Jonathan Carlson started working on his dream of becoming a farmer straight after he finished school: he made and sold neck clamps for cattle to raise the funds he would need to turn his aspirations into reality. Today, he runs a small yet successful Boer goat and cattle operation.
Emily Kok, a Karoo sheep farmer and winner of several carcass competitions, spoke to Wouter Kriel about the challenges of communal farming on government-owned land, and how she is overcoming them.
Kalahari Red goat farmer Eddie Goosen is building his stud by buying animals from breeders who can prove full traceability of their lineage. He spoke to Lindi Botha about his meticulous selection process and how this has already paid dividends in two years.
Farmers suffer their greatest sheep losses before weaning, with the majority of lamb deaths occurring during the first 10 days after birth, and more than 20% during the first three days. Dr Josef van Wyngaard, technical manager at Voermol Feeds, spoke to Glenneis Kriel about ways to limit these losses.
Going from a part-time communal farmer to a full-time commercial producer is easier said than done. Eastern Cape farmer Sindile Lloyd James spoke to Glenneis Kriel about how he overcame the barriers to entry through his eagerness to learn, and by using strategic partnerships with government and other farmers.
Ga-Mothapo farmer Thabana Mokgohloa grew up looking after his family’s livestock, and in 2009 took over the running of his parents’ farm. With his focus on maize and sheep, he has turned their subsistence farm into a commercial operation.
Stud Boer goat breeder Desré Ferreira from Vryburg in North West provides a valuable support network to developing and commercial Boer goat farmers. She started mentoring a group of about 30 farmers a decade ago, and now supports 150.
The demand for multicoloured Persian sheep in the Middle East has helped Northern Cape breeder Koenie Kotzé endure the drought. Annelie Coleman reports on how he discovered this market.
The devastating drought in the Northern Cape that lasted from 2018 to 2020 taught award-winning new sheep farmer Etienne van Wyk many lessons about sustainable farming. Annelie Coleman visited him on his farm, Spes Bona, near Marydale.
Prof Tertius Brand, a scientist in animal nutrition at the Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute, shares advice on how to manage a sheep flock during and after a drought in order for farmers to regain the profitability of their operations.
André and Brenda Swanepoel started farming Boer goats as a part-time activity on their smallholding in Mpumalanga. In no time at all, they found themselves running a thriving commercial operation, thanks to an almost insatiable local demand for goat meat. Lindi Botha reports on the enterprise and its future.
Andrew Jordaan Jr of Spekboomberg farm in Cradock in the Eastern Cape was named the Voermol National Sheep Farmer of the Year in 2018. Mike Burgess spoke to him about how he gets the most out of his ewes by leveraging both extensive and intensive production systems.