WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN?
Cois Harman encouraged me and advised me to stick to what I know best and leave what I do not know. That has worked for me.
IF THERE IS ONE THING YOU COULD HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
I wouldn’t have started on communal land, where I lost 20 in-calf heifers. But everything happens for a reason – perhaps I wouldn’t have had the same passion and drive, had those animals not been stolen.
YOUR BIGGEST SUCCESS TO DATE?
I have produced quality animals for emerging and commercial farmers. That makes me proud today.
WHO HAS MADE THE BIGGEST CONTRIBUTION TO YOUR SUCCESS SO FAR?
My family. They gave me the support, space and time I needed to grow to where I am.
HOW IS YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR NEIGHBOURING FARMERS?
It’s great. We support and help one another with whatever we need, including implements.
DID YOU STRUGGLE TO SECURE FINANCING AND HOW WOULD YOU ADVISE OTHERS IN THIS REGARD?
I’ve never had any financing for my farming operation. I have battled alone since I started, but I haven’t given up. My advice to new farmers is to plan for their ventures and start with what they have.
WHAT ROLE DO INPUT SUPPLIERS, LIKE ANIMAL-HEALTH COMPANIES, PLAY IN YOUR BUSINESS?
I have a good relationship with my animal-health products supplier. He provides me with much-needed assistance. We also have an established series of information days on my farm through which we try to support other farmers in the area.
IF YOU COULD GIVE THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE SOME ADVICE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
She should listen to farmers and plan with them. No policy or programme should be developed without consulting farmers.
HAS ORGANISED AGRICULTURE MADE A DIFFERENCE TO YOUR SUCCESS IN FARMING?
It is the key to success for any serious farmer. I don’t think, as black farmers, we appreciate the role organised agriculture plays or recognise its potential to help us succeed.