeping the country fed. The Agricultural Research Councils’ Advisory service coordinator Lerato Maboa tells us more about this app.
- Soil Sistas: This week’s #SoilSista, powered by Food For Mzansi and Corteva Agriscience, is Khethiwe Maseko, the founder of Gugulam Poultry House in Bronkhorstspruit, Gauteng. She’s a farmer who started out as a domestic worker, and today she is a proud ambassador for the agricultural sector.
- Mzansi Flavour: The founder of the Ditshoswane community art centre and food garden, Vuyo Mayesa has merged his love for art with his love for food, creating a vibrant, fresh green basil pesto he proudly calls “Vuyo’s Organic Pesto.”
How to listen to Farmer’s Inside Track
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