The regional candidates for the Agricultural Writers SA (AWSA) North were officially announced on 14 October during an awards event in Pretoria.

The event’s main sponsors were Corteva Agriscience, New Holland Agriculture, NWK and Rijk Zwaan.

The candidates were nominated by AWSA North’s members in the Farmer of the Year, Agronomist of the Year and New Entrant to Commercial Agriculture categories who will now compete during the national awards event against the candidates from the !Xhariep region (West, East and Northern Cape).

Farmer of the year

Here are the Northern region’s candidates for the Agricultural Writers SA Farmer of the Year award:

• ALS Group Agri Division (KwaZulu-Natal) – nominated by Charl van Rooyen
• Danie Bester (Mpumalanga) – nominated by Magda du Toit and Gerrit Bezuidenhout
• Mockford Farms (Limpopo) – nominated by Magda du Toit

“This award focuses on sustainability in the agricultural industry and the judges at national level will look more specifically at aspects such as biological productivity, risk management, management of natural resources, economic stability and social responsibility. Leadership in the industry, management skills and decisions that further contribute to sustainability will come under the spotlight,” says Liza Bohlmann, chairpersonof both the North region as well as the Agricultural Writers SA (national body).

Agriculturalist the year

This year the focus is on agricultural extension servicesin the Agriculturist of the Year category.

“The people in the industry who give advice, share research in an understandable way, give training, and who also do research themselves to be specialist advisers, are an important link in the food value chain.

Producers rely on the knowledge and practical advice of these experts’ guidance to make better decisions on their farms.”

The candidates from the North region are:

• Pieter Bruwer (Mpumalanga) – nominated by Charl van Rooyen
• Martiens du Plessis (North West) – Nominated by Nicolene Smalman
• Rick Kleyn (Gauteng) – nominated by Robyn Joubert

New entrant to commercial agriculture

The third category, New Entrant to Commercial Agriculture, produced one candidate from the region.

The focus falls on farmers who have made the leap from subsistence farmerlevel, to small-scale farmer to a full-fledged commercial producer in the past 10 years and who have already achieved success on various levels and are still forging ahead.

• Kobela Mokgohloa (Gauteng) – nomination by Magda du Toit and Suzanne Oosthuizen.

The national Agricultural Writers SA awards event will be presented this year at Nampo Park, near Bothaville on 11 November 2022.

Source: Agricultural Writers SA