MEC encourages youth to get into agriculture
THE future of South African farming looks bright, says Themba Mthembu, MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development in KwaZuluNatal.
He was on hand to watch the judging of the RAS Challenge for haltertrained animals at the Royal Show at the weekend.
Addressing students from Cedara College of Agriculture, Mtubatuba Mini Farm, Owen Sithole College of Agriculture, the University of KwaZuluNatal and Hoër Landbouskool Vryheid, he said it was important to encourage more young people to get into the agricultural industry.
“What I have seen in front of me today fits well with the focus that the department has on agricultural production,” he said.
“Seeing the youth today entrusted with these animals makes me very excited.”
Judges Malcolm Moodie, chairperson of the South African Fat Stock Association, and Douglas Fletcher of SA Fat Stock Association, had a tough task choosing the best animals on show in a huge group class.
Ultimately, however, they gave first prize to first time exhibitors, Mtubatuba Mini Farm, who had travelled to the show from Zululand to show their group of Bonsmaras, sponsored by Ferrero Bonsmaras from Harrismith.
Zinhle Sithole accepted the JR Brewitt Floating Trophy and Royal Show medallion from the MEC on behalf of the team, which included Ngcebo Zungu, Mandisa Msweli and Gugu Thobede.
Second place went to Hoër Landbouskool Vryheid who also showed Bonsmaras.
Mtubatuba Mini Farm also did exceptionally well in the contest for haltertrained steers, winning the under 350 kg, 350 kg to 399 kg and 400 kg to 449 kg categories.
The big winner in the unhaltertrained steers was Fererro Bonsmaras.
A thrilled Zinhle Sithole accepts the JR Brewitt Floating Trophy and Royal Show medallion, for showing the best group of four steers, from Themba Mthembu, MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development. With them is judge Malcolm Moodie, chairperson of the SA Fat Stock Association.