The Agricultural Writers SA Awards 2021 event, sponsored by Bayer, Santam Agriculture, FNB, and Health Squared Agility Agri, gives recognition to the work of those that seek to elevate food security and rural economies.
Farmer of the Year: Jan le Roux
The Le Roux Group encompasses 654 ha of table grapes and 192 ha of prunes and nectarines. The Broodkraal farm is the biggest single table grape unit in the Southern Hemisphere, of which all production occurs under shade netting.
The Le Roux Group’s export company, LeRoux Fruit Exporters, exports more than 3,2 million cartons of grapes, nectarines, and prunes each year to markets including the EU, UK, US, and the Far and Middle East.
Farming methods enhance sustainability on all levels, which includes the welfare of the surrounding community. The business employs 6 200 workers and, through the worker’s trust, employees own a 32% share in Broodkraal.
Le Roux serves on many a committee and played a crucial role in the deregulation of the agricultural markets in the 1990s. His “thinking out of the box” attitude has stood him in good stead and he is well known for believing in the impossible and making it a reality.
New Entrant to Commercial Agriculture: Agmat Brinkhuis
While some empowerment projects are loudly announced but die a quiet death, ChamomileBoerdery has stood the test of time and is a testament to the success that can be achieved through hard work.
Chamomile-Boerdery in Philippi near Cape Town is owned by Agmat Brinkhuis and his wife, Wadea Jappie. Their sons, Tawfeeq and Nabeel Brinkhuis, are also involved on the farm, where they produce herbs, vegetables, and eggs.
Agmat was the first black chairperson of the South African Poultry Association (SAPA) in 2017, while Wadea was crowned the Western Cape’s Department of Agriculture’s Female Farmer of the Year in 2006, 2009, and 2010.
Agriculturalist of the Year: Prof. Gareth Bath
Prof. Gareth Bath has made consistent contributions to his profession through the South African Veterinary Association (SAVA) over the years. Nationally, he has acted as consultant or adviser to the SA Wool Board, National Wool Growers’
Association (NWGA), Red Meat Producers’ Organisation, RPO), and the Red Meat Research and Development Trust (RMRDT), guiding policies and the funding of research.
Internationally, he guided the establishment of the International Sheep Veterinary Association, wrote its constitution, and served as its first president. He is a co-developer of the internationally acclaimed FAMACHA® system of identifying animals for selective treatment, adding to it his Five Point Check and Big Five methods for sustainable parasite ontrol.
Special award for contribution to agriculture: Chris du Toit
A Special Award for his contribution to agriculture was given to Chris du Toit, honorary president of Agri SA. Chris received the Agricultural Personality of the Year Award in recognition of his continuous contribution towards the broader agricultural sector over many years.
FNB Communicator of the Year Award
Print Category: Lindi Botha
TV & Audio: Liezel de Villiers
Social Media & Online: Clayton Swart
CropLife SA Biotechnology Article
CropLife SA Crop Protection Article Award
Agricultural Photographer of the Year
Willem van der Berg.
Bayer Technical Article Award
Charl van Rooyen
Dirk Strydom and