The agricultural industry remains unpredictable year after year and a challenge in many areas, but the perseverance, positive, and creative attitude of John Deere’s team triumphed again this year.

John Deere recently held their annual awards ceremony at Kievitskroon, Pretoria. This opportunity rewards the hard work of John Deere’s dealers, technicians and representatives.

Jaco Beyers, Managing Director of John Deere opened with the following words: “It is therefore with great pride that the champions of the industry are recognised. It is truly an honour to stand here and look back on another incredible year. Everyone sitting here tonight has been invited because you are making an impact in our company and I salute each and every one of you. For the past three years, we have been on a revolutionary journey, in which we have evolved from a manufacturing and farming equipment company to a technology-focused company.

“Tonight’s ceremony is a true reflection of our teams’ dedication, involvement and countless hours on the road. At John Deere we are always striving for something better and investing in our dealers and team members to provide sustainable solutions with innovation and pioneering technology.”

Hentie Breedt received the Jackie Pretorius, Extra Mile Award for exceptional service presented by Lucas Groenewald.

Lucas Groenewald, Sales Manager of John Deere says: “What a wonderful year it has been! Tonight, I am proud and humbled to be part of such an incredible team! The one thing I want to emphasise is that we are not just selling tractors, we are part of the food-producing industry that needs to make us realise anew: Where does your plate of food come from? All credit goes to our farmers.”

He adds: “I am proud to share some highlights of 2023 – at the start of our budget year we submitted 2 300 tractors and sold a total of 2 360. John Deere’s 5075 continues to be the number one seller in the market. John Deere’s 6135B and the 6140M are the best-selling major tractors in South Africa today. We are proud to say that we have sold the most 8R tractors ever this year with a total of 338. We had the best year ever with combine harvester sales with a total of 213 and we sold 133 self-propelled sprayers.

“All credit goes to our merchants and representatives in the field, without you, it would not have been possible!” concluded Lucas.

The awards for 2023 are as follows:

The Jackie Pretorius Extra Mile Award for exceptional service went to Hentie Breedt.

Kwek Dietrichsen of Senwes Hoopstad walked away with the PowerGard™ contract award this year, with Theunis Verster of AFGRI Bethlehem in second place and Philip Human of AFGRI Standerton third.

The salesperson of the year for large agricultural machines is André Botha of GWK Douglas. Paul Jansen van Rensburg of AFGRI Bethal took second place and Arnold Jordaan of JDI Bredasdorp is in third place.

The salesperson of the year for small agricultural machines is Paul Jansen van Rensburg of AFGRI Bethal, with Emile Tomlinson of JDI Swellendam second and a joint third place was awarded to Sarel Opperman of AFGRI Delmas and Nelis van Heerden of Senwes Aliwal North.

Antois van der Westhuizen of John Deere Financial with the winners of the John Deere Finance Specialist Awards: Marthie Botha, Willem Roets and Armand Denoon.

A division in which John Deere showed excellent growth over the past year was with their construction and forestry equipment and for the first time awards were also presented to the achievers of the year in this part of the industry.

The construction and forestry salesperson of the year is Leon Pool of AFGRI Vredendal with Klinton Kane of AFGRI Kempton Park in second place and Susan Hutton of AFGRI North, Middelburg in third place.

AFGRI Equipment receives both awards for highest construction sales and highest segment growth in the construction and forestry division. Pieter Nel received the awards.

Griffiths Makgate, Construction and Forestry Sales Manager received the “Never Idle” award, for his dedication, hard work and growth within the John Deere Group.

Marthie Botha won the John Deere Finance Specialist Award of the year, Willem Roets took second place and Armand Denoon third place.

Karen Jordaan received the SSC Award of the Year for the most contracts (a total of 592) compiled and signed off from January to October 2023.

Zandile Madalane is the John Deere Financial/ABSA Business Analyst of the Year.

Morné Cloete from AFGRI Polokwane was named parts expert of the year. Second was Abraham Mouton of AFGRI Caledon, and third Magda Wallace of AFGRI Bethlehem.

Parts dealer of the year was awarded to AFGRI Lydenburg.

Parts expert finalists and winners with Glenys Milingham of John Deere, Magda Wallace (third), MG Labuschagne (fifth), Morné Cloete (first), Gregory Makenna (fourth) and Abraham Mouton (second).

An annual highlight is the announcement of workshop of the year and this year AFGRI Harrismith walks away with the title, Senwes Parys is second and AFGRI Bethlehem third. AFGRI Middelburg received the award for Construction and Forestry workshop of the year.

Ruan Kriel of AFGRI Brits was named technician of the year, Stephan De Klerk of AFGRI Marquard was second and Izak De Lange of AFGRI Delmas third.

Armand Botha of Mascor White River was named Construction and Forestry technician of the year, Anton Lombard of Senwes Bloemfontein was second and Sabo Magqabi of Mascor Kokstad third.

Armand Botha of Mascor White River was named Construction and Forestry technician of the year.

The dealer of the year award for two- and triple outlets was awarded to Tata Zambia. Dealer of the year single outlet was awarded Swazi Trac.

The dealer of the year for multiple outlets is AFGRI North with JDI Implements second and GWK third.