The five finalists in the Free State Agriculture’s (FSA) Young Farmer of the Year competition believe that there is a future for agriculture in South Africa.
However, they all agree that one has to be willing to work hard, meet the challenges and do what is required.
These young farmers will be competing for the title on this coming Tuesday.
The finalists were visited by the judging panel on their farms in February 20200 but due to the pandemic, FSA was forced to postpone the nomination of the winner,
According to convener of the judges and Head of the Department of Agriculture at the Central University of Technology (CUT), Prof. Pieter Fourie, the finalists are strong candidates who will battle it out to be named FSA’s 25th Young farmer of the Year.
Prof. Fourie further explained that some of the sections on which participants are judged include future vision, budget and finances, production, marketing, maintenance, personnel management and community involvement. “The winner walks away with a FSA cash prize, as well as other prizes from various sponsors, and will automatically participate in the Toyota Agri SA national Young Farmer of the Year competition,” he said.
The Free State finalists, in no particular order are:
Annalea van Niekerk, a cattle farmer from Reitz, wants to make a difference in people’s lives and also give hope to other young people in agriculture.
Douglas Osler, an apple farmer from Fouriesburg, believes that “what you put in, you will get out”.
Jimmy Roberts, a livestock, arable and game farmer from Hertzogville, believes that “you have to spot every opportunity and make the most of it”.
Louis de Jager, a livestock farmer from Wepener, believes “the role of young farmers in South Africa is the development of people in order to make agriculture sustainable”.
Nant Yzel, an arable farmer from Marquard, believes ”the most important tasks of young farmers are to provide food, create jobs and ensure prosperity in the countryside”.
The previous winner, Herman Janse van Rensburg from Arlington, encourages young farmers to farm with passion. “If you lose your passion, you lose heart. Therefore: Do what you have to do and seize the opportunities that come your way.”