Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) is thrilled to announce it now has three categories in the Toyota & Agri/SA Young Farmer and Harvest of the Year Competition. The new addition, Communal Farming Association of the Year, forms part of the successful Young Farmer of the Year and New Harvest of the Year competitions – which have become permanent features on the local agricultural calendar. TSAM has been sponsoring the Young Farmer since 2004, New Harvest since 2008 and Conservation South Africa (CSA) since 2017.

This year’s Young Farmer of the Year, Wolvaardt, grows peppers, tomatoes, and citrus in the La Cotte region of Limpopo, while New Harvest winner, Mzinzi, farms with yellow maize, sugar beans, potatoes and turf in the Ugie region of the Eastern Cape. Each of the two winners drove away in a brand-new Hilux 2.4GD-6 Single Cab.

The winner of the inaugural Communal Farming Association of the Year was Vooruitkyk Cooperative. The group consists of 28 members who farm with sheep and goats near Klein Nourivier in the Northern Cape. TSAM hopes that by promoting communal farming, they will be playing a role in alleviating poverty while encouraging sustainable farming practices in the country. The group wins assistance valued at R150 000 to improve their farming operations.

The money can be used towards the association’s development, including the improvement of water infrastructure, agricultural inputs, livestock breeding, agricultural equipment, purchase of mobile kraals as well as the acquisition of dipping materials. The panel of adjudicators of the Communal Farming Association (as well as Young Farmer and New Harvest of the Year) competition, Prof Carlu van der Westhuizen says: “The group should be in existence for a minimum of two years and must be able to prove their existence through their official documents such as certificates, proprietorship documents or meeting minutes.”

For event organisers Agri/SA and Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM), all the awards are an important part of the South African farming calendar. Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at TSAM, Leon Theron says: “Toyota South Africa Motors has complete faith in the South African farming community, and we are also proud to be associated with Young Farmer and New Harvest Awards. We applaud Agri-SA’s commitment to the farming industry, and we are grateful to our partners Conservation SA for their continued support of this prestigious event.”

TSAM also paid tribute to Prof Van der Westhuizen for his many years of involvement with Young Farmer/New Harvest of the Year. “Prof Carlu’s journey with this competition started in 1995 with the Free State Young Farmer of the Year. Then in 2004 Toyota came on board, making the competition national.

“During this period, Prof Carlu visited more than 250 farms on adjudication duties for both Young Farmer & New Harvest of the Year competition. He has driven every Hilux model produced since Toyota became a partner in 2004. The most astonishing stat for me is that he has driven an estimated 108 000km, visiting farms across the country over the past 18 years,” says Theron.

In recognition of his contribution to the agricultural sector and the competition, Prof Van der Westhuizen was rewarded with a brand-new Corolla Cross XR Hybrid by TSAM.

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