I­saac N­to­to: W Ca­pe top a­gri wor­ker

George Herald - - News -

A­li­da de Beer

I­saac N­to­to, the Gar­den Rou­te re­gi­o­nal farm wor­ker of the y­e­ar, is now of­fi­ci­al­ly the We­stern Ca­pe's top farm wor­ker.

N­to­to re­cei­ved the We­stern Ca­pe P­res­ti­ge A­gri Wor­ker A­ward at a ga­la e­vent at the Ne­der­burg Wi­ne E­sta­te on Sa­tur­day nig­ht. He scoop­ed up the a­ward be­fo­re 1 317 ot­her en­trants.

An e­la­ted N­to­to said, "I am very gra­te­ful and hap­py a­bout this a­ward. I feel very pri­vi­le­ged to li­ve in this day and age and be part of a good s­to­ry in South Africa. The­re is still ho­pe in South Africa and for a­gri­cul­tu­re. People in a­gri­cul­tu­re work hard to ma­ke our coun­try gre­at. To my fel­low a­gri-wor­kers: The work t­hat you do is im­por­tant. T­hank you for put­ting your e­ner­gy in­to pro­du­cing food for people's ta­bles e­very day."

N­to­to is one of six a­gri­cul­tu­ral ma­na­ge­ment gra­du­a­tes of the Nel­son Man­de­la U­ni­ver­si­ty cur­rent­ly wor­king for Pro­fes­si­o­nal Hor­ti­cul­tu­ral Con­sulting in Ge­or­ge, which through its 'Gar­den of E­den' brand is the lar­ge­st ex­por­ter of stra­w­ber­ries in Sout­hern Africa.

N­to­to is ju­ni­or ma­na­ger on one of the com­pa­ny's fi­ve farms in Brand­wag ne­ar Mos­sel Bay. He star­ted as a ge­ne­ral wor­ker on the farm, but his po­ten­ti­al was spot­ted and he was soon ap­poin­ted as su­per­vis­or. Last y­e­ar, he was pro­mo­ted to the po­si­ti­on of techni­cal ma­na­ger. The o­w­ner of the farm, Ga­vin Lins­ley-No­a­kes, said N­to­to won be­cau­se he pos­ses­ses the three Ps: pas­si­on, pur­po­se and per­so­na­li­ty.

"I­saac lo­ves wor­king with ber­ries, so the pas­si­on is the­re; he has a pur­po­se - he knows w­he­re he wants to go and he has dri­ve. And per­so­na­li­ty, be­cau­se w­hen you are far­ming with ber­ries, you are far­ming with people and I­saac has a mar­vel­lous way with people. He is al­ways smi­ling and en­coura­ging his te­am, but he is firm at the sa­me time."

As o­ver­all win­ner, he re­cei­ved pri­zes in ex­cess of R100 000 and a pla­ce on the P­res­ti­ge A­gri Wor­ker Forum t­hat meets with the mi­nis­ter e­ach quar­ter to dis­cuss a­gri wor­ker as well as sec­tor re­la­ted is­su­es.

Gar­den Rou­te best per­for­ming re­gi­on

Su­san Wil­lem­se, coor­di­na­tor of the re­gi­o­nal farm wor­ker of the y­e­ar a­wards, re­cei­ved a cer­ti­fi­ca­te and trop­hy on be­half of the Gar­den Rou­te as the best per­for­ming re­gi­on in terms of the farm wor­ker I­saac N­to­to shows off his trop­hy as 2018 We­stern Ca­pe P­res­ti­ge A­gri Wor­ker of the Y­e­ar. With him are, from left: Her­ma­nus Bie­nas (2017 We­stern Ca­pe P­res­ti­ge A­gri Wor­ker of the Y­e­ar), Mi­nis­ter Be­ver­ley S­chä­fer (MEC for E­co­no­mic Op­por­tu­ni­ties) and Mi­nis­ter Alan Win­de (MEC for Com­mu­ni­ty Sa­fe­ty). INSET: Su­san Wil­lem­se, coor­di­na­tor of the Gar­den Rou­te A­gri Wor­ker of the Y­e­ar, proud­ly po­ses with I­saac N­to­to, 2018 top a­gri wor­ker in the We­stern Ca­pe.

com­pe­ti­ti­on.

The­re are 16 re­gi­ons in the pro­vin­ce. Wil­lem­se said they are o­ver the moon.

"This was on­ly the se­cond y­e­ar t­hat we ha­ve par­ti­ci­pa­ted in the farm wor­ker a­wards. Our

en­tries grew from 21 in 2017 to 46 in 2018. We are very ex­ci­ted a­bout the com­pe­ti­ti­on." The P­res­ti­ge A­gri A­wards ha­ve been pre­sen­ted sin­ce 2012 and are spon­so­red by S­hop­ri­te.

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