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KZN young farmer search is on

Kwanalu calls for entries

Every year the agricultural sector takes the time to acknowledge and celebrate the industry’s younger generation of farmers with the search for an exceptional farmer to be named the Toyota Young Farmer of the Year.

The KwaZulu-Natal Agricultural Union (Kwanalu) has launched its hunt for a farmer under 40 years old to represent the province at the national competition, to be held in October in Pretoria.

Encouraging as many young farmers from KZN to enter, the agricultural union’s CEO Sandy La Marque said: “This competition highlights the great skills and entrepreneurial spirit required to be a successful farmer. We know we are blessed with a very high calibre of farmer in our province but this competition is more than just how much a farmer is able to produce or how pretty their farm looks. It’s about sound business acumen and strong agricultural practices among a whole range of other criteria.”

The annual contest will see the most promising young farmers from all nine provinces compete for the coveted title, currently held by Northern Cape farmer Jaco Strauss, and drive away in a brand new Toyota Hilux Single Cab vehicle.


Farmers younger than 40, whether they are owners or partners in a farm, male or female and full members of their provinces’ agricultural unions, are eligible for entry.

The judging and evaluation of the farmers and their agricultural practices, takes place at provincial level with the applicants being evaluated on all aspects of their business including their overall vision for the future of their farm/ business.

Sandy la Marque
Sandy la Marque, CEO of Kwanalu.

The main feature on which the entrants are judged is their management/ business philosophy, as well as the technical competence with which this philosophy is applied. Judges, who visit the farmers on their farms during the selection process, consider all facets of the farmers’ business from financing, budgets, investment policy, to the technical aspects of livestock breeding systems, disease control, pasture systems and plans, to the fertilization, weed control and cultivation practices of crops and orchards.

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Labour philosophy and housing, attitude, and reaction towards land reform and black economic empowerment, as well as personnel practices, involvement in organised agriculture and the community, and even layout and appearance of the farm and farmyard are all areas in which the potential future Young Farmer of the Year is judged.

“We encourage all of our young farmers to enter; they are the future of this country’s food security and should be honoured,” said La Marque.

Entries close on July 31, 2018. For more information and to enter go to or call 033 342 9393.


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