Young farmer of the year finalist 2013 & 2014
The main objective of the Young Farmer of the Year Competition is largely focused on self-empowerment as well as highlighting the young farmer’s activities and the methodologies used in his farming enterprise. The main criteria for judging relate to the farmer’s management philosophy as well as the technical skills utilised in the practical implementation of this philosophy. In short, this means that the following aspects are of particular importance:
- what the farmer does;
- why he does it; and
- what alternatives are available.
Although the supplementary production and extent (size) of the applicant’s farming activities are taken into consideration, precedence is given to the extent and level of excellence to which the farmer’s management philosophy is carried out and applied in general practice.
The judging process is conducted with reference to the following main divisions, namely:
- The candidate’s vision for the future;
- Budget, records, financing, investment philosophy and filing system, including the candidate’s understanding and input);
- Production: animals, (technical aspects, e.g. breeding programme, feeding, disease control, grazing system, fodder supply, etc.) and/or crops/orchards (technical skills and philosophy with regard to cultivars used, plant spacing, fertilisation, weed control, entomology, plant pathology, cultivation practices, etc.);
- Marketing philosophy and practices (including processing – if applicable, contracts, risk hedging, etc.);
- Maintenance policy and practices;
- Personnel practices, labour philosophy and housing;
- Involvement in organised agriculture and the community;
- Professional profile of the candidate. The ‘professional profile’ is compiled taking into account the following factors/subsections:
- Changes introduced by the candidate himself (if the farm was inherited, ,or if it is managed in partnership with others);
- To what degree the judges’ questions were answered, and the depth of understanding shown by the candidate;
- How the visit was conducted by the candidate (Did the farmer rush through the visit? What aspects of the farming operation were specifically highlighted? etc.);
- Research and trials done, as well as exposure of the candidate on a national and/or international level;
- Layout (efficiency) and appearance of the farmyard and farm;
- Attitude to and action taken with regard to land reform and black economic empowerment;
- Environmentally friendly practices that will impact the long-term sustainability of the farm.
Well done Braam, on receiving recognition as one of the best farm managers in the country, and especially for your commitment to environmentally friendly farming techniques, as well as sound community and staff upliftment programmes.