Source and photo credit: Toyota SA media release
The winner of the prestigious Toyota SA/Agri SA Young Farmer of the Year competition was announced on Thursday, 18 November, at a gala dinner in Johannesburg.
Gerhard Bruwer (40) of the farm Genade Boerdery in the Douglas district of the Northern Cape was named the winner. His diversified farming operations include maize, wheat, barley, seed sunflower, potatoes, lucern, pecan nuts, cattle, onions, groundnuts and grapes. Bruwer attributed his success to his support network and farm workers.
The successful hops and protea farmer, Beverley Joseph of the farm Zeply near George in the Western Cape received the Toyota SA New Harvest of the Year award. “My journey as a woman or person of colour trying to gain access to this industry was difficult, but not unique, said Joseph.” She further said that her love of agriculture does not make it difficult to get up in the morning and start her day job.
After the event, Agri SA president Jaco Minnaar said that the participants in both competitions were of a high quality and examples of what the future of agriculture looks like.
Toyota SA has been sponsoring the Young Farmer competition for 17 years running. Farmers up to 40 years who have been paid-up members of their provincial agricultural organisations for at least two years, are eligible. A winner is selected from each of the provinces, after which they are finalists in the Young Farmer of the Year competition.
Bruwer and Josephs each drove away in brand new Toyota Hilux single cab bakkies.
According to Minnaar, the adjudication was extremely professional.
“We are very proud of Bruwer. All the participants are young farmers whom we can be proud of, and I call on them to make themselves available in future to serve as leaders in organised agriculture and in their communities,” said Minnaar.
“Joseph’s success is an example of what can be achieved with hard work and perseverance. It is clear that all the participants in the Young Farmer and New Harvest competitions are not only job creators, but also take the interest of their workers very seriously.”
This young farmer is actively involved in organised agriculture. He serves on the executives of the Douglas farmers’ union and Grain SA. He also serves as chair of Grain SA’s groundnut forum, forms part of Douglas’s young farmer committee and is a member of the Oranjevaal water association’s executive committee. Bruwer is married to Liezel and the couple have three children.