It has been a challenging year for all farmers in South Africa, with among others, ongoing drought conditions. A passionate pork farmer in the Lindley district in the Free State, Eric Ntlaba, is however, of the opinion that hard work and perseverance, can lead to success. Ntlaba, who received the New Entrant to Commercial Agriculture Award from the Central Region’s Agricultural Writers South Africa, says farming is his dream. According to him there is a future for all farmers in the country, including emerging farmers.
“All of us have to work hard. The future is in our hands, it is not going to come through government or some handouts.” He believes South Africans must create their own future and farmers must avoid an attitude of dependency because it will bring them nowhere.
Nick Serfontein was named the Free State Farmer of the Year at the awards ceremony held in Bloemfontein on Friday. Vickie Bruwer received the Northern Cape Farmer of the Year Award. The Agriculturist of the Year in the Free State was Mias van der Westhuizen, and Hannes Hattingh was named the Agriculturist of the Year in the Northern Cape. The Agricultural Writers SA team will announce the national winners in Pretoria next month. – Christal-Lize Muller