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At the start of 2022 Plaas Media launched a new project in collaboration with specialist agri-consultant, Dr Louis du Pisani, an expert in the fields of veld and grazing, livestock, and farming economics. This project is presented for a second time this year after a successful first run in which well-known producer and industry role-player, James Faber, won the title of Veeplaas Climate-Smart Ambassador.
The Veeplaas Climate-Smart Ambassador project aims to identify livestock producers who implement climate-smart farming practices on their farms and who are passionate about the sustainability of their environment and resources. These are also individuals who are willing to share their knowledge with other livestock producers who share the same passion, and to help them become better climate-smart farmers.
The participants had to complete a questionnaire on www.agriorbit.com which considers their farming practices from six angles, namely veld management, herd management, management of erosion, bush encroachment and bare areas, drought management, financial management and general knowledge in respect of climate change. The participants’ answers were scored on a scale of one to ten, after which the answers as well as the points allocation was considered, and the finalists were then chosen. The questionnaire was reviewed after 2022 and additional questions were added regarding grazing systems and veld management.
Dr du Pisani will be visiting the finalists within the next couple of weeks for control purposes and to get a closer look at these farmers’ climate-smart farming practices.
Once the farm visits have been completed, the 2023 Veeplaas Climate-Smart Ambassador will be announced. Not only will this person win a substantial cash prize but he or she will also host a farmer’s day on their farm later this year, during which they will share their knowledge with other participants and interested producers. Sponsors will also receive an opportunity to interact with the participants and other producers to share their passion regarding climate-smart farming.
This year’s sponsors
This year’s sponsors deserve a round of applause for their dedication to climate-smart farming in South Africa. Keep an eye on Plaas/Farm TV in the coming months for interviews with these sponsors to learn more about their involvement in the project, their business practices and what they do in the fight against climate change. Our sponsors for 2023 are Nedbank, Zoetis, and Elanco.
Introducing our climate-smart farmers
The project received nine formidable entries from farmers who all implement climate-smart farming practices on their farms. The entrants were Zippo Lamprecht, Casper Slabbert, Brendan Kingwill, Joe van Wyk, Pierre Thirion, Piet Roux, Lochner Eksteen, Gerrit van Zyl and Matthys Grobler.
The three finalists in the second Veeplaas Climate-Smart Ambassador project, in no specific order, are:
• Matthys Grobler from Soutpan.
• Gerrit van Zyl from Dewetsdorp.
• Piet Roux from Prieska.
Congratulations to our finalists and for all the excellent entries we received this year. Be sure to keep an eye on Farm TV, Plaas Media’s YouTube channel, for a feedback interview with Dr du Pisani regarding the three finalists: https://www.youtube.com/@PlaasTVFarmTV/featured
For more information regarding the competition, 2024 entries, 2023/2024 sponsorships or other enquiries, contact Deidré Louw on 066 231 2430 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.