A stepping stone for emerging farmers – African Farming

It is important for the next generation of farmers to get involved in the auctioning scene – not only because of the income it provides, but also to gain knowledge and become part of the agriculture industry. By doing so they create a bright future for themselves and a sustainable agriculture industry.

Seeing young farmers take part at auctions makes Allan Sinclair, auctioneer and managing director of Vleissentraal Bloemfontein, hopeful for the future of agriculture in South Africa.

Auctions serve more than one important purpose for young up-and-coming farmers. “Obviously a farmer will come to an auction to market his stock so that he can generate an income for his farming operation,” explains Sinclair. “Another reason would be to compare his animals with those of other farmers. That way he’ll know whether his stock’s quality and condition are good, and whether his animals are market-ready.”

He also points out that auctions are the ideal place for farmers to interact and exchange ideas. It is therefore among the best sources of knowledge for an emerging farmer. 

“One more reason why they should come to auctions: it is a lot of fun!” he says. “You can’t believe the amount of money spent on stock at these events, but everybody has fun. You eat a hotdog, you buy a pancake and, in the process, you learn a lot about the industry as well.”

Thabo Dithakgwe, a 22-year-old livestock farmer from Nasi Ditha Farming close to the Botswana border in North West, confirms that learning from experienced farmers is an important part of his farming education. “With farming you really can’t say you know everything, he explains. “Mentors are quite important to give you direction. They are there to assist you when you need help.” He regularly takes his Bonsmara cattle to auction because he knows he will get good prices there.

For Sinclair, seeing operations such as Dithakgwe’s confirms his belief that the future of farming is bright. “Farming comes from the heart,” Sinclair adds. “If you love farming and you love cattle, the future will be excellent.”

For more information, visit www.vleissentraal.co.za

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