In the northeastern part of the Free State, in a small community called Reitz, the adventure of a lifetime awaits prospective students. In a first for South Africa, Peritum Agri Institute and Reitz Landbou Akademie have crafted a gap year programme specifically for students with an interest in agriculture.
The Gap Year in Agriculture is a fun-focused programme that opens up the agricultural sector to prospective students and allows them to gain precious experience in all types of agricultural activities. It is a unique opportunity for students to get first-hand insight into the sector.
Divided into four parts, the programme includes practical demonstrations, short learning modules, weekly farming rotations and best-practice farm visits.
The weekly farming rotations take place at the Reitz Landbou Akademie farming operations, where students look after the academy’s seven different departments on a rotating schedule. Students also get to visit Sernick Group facilities, where they are exposed to the entire meat value chain.
Other agricultural elements included in the programme are a shearing course, yearly vaccination programmes, production models, stud inspection, soil profile analysis, water analysis, auctions and carcass analysis.
Food and lodging sorted
Given the practical nature of the programme, students will need to live close to the farming activities. They will enjoy a year-long stay in the Lentehof hostel at Reitz High School, where they will lodge in double rooms and receive three nutritious meals every day.
Although made possible through collaboration between Peritum Agri Institute and Reitz Landbou Akademie, the Gap Year in Agriculture involves other partners, such as Grain SA, Standard Bank, John Deere, Sernick Group and VKB.
The transition from regimented school learner to an independent student is one that can be jarring, but with the Gap Year in Agriculture, students undertake a journey of self-discovery and growth.
The programme, which is structured around agricultural management, is exactly the exposure students need to start building a solid agricultural foundation.
Sign up for Farmer’s Inside Track: Join our exclusive platform for new entrants into farming and agri-business, with newsletters and podcasts.