Future Farmers celebrated another year of developing and enriching the lives of young aspiring farmers in KZN with its annual Future Farmers Day held in Lions River.
The event was attended by US Consul General, Sherry Zalika Sykes, Kwanalu CEO Sandy la Marque, agricultural-industry leaders, sponsors and farmers who came together to recognise the achievements of current and past agricultural apprentices who’ve been part of the programme.
Future Farmers is a unique social programme which aims to cultivate the skills and development of young aspiring farmers from around the country. The programme provides young people with real job experiences in the field of agriculture, providing them with the opportunity to “learn as they earn” by finding apprentice positions on local and then later, international farms.
The brainchild of former Howick dairy farmer, Judy Stuart, Future Farmers has placed many young and eager South African farmers on farms throughout the world and has become a recognised roleplayer in the future of farming in the whole of SA.
The programme has, with the backing of Kwanalu (The KZN Agricultural Union), gained overwhelming support over the past few years from agri-businesses, sponsors and the agricultural industry at large.
“The Future Farmer and Kwanalu relationship goes back eight years and together is responsible for more than 600 aspiring young farmers having the opportunity to become a Future Farmer and for entering the agriculture sector,” said La Marque.
The day saw outstanding participants in the programme each receive a certificate of recognition, with the Mdu Majola Memorial Trophy being awarded to Lindokuhle Zwane (26), for showing the most promise during his dairy apprenticeship, which he is busy with at Mearns Farm in Mooi River.
“Listening to the stories told by the young farmers today is humbling and inspiring. A good work ethic, diligence and an unfettered commitment to the task at hand will result in awesome opportunities and unique possibilities. Kwanalu is proud to be a part of the Future Farmers programme,” said La Marque.
For further information on farming in KZN and Kwanalu visit the website www.kwanalu.co.za