Attie Scholtz, a farmer from the Northern Cape, will drive back to his farm in the Douglas area with his brand new Toyota Hilux 2.7 VVTi Raised Body Raider after he was awarded the coveted 2013 Agri SA / Toyota SA Young Farmer of the Year award.
Scholtz was chosen as the 2013 Young Farmer of the Year through many gruelling rounds of elimination and was first chosen as the Northern Cape regional finalist. He was then awarded top honours out of a group of 8 regional finalists.
Speaking at the function, Johannes Möller, president of Agri SA said this year’s finalists have shown the tenacity to carry on through the challenges that they all face with the changing circumstances in Agriculture. “They purposefully look at long-term, sustainable growth to ensure all the possibilities have been considered. The finalists have illustrated that sound decision making skills makes the difference when building a successful business.
“All the finalists are great contenders and very good farmers in their own right but Scholtz is a worthy winner of this coveted prize.”
In winning the award, Scholtz successfully competed against finalists from all other provinces in South Africa. Finalists were nominated based on their performance in their respective region, and were subject to the rule that they are between 18 and 35 and must have been a member of Agri SA’s provincial organisations for at least two years. All finalists were nominated by their respective Agri SA provincial councils and were tested on a multitude of aspects, including their financial and business skills, farming skill and proficiency in management focusing specifically on their own contribution, independence and decision making authority.
Scholtz (35) holds a BComm honours degree in Business Management and farms on Vaallus in the Douglas area near Kimberley in the Northern Cape. He farms with lucerne, maize, wheat, barley, beef cattle. He also owns and runs a transport business which he uses to mainly transport lucerne from his own farm and the neighbouring farms.
Speaking at the gala announcement of the awards, Calvyn Hamman, Toyota South Africa Motors Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, emphasised the ability of farmers in this country. “Farmers know all about tough and what it takes to put food on the country’s table. We salute your resolute will and your ability to ‘maak ‘n plan’. We respect your skill as the manager of a very diverse business and admire your ability to operate in widely varying conditions.”
The evaluations were done by a panel of well-known agricultural specialists. They were the convenor Prof Carlu van der Westhuizen of the Central University of Technology, Free State, Prof Hentie van der Merwe, University of the Free State, Prof Pieter Fourie, Central University of Technology, Free State, and Mr Johannes Kokome, SAB Millers.
In their evaluation of Scholtz’s farming skills, the panel of judges commended him on his overall control and management of his farm, his excellent labour relations and the happy state of his workforce for whom he has helped improve their housing and living conditions and his strong financial management of his farm and his transport business.
“Due to Scholtz’s innovative actions and driving force, his farming operation has grown significantly during the past 7 years irrespective of the huge impact natural disasters (2 floods) had on his business. The irrigation land has more than doubled, while a comprehensive infrastructure and range of farming implements and machinery was established. Scholtz is producing lucerne of the highest quality, to such an extent that he receives a premium price for the product. He investigates several marketing options that are utilised to ensure the highest prices for his crops and livestock. In addition to this, his high level of training enables him to do his own recordkeeping and planning, while he also utilises the available knowledge and skills of other agricultural experts in his business,” says Prof Van der Westhuizen.
Scholtz was awarded the title of 2013 Agri SA / Toyota SA Young Farmer of the Year at a gala dinner held in Johannesburg. He received the keys of a brand new Toyota Hilux from Calvyn Hamman at the event.
“We believe that this vehicle is the perfect fit for Agri SA and the agriculture community at large. Our founder Dr Albert Wessels famously said that he would market our first bakkie, the Toyota Stout, to the farmers first. His logic was that if they found use for it, it would survive any environment. Today, the Toyota Hilux remains South Africa’s favourite vehicle,” says Hamman.
The other finalists in the Young Farmer of the Year competition nominations were:
North West: Heinrich Bruwer farms in the Vryburg area with a Brahman stud, Santa Getrudis stud, Simbra Stud, commercial beef cattle and small stock.
Gauteng: Charl Höll farms in Delmas, Bapsfontein, Thabazimbi and Roedtan with irrigation and dry-land maize, soybeans, wheat, dry beans, potatoes and seed maize.
Mpumalanga: Joachim Prinsloo farms in the Kiepersol area and in Mozambique with bananas, avocados, ginger, macadamia nuts and cattle.
Limpopo: Kobus de Beer farms in the Luxemburg area with sweet corn, baby corn, brinjals, beans, chillies and cattle.
Free State: Danie Slabbert farms in the Reitz and Alldays areas with irrigation and dry-land maize, potatoes, hazel nuts, soybeans, pumpkins and beef cattle.
Eastern Cape: Karel-Günther Jordaan farms in the Cradock area with Merino sheep and Bovelder beef cattle.
- Western Cape: Hannes Toua farms in the Ladismith area with peaches, plums, apricots and pom grenades.