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14 Oct 2013


»Grain SA/Syngenta Producer Of The Year 2013

During a prestigious function that took place on 11 October 2013 Anthony Evans of the Rhys Evans Group, Viljoenskroon was announced as the winner of the Grain SA Producer of 2013 and Maurice Boki of the farm Horncroft, situated between Cedarville and Taylorville, was announced as the Developing Grain Producer of the Year 2013.

For both the Grain SA Producer of the Year as well as the Grain SA Developing Grain Producer of the Year, strict criteria were applied and included human resource practices, sound finance management, diversity farming, responsibility to the development of employees, and many more.

Kobus van Zyl cares for the progress of producers

At the same function Kobus van Zyl was awarded the honour of Agriculturist of the Year 2013. Kobus was honoured for his expert knowledge of agriculture, but more importantly for the value that this agriculturist added to the prosperity and sustainability of producers in the North-West Free State. He holds a BSc Agric Honours as well as an MSc Agric from the University of the Free State. He specialises in precision farming, product development, cultivation of fertilisation of sand and soil, conservation agriculture, general crop fertilisation as well as the development of new techniques, research and evaluation of current practices. He has published several articles in popular and scientific journals and has delivered papers at national and international conferences. Kobus is currently in the employment of Omnia.

Crop and soil specific tilling practices essential

Anthony Evans started farming together with his farther Rhys Evans, on the farm Huntersvlei near Viljoenskroon during 1968 after completing his studies at, amongst others, the Universities of Rhodes, Oxford- and Harvard. It soon became clear to them that high yields were more important than large areas, which led to the withdrawal of low potential soils and the establishing of grazing to include a cattle factor as an integral part of the crop farming. Arno Cronjé - General Manager of the Evans Group joined the farming enterprise during 1991 while Anthony's son David, (the fourth generation) had also in the meantime, joined. Tilling practices are very crop and soil specific and remain one of their greatest challenges. The diverse composition of the soil types, as well as the rotational cropping system leads to the application of various tilling practices. Precision farming, with everything that accompanies that, has become part of their farming practice since 2003.

A passion for agriculture

Maurice Mthandeki Boki was born in Matatiele. He attended St Columbus Primary School and thereafter went to Mariezell High School in Matatiele. He left school in Grade 10 and went to St Anthony's Mission where he obtained his matric certificate. He then moved to Johannesburg and worked at Germiston Municipality for three years. After leaving the municipality, he started working for Twins Pharmaceuticals (Adcock Ingrams) for twelve years. He left the pharmaceutical company in 1977 and bought a trading station in Matatiele, which still exists. In 1995, with the aid of Land Bank, he bought Horncroft farm, which is situated between Cedarville and Taylorville, and has been residing here ever since. He grew up with, and has a passion for agriculture. Maurice married Kholiswa in 1977 and they have four children. He attended crop production, beef production, farm record keeping and farm business management courses at Cedara.

Kobus van Zyl: Agriculturist of the Year 2013 (left) with Andries van Zyl, Vice-Chairperson: Grain SA


Louw Steytler (Chairman: Grain SA) with the winner of the Developing Grain Producer of the Year 2013 and his wife, Kholiswa Boki (left) and Maurice Boki (right) and Brienne van der Walt (Group Head: ABSA Agri Business). ABSA the sponsor of the Developing Framer of the Year.
Louw Steytler (Chairman: Grain SA) with Arno Cronjé (General Manager: Rhys-Evans Group), Anthony Evans (Owner: Rhys-Evans) and Antonie Delport (Managing Director: Syngenta). Die Rhys –Evans group is 2013’s Winner of the Grain Producer of the Year. Syngenta is the sponsor of the Grain Producer of the Year.


For more information, contact Susan Engelbrecht at susan.engelbrecht@grainsa.co.za