On Tuesday, 11 July, the Frontier Bonsmara Group hosted yet another successful training day. This time at the Phase C testing station of Winter Castle Bonsmaras, a few kilometers outside Alexandria.

The day covered module 3 of the Frontier Bonsmara emerging farmer course, focusing on finance, marketing and fatstock judging. Click here to read more about Frontier Bonsmara emerging farmer course. The module was presented in Xhosa (mostly) and English to a group of Eastern Cape emerging farmers from the Peddie region. The session included the reasons why calves between 6 and 8 months old should be auctioned instead of keeping them for longer periods of time. There was ample opportunity for questions from the farmers; most of whom were astonished by the shared information, such as methods applied to increase the reproductive performance of cows, and how to make more money.

The course also covered a practical kraal session, which included pointing out the required characteristics of cattle, together with some more do’s and don’ts when working with these animals.

Assist and empower emerging farmers

Frontier Bonsmaras is a group of producers in the Eastern Cape and consists of the following members: Justin Stirk, Craig Handley, Andrew van Kerken and Brent McNamara. They believe in sharing vital information to help emerging farmers run their own successful farming operations without government funding.

The content of the four-module training course was determined after visiting emerging farmers, to develop a competent training course that could be easily implemented to suit their circumstances. The course-topics include: Farm management, financial management, farm infrastructure planning, sustainable beef production, animal health, feedlot basics, carcass competitions, procurement of funding and access to markets.

The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform helps the Frontier Bonsmara Group by sourcing a group of 40 emerging farmers. They transport them to the allocations where the modules are offered, and provide the food for the day. – Carin Venter, Stockfarm

For enquiries, please contact Justin Stirk on 082 662 5901, stirk@itsnet.co.za.