“Farming is my life, it’s not a job,” says Alida Venter. She farms in the Outeniekwa Mountains, between Uniondale and Knysna.

“It’s in the middle of nowhere, but in the perfect place, chosen by our Lord’s hand. It’s a special part of the world, almost completely cut off from the busy outside world … except for December when the narrow dirt road becomes a main route to the popular coastal towns,” she says.

Alida is new to the area. Six years ago, she moved with her family from the Waterberg in Limpopo to the Western Cape. Their house is completely off the grid. “It’s not a tame world and I humbly call myself a farmer, because there are many challenges here, but the rewards are numerous,” she says. Alida farms with British Alpine dairy goats, Pedi sheep, bees, and has a vegetable garden and chickens for personal use.

Farming is in her blood

Farming has always been her calling. “I always hung on my father’s lips when he explained his plans. He couldn’t wait for Monday mornings when he unlocked the barn and started the week. “I had the great privilege of studying Animal Science at the University of Pretoria, and then farmed with my father for a few years. My mother also supported me a lot and never persuaded me to go work in another field instead. It’s a wonderful privilege to have support and opportunities from your family,” she says.

Alida also says that farming is family friendly. “Everyone can work together on a farm for the next generation. It is so wonderful for our sisters to see how our brother and his wife continue my father’s legacy.”

Alida Venter is at her happiest on the farm in the Outeniekwaberge among her animals.

She is excited about the future of agriculture

“I raise my hat for the big commercial farmers in South Africa and worldwide, because we are moving into a new era.”

The agricultural industry is changing with technology and human resources. “Young farmers need to seek advice and wisdom from older farmers, and the older farmers should not be afraid to head in new directions,” says Alida. She also believes that male and female farmers can complement each other in the process, “because we are different, but have the same love and passion in our hearts”.

John Deere walks the road with Alida

Alida grew up with the green tractors and implements on her father’s farm. “I now understand why my father chose John Deere. It is true craftsmanship.” She has a John Deere 5503 with a 553 loader bucket. “It is mobile and strong enough to perform countless tasks on our mountainous piece of land,” she says.

The tractor is not only responsible for the normal establishment of pasture, but according to Alida and her children, it can do everything on the farm, such as composting, transporting beehives, carting stones for barn walls, hauling out trucks and wagons, transporting foreign tourists, cattle transport, moving butchered pigs, hauling wood for the donkey and wood stoves, and hauling manure. “I am very excited about what the tractor will do for us over the years,” she concludes.

To also purchase a stalwart John Deere tractor, visit their website at www.deere.africa/en/.