A married couple, two brothers, one farmer from Gauteng, one from KwaZulu-Natal and three farmers from Limpopo will be taking each other on in this year’s TLU SA / Old Mutual Insure Agri / Manitou / Mahindra – Young Farmer of the Year competition.

TLU SA announced the top eight finalists today.

Young farmers (under 35) from all over the country entered the competition, and the judges had a tough time sorting through the merits of the entrants during the first round before the finalists from the regions were identified.

“We were pleasantly surprised by the quality of young farmers who entered the competition this year,” says Mr Bennie van Zyl, the General Manager of TLU SA and one of the judges. “The resolution, vision for the future and general management skills are a great comfort to us, seen against the backdrop of the unsure times agriculture faces today.”

The eight finalists are (in alphabetical order):

  • AJ Wohlfarht (34) from Wohlfarht Pluimvee in Gauteng near Magaliesburg. He farms with poultry;
  • Azelle Uys (29) from Platkoppie in Heidelberg near Suikerbos. She farms with cattle and sheep;
  • George and Stephan Cloete (29 and 28) of the farm Holbank in Ermelo, Mpumalanga. They farm with sheep, maize and soybeans;
  • Henna du Plessis (33) of Rockferry on Maasstroom in Limpopo. He farms with vegetables and game;
  • Lukas Eksteen (33) of Buffelsfontein in Naboomspruit, Limpopo. He farms with cattle, specifically Bonsmara;
  • Neels Uys (30) of Platkoppie in Heidelberg near Suikerbos. He is a crop farmer;
  • Stefan Landman (33) of Dagwacht in Groenvlei in the north of KwaZulu-Natal (Wakkerstroom/Utrecht area). He farms with sheep, cattle, soybeans and maize;
  • Wynand Louw (28) of Nooitgedacht in Limpopo in the Soutpansberg District. He farms with Boran cattle and macadamia nuts.

The panel of judges met the finalists’ end of June to get insights into their lives and farms as part of the judgement process.

Videos of each of the contestants are available on TLU SA’s website (https://www.tlu.co.za/jongboere/) as well as the Facebook pages (TLU SA on https://www.facebook.com/TLUSAsedert1897/ and TLU SA Jongboere on https://www.facebook.com/TLUSAJongboere/).

A brand-new initiative of the competition is the voice of the community. Anyone can vote for their three favourite farmers. These votes also carry weight in the judging process. The public can vote directly on TLU SA’s website or by sending an SMS with the participant’s name to 34855.

We are very excited about the step to involve the community with the voting process,” says Mr Van Zyl. “It is essential to give our young farmers the needed recognition and motivation to strengthen the future of agriculture. We wish all the finalists our best.”

The top three finalists will be announced during TLU SA’s Congress on 18 September.

**TLU SA will supply local media with profiles of each of the finalists by 12 August.**

 

Issued by:                  TLU SA

Date:                           8 August 2019

Enquiries:                  Mr Bennie van Zyl, General Manager TLU SA,

                                       Cell.: 082 466 4470

                                      Mr Ferdi Landman, Chair TLU SA: Young Farmers,

                                      Cell.: 083 648 6077