Grain SA celebrated the cream of the crop at its annual gala awards evening, held at The Theatre on the Track in Midrand on Friday, 12 October 2018. Honouring the country’s top grain producers, this year’s awards ceremony commemorated the 19th year of the accolades and was attended by Hon Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Mr Sifiso Buthelezi, together with senior governmental officials, representatives of the various agricultural Trusts, organised agriculture as well as captains of industry and the grain producing guests of honour.
The Grain Awards give recognition to grain producers who farm with excellence. In addition, the finalists serve as excellent role models to the younger generation of producers whilst the image of the grain producer is enhanced. The judges were once again faced with a difficult task as all the finalists proved to be exceptional producers with diverse management styles. The Grain Producer of the Year gives recognition to successful grain producers who manage their businesses with such passion and dedication, so as to set an example and serve as inspiration to other producers.
The 2018 Grain SA/Syngenta Grain Producer of the Year was awarded to the Van As Brothers from Swellendam in the Western Cape. Johan and Dirkie van As have been involved in the family farm, Kinko, since 1985. Both brothers have approach farming as perfectionists, with Johan mainly seeing to the finances and livestock, and Dirkie in charge of the grain production. Even so, the different legs of this successful farming operations are transparent and all future planning and purchasing decisions are discussed and decided upon, as a team. The Van As brothers cultivate canola, barley, wheat and lucerne on approximately 8,700 ha. Their livestock comprise stud and commercial sheep, with about 11 000 breeding ewes and approximately a further 10 000 sheep for a wool-meat production system. The Van As Brothers believe that agriculture is the cornerstone of the South African economy and is assured that a strong agricultural sector driven by stability, sustainability and food security, is the key to success.
The other finalists in this category were the Van Zyl Family Trust (Theo, Theo Jnr & Cobus) from Ladybrand in the Free State and the Wilken-family (Louis, Louis Jnr & Jaco) from Middelburg in the Eastern Cape.
View the photo gallery below to catch a glimpse of the evening's highlights:
The Grain Producer of the Year is proudly sponsored by Syngenta South Africa