The awards are presented annually based on performance recordings and require breeders to play close attention to factors including records of matings and births, as well as production measurements.
In addition, animals must meet relevant breeding value requirements. All animals recorded on SA Stud Book’s Logix system are eligible for the awards.
One of the highlights was the announcement of Farmer’s Weekly SA Stud book Mentor Breeder of the Year. This year the award went to inspirational Free State farmer, breeder and value-chain role player Nick Sernick of the Sernick Group.
The group also focuses on training and farmer development. Manager of the emerging farmer development programme, Patrick Sekwatlakwatla, was on hand to receive the award for Sernick, which was presented by Annelie Coleman on behalf of Farmer’s Weekly.
The Unistel SA Studbook Elite 2017 Developing Breeder of the Year Award went to Eastern Cape Nguni stud breeder Zolani Tyali, whose son Mandange was on hand to receive the award.
Tyali operates his Tshezi Nguni Stud on the 202ha Brooklyn Farm in Morgan’s Bay (Komga), about 76km from East London. Tiyali purchased the farm privately in 2004 and his son assists him with managing the day-to-day operations.
The South Devon Bull Nieubaden Bismark owned by Tielman Nieuwoudt was winner of the Vleissentraal Elite Bull Growth Test Class.
Another highlight were the herd of the year awards:
- Beef cattle: Frans and Helmien van den Berg (Op-die-Aarde Bonsmara Stud).
- Dairy cattle: Jan and Arno Schoonwinkel (Kluitjieskraal Jerseys).
- Genetic dairy herd: Dr Kobus Hendriks (Inovula).
- Small stock: Louis van Rensburg (Boerbokstoet).
- Horses: Wim van Bergen (Wimco-stalle Saddle Horse Stud).
- Pigs: Shaun and Pieter Mockford (Leanside Pig Stud).
- Wildlife: Tina de Jager (Valley Venture).