The Western Cape’s top agricultural employee will be announced at a gala function next month.
Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, said the final regional competitions took place over the past month.
“This year, 1 247 residents participated in the competition, a 20% increase from last year. The Western Cape winner will be announced at an awards ceremony in November. The winners of the regional competition play an important role in food security.
“I’d like to wish the finalists well. They are excellent ambassadors for our agriculture sector,” said Minister Winde.
The Farm Worker of the Year Competition is co-sponsored by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture and Shoprite, Africa’s largest retailer.
“It is thanks to the hard work of the farmers and farm workers that we have produce in our supermarkets. That is why we are so proud to be associated with this competition,” explained Dr Johan van Deventer, General Manager at Freshmark/Shoprite.
The 2015 Farm Worker of the Year will be announced on Saturday evening, 7 November, at Nederburg Wine Estate in Paarl. The province’s top agri-professional is set to receive a cash prize and an overseas trip.
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.
Over 6000 agriculture employees have entered the competition since 2002.
Below is the full list of winners from the September and October ceremonies:
Johan Jantjies, who entered into the Middle Management category, was selected as the overall winner for Langeberg.
Jantjies has been employed at the La Colline farm for 28 years.
Anna Wildschutt from the Goedgedacht farm outside Riebeek Kasteel was named as the overall winner for Swartland.
EGVV (Elgin, Grabouw, Vyeboom & Villiersdorp)
The regional farm worker of the year for EGVV is Lewellin Lewies.
Lewies was entered in the Junior Management category has been employed on the farm Bo-Radyn for 22 years.
The regional farm worker of the year for Koup/Central Karoo is Anrich Koning.
Koning was entered in the Middle Management category. He is employed at Highlands (between Beaufort West and Loxton), where he manages two farms.
Cornel Paulse is the 2015 regional farm worker of the year for Franschhoek.
Paulse is a Junior Manager at Glenwood Vineyards, since 2011.
Willie Booysen is winner of the Stellenbosch regional competition.
Willie is a Junior Manager at Jonkersdrift and he is the chairperson of the farm committee.
The 2015 regional farm worker of the year of the year for Piket Bo-Berg is Alex Shoko.
Alex is a Middle Manager on Moutons Valley Farm in Piket Bo-Berg.
Jacob Diratsagae is the 2015 farm worker of the year for the Berg River region.
Diratsagae is a Junior Manager on Broodkraal Estate (Bergsig) in Piketberg for the past four years.
High- res images of all of the winners are available.