Get ready for the 2023 ARC National Beef Performers Awards


Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

The Agricultural Research Council (ARC) will once again present its National Beef Performers Awards in 2023. This is the 45th instalment of the awards, the aim of which is to showcase the best of the best in seven categories, all relating to beef cattle performance and beef cattle producers. Each of the seven categories is sponsored by various agricultural companies and role-players, and serve to honour those who have excelled in their breeding and production practices, as well as the mentoring of fellow producers.

The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) has been a key stakeholder in these awards since its inception, and continues to play this role this year. As of 2022, Plaas Media is the main sponsor of the awards and will also be sponsoring certain categories.

The seven categories and their sponsors are:

ARC National Best Elite Cow Awards

The finalists in this category are:

AfrisimHentie Jansen van RensburgNoordbrug, North West
BonsmaraJohann KoekemoerBothaville, Free State
BoranTheo van ZylLadybrand, Free State
BrafordJan MeakerWarden, Free State
BraunviehDaleen RoosVrede, Free State
CharolaisDanie SteenkampKlerksdorp, North West
DexterWillie du PlessisRiversdal, Western Cape
LimousinJohn and Tracey DevonportBalfour, Mpumalanga
NguniHannes EksteenPiketberg, Western Cape
PinzgauerFanie Potgieter (Bertie van Zyl Edms Bpk [ZZ2])Modjadjiskloof, Limpopo
PinZ2ylFanie Potgieter (Bertie van Zyl Edms Bpk [ZZ2])Modjadjiskloof, Limpopo
RomagnolaDail van RensburgDelareyville, North West
SA Angus (Red)Kevin and Carl MilesDordrecht, Eastern Cape
Santa GertrudisTina de JagerVryburg, North West
SimbraKarl-Heinz and Sigi HeimstadtGobabis, Namibia
SimmentalerCalla and Jaco BothaRawsonville, Western Cape
South DevonJohn MillerCathcart, Eastern Cape
SussexShaun TrollipBritstown, Northern Cape
TuliDave MullinsGrahamstown, Eastern Cape

This category promotes the best of the best beef cows in South Africa. These cows must possess extraordinary reproduction figures and boast excellent traits such as maternal ability, pre-weaning growth weight, among others. While all beef cattle breeds can enter this category, only one cow per breed is selected as an elite cow.

The sponsor of this category is Farmer’s Weekly, who has been sponsoring this category for the last 44 years. This is their 45th year of involvement in the awards and sponsoring this category – a noteworthy achievement in itself!

ARC National Platinum Bull Awards

The finalists in this category are:

Bonsmara  Nelius FerreiraHarrismith, Free State
BonsmaraNick SerfonteinEdenville, Free State
LimousinJohan FourieModimolle, Limpopo
NguniDoppies NelAugrabies, Northern Cape
SussexCB CilliéBloemfontein, Free State

While this category does not consider only one bull per breed, the criteria for bulls to qualify are quite intricate. A bull must have received a Gold Merit certificate upon completion of an ARC Phase C test, and its dam must be an Elite Cow and have received this status during the year in which the bull received its Gold Merit.

The sponsor of this category is GMP Basic/Leader Products. GMP Basic is long-standing sponsor and will be sponsoring this category for the 12th year in a row.

ARC National KyD Province of the Year Award

The finalists in this category are:

  • KwaZulu-Natal.
  • Mpumalanga.
  • Northern Cape.

The Kaonafatso ya Dikgomo Province of the Year Award aims to give recognition to the three provinces with the highest number of producers who are registered on INTERGIS and are participating in the KyD scheme. The award, now in its eighth year, presents the three leading provinces with a platinum, gold, and silver award.

The sponsor of this category is RCL Foods’ Molatek brand. Molatek is also a long-standing sponsor of this award.

ARC National Kaonafatso ya Dikgomo of the Year Award

The finalists in this category are:

  • Eastern Cape: Lubabalo Ngcwembe of Ikhwezi Lokusa.
  • Free State: Puseletso Tsoeu of Uitvlugt.
  • Gauteng: Bumbi Mahlangu of Mkhalangani Farming.
  • KwaZulu-Natal: James Luvuno of Driekwart.
  • Limpopo: Rudzani Sadiki of Welgewaagd.
  • Mpumalanga: Phakade Khanyile of Kleinfontein.
  • Northern Cape: Maria Kantwan of Rust en Vrede.
  • North West: Waetsho Makgale of Sekobye Makgale & Sons Farm.

This award has been presented for 20 years. In this category, aspiring commercial farmers from eight provinces are nominated as finalists for this award. Criteria for this category considers aspects such as the keeping of performance records, management, and performance of their herds.

The sponsor of this category is Plaas Media/Stockfarm.

ARC National Mentor of the Year Award

The finalists in this category are:

  • Naudé Pienaar of Zondagspan Santas in Zeerust, North West.
  • Piet Mothepu of Kirkdale Farm in Koppies, Free State.

This is a well-known category and its purpose is to acknowledge producers who lead by example. These producers mentor fellow farmers and share their knowledge and experience to help others enhance their productivity and sustainability.

The sponsor of this award is Molatek.

ARC National Special Performance Test Class Awards

The finalists in this category are:

BeefmasterAllan VersveldVolksrust, Mpumalanga
BoranGideon BothaLuckhoff, Free State
BrafordGert van der Merwe and Johan de JagerBethal, Mpumalanga
BrahmanCarel ChalmersMokopane, Limpopo
BrangusFerdie NaudéWelkom, Free State
BraunviehErik de KlerkBoshof, Western Free State
CharolaisRuan ErasmusStella, North West
HerefordDanie van BredaHermon, Western Cape
LimousinJohan FourieModimolle, Limpopo
NguniHannes EksteenPiketberg, Western Cape
RomagnolaFerdi van NiekerkParys, Free State
Santa GertrudisGert BritsDelareyville, North West
SimbraLourens MullerLindley, Free State
SussexCB CilliéBloemfontein, Free State

This category has been presented for more than 40 years and its purpose is to showcase the exceptional performance traits of bulls in various beef cattle breeds. One bull per breed is selected based on gold and silver merits awarded after the bulls completed standardised Phase C growth tests under the auspices of the National Beef Recording and Improvement Scheme. The criteria take into consideration more than just performance – it also lauds functional efficiency.

The sponsor of this category is Plaas Media/Stockfarm.

ARC National Beef Cattle Improvement Herd of the Year Award

The finalists in this category are:

  • Christo Rothmann of Bushmans Mountain Tuli Stud – Tuli.
  • Hannes Eksteen of Exsteen Nguni’s and Sanga’s – Nguni and Sanga.
  • Howard Hobson of Santapine (Pinekloof Trust) – Santa Gertrudis.
  • Gert Brits of Santarust (JH Havemann) – Santa Gertrudis.
  • Corné de Jager of Tierkloof Simmentalers – Simmentaler.
  • Derek Ralfe of Up George Bonsmaras – Bonsmara.

This category considers overall herd management, community and industry involvement, as well as advocacy for the beef production industry. Producers who enter this category must subscribe to a certain set of criteria which include herd performance and reproduction, participation and implementation of performance testing, cow efficiency, completeness of performance records, cow herd size, calving performance, genetic trends, and the application of modern scientific breeding techniques.

The sponsor of this category is Plaas Media/Stockfarm.

Be sure to tune in for the virtual awards ceremony which will take place on 23 November 2023 at 18:00 on the Farm TV YouTube channel.

In case you missed it, you can watch last year’s awards ceremony below:

KyD Province of the Year Award