The handover of control from a retiring generation to a successor should be managed to ensure continuity on a farm. There is huge value in the elements that would have made such an operation successful, and the new generation should hold on to the principles that work and the values that have forged relationships of trust.
Louis Steyl CEO of the Bonsmara Breed Society and Vleissentraal’s guest speaker, believes continuity is crucial in livestock breeding. “Good genetics may take time to build in a herd, and the breeder needs to establish his (or her) brand early on as a seller of quality livestock,” he says.
The livestock breeder’s reputation rises or falls depending on the continuity of supply of quality animals to the market. This holds true for stud breeders and commercial livestock farmers. Breeder reputations may be built on the sale and performance of hundreds, even thousands, of good animals – and lost on the sale of one bad animal.
The saleyards themselves are a means of providing continuity to farmers. Auctions provide a marketing platform for large-scale commercial farming operations and for small-scale livestock farmers. Access to auctions boosts the marketing capacity of small-scale farmers and is a means of including them in the high-value markets. This establishes new marketing streams and helps small-scale farmers to start building their own reputations as competent cattlemen and -women.
“There is also marketing involved in the business of livestock breeding,” says Steyl. “All livestock farmers work up to a brand that is always defined by the reputation the farmer has in the saleyard.” Buyers must be able to trust the brand of the operation, and this trust should cross the generational bridge. There is inestimable value to the trust that has been built through continuity.Find out more at https://bonsmara.co.za/ or www.vleissentraal.co.za/en