Senwes and John Deere SA visited the Department of Agriculture at the Central University of Technology (CUT) this week in order to hand over a new John Deere 5075E Cab tractor purchased by the department.
The tractor was bought for the newly purchased CUT farm set up as an Agricultural Training Centre in the Bainsvlei area.
It is located 29 km from Bloemfontein with 32 ha of cultivable lands and 1,5 ha of natural pastures. Different cultivation will be done on the farm which will form part of practicals for the agricultural students. Along with research conducted on the farm, practical classes and work-integrated learning will have a high educational and intrinsic value for the students.
The tractor will allow for training of agricultural students, not only to drive the utility tractor but also to operate the vehicle with different implements. Formal tractor operation training sessions will be conducted in collaboration with Senwes and John Deere SA. Students will be exposed to proper maintenance of the machinery and general upkeep.
The CUT farm is surrounded by active commercial farms, which will be beneficial to the department. It will have livestock such as lamb and broiler chicks, including an array of organically grown produce such as watermelons, cabbage, pumpkins, dry land maize and sunflowers, and other melons.
Prof. Carlu van der Westhuizen, Professor: Environmental Health, says the training centre and tractor will contribute to teaching and learning and will add immense value to developing practical skills of students.
A third-year student in agriculture, Palesa Suping, said she is excited that the department has bought a tractor and a farm. “I am very happy that we finally have our own farm and equipment, we used to do our practical at other farms and I was not free to make mistakes and learn from them while doing my practical, but now I feel relaxed in a safe learning environment.”