Stay ahead of the curve by understanding the value of training

Theo van Rooyen, an apple and pear farmer in the Western Cape never gave up on his dream to become a farmer. Even though he should be retiring, he decided to take hands with commercial farmers and learn all that he could from them to make a success of his farming enterprise.

Angie Khumalo, presenter of the agricultural television show African Farming on Mzansi Wethu (channel 163), visited him to learn more about what it takes to become a successful apple and pear farmer.

“Theo is not afraid to learn,” she said during the studio interview. “He loves to upskill and values training, just like the John Deere team.”

She asked Jean Elloh, John Deere Sales Manager Western Africa, to tell her more about John Deere’s effort to train customers on how to use their equipment.

“By learning to use our new technologies, farmers will be able to increase their yields,” he said.

Agriculture is a precision science – by learning to effectively use the new technologies John Deere equipment offers, farmers and their workers succeed in creating successful large-scale operations that are top class. Technology means little if a farmer and his team do not know how to use these technologies to increase their productivity. This means they have to be able to operate the new systems and equipment to their utmost capacity.

It’s important for John Deere to provide customers with the know-how to operate their sophisticated machinery. This creates so much more opportunities to expand their horizons and get the most out of every hectare farmed.

John Deere partnered with The Peritum Agri Institute in August this year. The Institute offers advanced equipment operator training to assist new farmers in obtaining these skills.

The three-day Advanced Equipment Operator course is ideally aimed at equipment operators who require more advanced skills, young students or farmers who want to work on farms locally and in the United States, or farmers who perform contract farming. The operator training is a highly intensive practical course. Learners gain knowledge and skills to effectively operate a tractor, combine, self-propelled sprayer and planter according to its advanced functions.

This includes operational functions of the equipment, screen layout and features, hitching of implements, auto steer, GPS functionalities and calibrations, to name but a few. Safety and maintenance of the equipment form the basis of the course, taking into consideration the capital value of equipment and the importance of safety.

Elloh said John Deere not only provides training to customers but also to the employees and dealerships they partner with. The company created a platform called John Deere University where dealers and employees can be upskilled to use the latest technologies.

For information: Contact your nearest John Deere dealer, or John Deere’s office at 080 098 3821, or  visit,

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