WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?
My father always said you should prepare on time so you’re not caught off guard. He also believed every leap year would bring good rains, and it’s happened that way. This advice has helped me prepare on time for the good wet seasons.
IS THERE SOMETHING YOU’D HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY?
I should have bought a farm 10 years ago when the prices were more affordable. I only bought my first farm three years ago. I didn’t get the correct advice when I started all those years ago.
YOUR BIGGEST SUCCESS TO DATE?
Being a successful stud breeder and living my passion for feeding our nation. To be able to contribute to the national production of beef is hugely important to me.
WHO HAS MADE THE BIGGEST CONTRIBUTION TO YOUR SUCCESS?
My father – without the foundation he laid, I wouldn’t be where I am today. As for my stud-breeding success, I’ll always be indebted to my fellow Proveld Bonsmara group member Wessel van Wyk, and Arthur de Villiers.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH NEIGHBOURING FARMERS?
Mutually beneficial and respectful. Most are white commercial farmers. We’re a farming community, not politicians. As farmers we have a common goal: contributing to feeding the nation.
DID YOU BATTLE WITH FINANCING?
It’s difficult when your books aren’t in order and your credit record isn’t what it should be. My advice is simple: keep your books up to date, record everything when you’re using the business’ money, and use a professional bookkeeper.
ANY ADVICE YOU’D OFFER THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE?
All the land bought from the former Bophuthatswana government and redistributed to black farmers should be sold to farmers, not leased to them. These leases do not help us in any way.
HOW IMPORTANT HAS ORGANISED AGRICULTURE BEEN TO YOU?
We need one, united voice in agriculture for all farmers, black and white. We should differentiate by levels of production, not race. To focus on the colour of a farmer’s skin gets us nowhere. As a member of Proveld Bonsmara, I work with white commercial farmers. This has been a huge help in getting great information from really experienced breeders.