9 October 2015
Agricultural Writers SA North's provincial candidates for this year's national Farmer of the Year competition, from left - Hansie Viljoen, North-West, Gugu Mlipha, northern region's candidate for new entrant to commercial farming, Wilscott Radley, Mpumalanga, Magda du Toit, Chairperson Agricultural Writers SA North, Craig MacFarlane ,KwaZulu-Natal and Kobus Steenekamp, Managing Director Monsanto SA.
Agricultural Writers SA North's provincial candidates for this year's national competition of Agriculturist of the Year, from left - Gert Heyns, Marketing Manager of seed, and biotechnology, Monsanto SA, Theo Venter, North-West, Jacob de Villiers, Mpumalanga, Dr Danie Odendaal, Gauteng and Magda du Toit, Chairperson, Agricultural Writers SA North
Sponsored by Monsanto
Agricultural Writers SA North acknowledged outstanding achievements of three commercial farmers, a new entrant in to commercial agriculture, as well as three agricultural personalities. These awards were handed over on Friday evening in Pretoria.
One of the aims of these awards is to give prominence to the role that farmers and agriculturists play in the agricultural sector in South Africa. But it is also important to note that these award recipients also impact on the broader economy of the country as well as the southern African region.
These candidates will all go through to the national awards ceremony of Agricultural Writers SA in Stellenbosch on 13 November where the national farmer, new entrant into commercial agriculture and agriculturist of 2015 will be announced.
The candidates were:
Agriculturist of the Year
Gauteng – Dr Danie Odendaal
Mpumalanga – Dr Jacob de Villiers
North-West- Theo Venter
New Entrant in to Commercial Agriculture
Farmer of the Year
Mpumalanga – Henning Radley and his three sons Will-Scott, Rénald and Henno - Radley Landgoed
North-West – Hansie Viljoen – Viljoen Farming
KwaZulu-Natal – Craig MacFarlane - Loch Buighe
"Every day we are met with the challenge of feeding a growing world population. With these awards, Agricultural Writers SA acknowledges the role that farmers and agriculturists play in addressing this goal," said Magda du Toit, Chairman Agricultural Writers SA.
Magda du Toit: Chairperson Agricultural Writers SA North, Mobile: 27 82 388 0187, Tel: 27 11 790 8254
Background on the initiave by Agricultural Writers SA
Early in 1977 a gathering of seven agricultural journalists, representing the three components of the media - journals, daily newspapers and electronics - assembled in Johannesburg to take the historic decision of formally establishing the Agricultural Writers Association of South Africa. From those small beginnings the association expanded rapidly until it reached a membership total of 140 in two years and a peak of 187 in 1985. Today membership stands at more than 200.
At its inaugural meeting on 30 March 1977, the very first clause adopted for incorporation in its constitution provided for the annual selection of a regional and national farmer and agriculturist of the year. The association's motivation for the introduction of these honours, with appropriate awards, was to give recognition to deserving farming and scientific agricultural merit that would inspire others to emulate the accomplishments of those persons singled out, and at the same time to indicate what could be achieved with good planning and untiring application, under all kinds of conditions and environments. Right from the inception of the awards the response has been immensely rewarding and the honours so bestowed on those selected have been and still are much appreciated by the country's entire agricultural industry.
View a summary of the candidates