The members of Frontier Bonsmaras are from left to right: The members of Frontier Bonsmaras, from left to right: Andrew van Kerken, Craig Handley, Karen Stirk, Brent McNamara, Felicity McNamara and Justin Stirk.

Founded in 2006, Frontier Bonsmaras fully acknowledges that collaboration is needed to help emerging farmers manage challenges that arise in farming. The group is situated in the Eastern Cape and consists of the following members: Justin Stirk, Craig Handley, Andrew van Kerken and Brent McNamara.

Corporate social investment

emerging farmers

In 2016, Frontier Bonsmaras visited the Sernick Group in the Free State to learn more about their Corporate Social Investment (CSI) programme. It includes the training of emerging farmers in farm management, financial management, farm infrastructure planning, sustainable beef production, animal health, feedlot basics, carcass competitions, procurement of funding and access to markets.

They returned home with the single focus – to implement a module course that will assist and empower emerging farmers in the Eastern Cape with their enterprises.

Project aim: To help empower emerging farmers to run their own successful farming operations without government funding.

Mission: Our mission is to elevate emerging farmers to commercial farmer status through free sharing of our knowledge. This year, we are working through four modules which are each hosted on a different farm.

Objective: Our objective is to achieve our goal through four training modules over four farmers’ days. Each module consists of a one-day programme hosted on the farm of a Frontier Bonsmaras member:

  • Module 1: Herd health and physical selection criteria.
  • Module 2: Herd management, grazing systems and nutrition.
  • Module 3: Finance, marketing and fatstock judging.
  • Module 4: Course evaluation and feedback.
Men and women alike attend Frontier Bonsmaras training days.

Manageable groups

The course content was fixed after visiting emerging farmers. The reason for this was to develop a competent training course that could be easily implemented to suit their circumstances.

The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform assists us by sourcing a group of 40 emerging farmers and transporting them to the locations where the modules are presented. Food is provided for the day. The smaller groups are more manageable, allowing for better interaction with individual farmers. This year we are working with farmers from the Peddie region, east of the Fish River.

We would like this project to eventually become a properly accredited training course at a recognised institution, get corporate sponsors on board and appoint an appropriate individual who would manage the project from within Frontier Bonsmaras. However, we believe in operating carefully and doing things step by step, which leads to more success in the end.

emerging farmersFor more information on our members and on the Bonsmara breed, phone Bonsmara SA on tel +27 (51) 448 6084 or email info@bonsmara.co.za or marketing@bonsmara.co.za. Also visit our website on www.bonsmara.co.za.

 

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