First Agri Hero announced

By Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities:

Lien Visagie, the first winner of an initiative celebrating excellence in the Western Cape’s agricultural sector, is a woman on a mission.

Witzenberg winners

Speaking after winning the Witzenberg regional 2015 Farmworker Competition of the Year, Lien, who works at Donkerbos near Rietfontein, had an inspiring message for people working the agricultural sector. The competition took place last night in Koue Bokkeveld at the Kaleo Manor Guest Farm, Op-die-Berg outside Ceres.

“I am proud to be representing farm workers and the agricultural sector. Nelson Mandela often said we are never too old to learn. And I would like to draw on that and tell farm workers, there are opportunities all around us. Get involved in activities whether it is a Women’s Day event or planning a camp. With the right support from those around you, you can push forward and get to where you want to be in life.”

A community development worker, Lien plays an active role in encouraging residents.  She is involved with the local crèche and aftercare on the farm and is also a shareholder of the Donkerbos Estate land reform project.

Lien will compete alongside the winners of the other regional competitions, which take place across the province over the next few months. As part of the selection process, entrants are interviewed by a panel of agricultural experts on a range of issues including transformation and their vision for the future of the sector. Winners are chosen in 11 categories, including best irrigation specialist, agri-processing specialist and technical operator. Regional winners and runners up receive cash prizes and shopping vouchers from Shoprite.

The 2015 Farmworker of the Year is announced at a gala function on Friday evening 13 November at Nederburg Wine Estate in Paarl. The  province’s top agri-professional receives a cash prize and an overseas trip.

The Farmworker Competition is co-sponsored by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture and Shoprite, South Africa’s largest retailer.

Over 6000 agriculture employees have entered the competition since 2002.

Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, commended Lien.

“Lien is working hard to inspire residents in her area and is making a real difference. I wish her well for the rest of the competition. South Africa has earned a reputation for delivering high-quality produce, which is enjoyed both here at home and in overseas markets. The Western Cape’s agri-professionals are valuables players in driving this industry and ensuring we maintain this brand.”

Regional ceremonies in August:

Region Date Time Venue
Overberg 05 August 2015 18:30 for 19:00 Bredasdorp
Klein Karoo 20 August 2015 18:00 Surval Boutique Olive Estate,Oudtshoorn
Breede Valley 26 August 2015 16:00 Aan de Doorns Cellar
Hex Valley 27 August 2015 15:00 for 15:30 Hex Valley Ledesaal
Durbanville 28 August 2015 10:30 Durbanville Hills Winery

The full list of winners is here:

Witzenberg winners list

Follow the competition on Twitter: #AgriHeroes2015