Veeplaas Climate-Smart Ambassador 2024 finalists announced

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

At the start of 2022 Plaas Media launched a project in collaboration with specialist agricultural consultant, Dr Louis du Pisani. The project is aimed at giving recognition to livestock farmers who apply climate-smart farming practices on their land. This year the project is presented for a third time after two very worthy farmers, James Faber and Piet Roux, claimed the title of Veeplaas Climate-Smart Ambassador in 2022 and 2023 respectively. 

The Veeplaas Climate-Smart Ambassador focuses on livestock producers who implement climate-smart farming practices on their farms and who are ultimately willing to share their unique knowledge with other livestock producers. 

The 2024 judging process

The participants had to complete a questionnaire on 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 were considered, and the finalists were chosen. 

Dr du Pisani will be visiting the finalists within the next weeks and months for control purposes, and to get a closer look at these farmers’ climate-smart farming practices. 

Once the farm visits have been completed, the 2024 Veeplaas Climate-Smart Ambassador will be announced. Not only will this person win a substantial cash prize but he or she will also be hosting 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 producers. 

This year’s sponsors

This year’s sponsors deserve a round of applause for their dedication to climate-smart farming in South Africa. Visit the Veeplaas Climate-Smart Ambassador playlist on the Plaas / Farm TV YouTube channel to see what our sponsors have to say about their involvement in this project: 

Our sponsors for 2024 are Nedbank, Zoetis, and new sponsor Advanta Seeds. 

Introducing our climate-smart farmers

The project received several entries from farmers who all implement climate-smart farming practices on their farms. These producers farm under varied conditions and in vastly different regions of the country. The entries were whittled down to six frontrunners, namely Dakman Marais, Charl Saunderson, Hendrik Odendaal, Paul Collet, Henfred Linde and John Luyt. 

From these six, three finalists were selected from the third Veeplaas Climate-Smart Ambassador project. They are, in no specific order:

  • Charl Saunderson from Kenhardt. 
  • Hendrik Odendaal from Standerton. 
  • Paul Collet from Cradock. 

Read more about Climate-Smart Livestock Farming

Congratulations to our finalists and thanks to all the excellent entrants for submitting their entries this year. Be sure to keep an eye on Farm TV, Plaas Media’s YouTube channel, for a feedback interview with Dr du Pisani as well as the three finalists. A follow-up press release will be issued as soon as the winner has been identified and the details of the farmers’ day have been determined. We look forward to stiff competition this year!

For more information regarding the competition, contact Deidré Louw on 066 231 2430 or email 

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