Syferfontein Bonsmaras is proudly celebrating their silver anniversary this year. On Thursday, June 13 2024, Syferfontein hosted their quarter-century auction. Nico Pieterse, owner of Syferfontein Bonsmaras, says it is an incredible privilege to have reached their 25-year milestone, to look back with grateful hearts, and to dream with excitement about the future.

Nico explains: “We held our first auction 25 years ago in the sales pens in Standerton. We sold three young bulls at an average of R9 000 each, and I could hardly believe people wanted to buy my bulls! Over the years, we have developed and grown to the point where we can now reflect on the past 25 years.

“I have had really good mentors and key roleplayers in my life, and I have consistently tried to apply what they taught me. I also had the opportunity to acquire some of the best genetics in the country through the late Arthur de Villiers Sr., and we worked very well together,” says Nico.

He adds: “There is so much joy and emotion involved in this day. Without our Bonsmara association and Bonsmara family, this milestone would not have been possible. There is still a considerable journey ahead of us before we are finished. As our slogan says, ‘We strive for perfection,’ we continue to strive for better year after year.”

Nico shares what he has learned as a farmer over the past 25 years: “No matter how much finances you have, no matter how much expertise you have, you have to start at the bottom,” he says.

He adds: “Breeding is like climbing a small ladder. You determine your own pace and the size of the steps. You learn the value of the genetics you invest in, but also realise the importance of the dedication and precision you put in as well as the administration of your herd. It is a slow process, but I think it is one of the few industries that can give you so much satisfaction.”

Nico Pieterse, executive manager of Syferfontein Bonsmaras, during their 25th auction.

“What I have also learned in this industry is that the type of animal you want to breed is very important; to follow a certain direction and pursue it. It is also important to find a mentor or two, to help and guide you in a certain direction. When you want to make changes in your herd, do not do it too drastically. Make smaller, more sustainable changes. I think one of the biggest mistakes breeders can make is making too drastic changes when they want to alter something within their herd,” Nico believes.

“We genuinely try to breed high-quality, functional, early-maturing animals that thrive throughout South Africa. The highlight of the day for me was the good turnout. People from across the country, from the Western Cape, Southern Cape, and the North attended the auction. Several bulls sold for over R100 000 and even R200 000, and we achieved a good turnover, allowing us to look back with grateful hearts,” he says proudly.

When Nico is asked what the next 25 years hold, he replies: “I think we know exactly where we are and where we are heading. I have young children who are starting to get involved in farming, and it is a pleasure to teach them. I enjoy teaching younger upcoming farmers and serving as a mentor for them.”

He says: “I still want to build on the type of animals I breed, and I want to expand my herd in beautiful ways. I have always had a strong desire to start a good commercial herd, so I believe that is what I will focus on in the future.

“Quality and integrity are of utmost importance to us, and with the Lord’s grace, you can be a good stud breeder,” Nico concludes.

Paul Roos, owner of Bonro Bonsmaras, says it was a great privilege to be a guest seller at Syferfontein’s 25th production auction.

Paul Roos of Bonro Bonsmaras.

He says: “I think the standard at today’s auction was exceptionally good. The type that Syferfontein offers year after year is definitely a type of animal that adapts across the country. Nico’s standard of Syferfontein is always high, and it is a privilege to be associated with one of the top Bonsmara breeders in the country. For me as a young breeder, it is a special opportunity to offer bulls on such a platform.”

“I think the future for the Bonsmara breed looks good. Even in times like these, the auction still achieved good prices, for which we can only be grateful,” Paul adds.

“From Bonro Bonsmara’s side, we just want to thank Syferfontein and Bloukraan Bonsmaras for giving us the opportunity to hold an auction together with them today. We are excited about the road ahead,” Paul concludes.

The offer of Syferfontein, Bloukraan, and Bonro Bonsmaras was once again of outstanding quality, with bulls and female animals that achieved very good prices. The prices achieved for the bulls consistently showcased the excellent quality at the auction.

Here are the highest and average prices:

The two most expensive bulls, lot 10 and lot 20, both sold for R300 000. The bulls achieved an average of R95 964.91.

The most expensive pregnant heifer sold for R70 000. Average for pregnant heifers: R40 937.50.

The most expensive pregnant cow sold for R80 000. Average for pregnant cows: R43 690.48.

The most expensive cow and calf sold for R70 000. Average for cows and calves: R57 500.

Watch highlights of the auction below: