Headed up by Nick Serfontein, legendary Bonsmara farmer and member of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s land advisory panel, the Sernick Group is one of the country’s largest beef operations.
In 2015, after being inundated by requests for assistance from emerging farmers, Sernick started hosting farmers’ days, training days, workshops and carcass competitions.
Overwhelmed by farmers’ eagerness to learn, the group partnered with The Jobs Fund in 2018 to establish the Sernick Emerging Farmers Project, which trains emerging farmers in various aspects of cattle breeding.
To date, a total of 660 farmers have been recruited, given Seta-accredited training and an opportunity to exchange their old animals for top-quality Sernick cattle that fetch Patrick Sekwatlakwatla good prices. These farmers are known as Tier 1 farmers. From this pool, 300 farmers are selected to develop their own herds while maintaining healthy cash flow and generating enough working capital.
They are known as Tier 2 farmers. And of these 300, another 50 farmers have been upskilled to become viable commercial farmers with their own reproductive herds.
These Tier 3 farmers are also given the chance to acquire shares in Sernick Wholesale. The Sernick Emerging Farmers Project is headed by Patrick Sekwatlakwatla and is open to black emerging cattle farmers in the Free State and neighbouring provinces. Candidates must already have land and cattle, because the programme does not supply these.
If you’d like to apply, visit www.sernick.co.za/emerging-farmers/questionnaire-for-cattle-farming-support/ to fill in and submit a questionnaire.