Speakers at Agri-Expo’s annual member show meeting (from left): Breyton Milford, General Manager of Agri-Expo, Dr. Dirk Troskie, Director of Business Planning and Strategy at the Western Cape Department of Agriculture, Corné Nel, BKB’s Area Manager in Beaufort West and Vice-president of Beaufort West Show, Roleen Carstens, and Du Toit Wessels, Agri-Expo Council Members, Ilana Vorster, Brand Coordinator at BKB, Braam Lochner, Director of PPC Makelaars, and Chris Fourie, Vice-President of Agri-Expo.
Agricultural shows play an indispensable role in South Africa’s rural “platteland,” according to speakers at the annual Agri-Expo Members’ Show meeting held on Thursday 27 July in Simondium, situated between Paarl and Franschhoek. More than 70 guests, including representatives of 18 agricultural shows, attended the event.
A SUCCESSFUL SHOW = A THRIVING TOWN
Emphasising the importance of agricultural shows in rural areas, Corné Nel, Vice-president of Beaufort West Show highlighted that “shows not only promote agriculture, but prevent deterioration of the ‘platteland’, and foster community cohesion”. Nel stated that shows also provide opportunities for training agricultural workers, generate income for guesthouses, and contribute to the sustainability of the town. He emphasised that showgrounds host events throughout the year, even securing international events such as the recent gymkhana event held at the Beaufort West showgrounds and the Tent Pegging World Cup which is scheduled to take place for the first time at the George Show.
Dr. Dirk Troskie from the Western Cape Department of Agriculture underlined the significant historical role shows and their members have played in South African agriculture. For instance, the establishment of the Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute, which commemorates its 125th anniversary this year. Elsenburg was acquired in 1898 after the Cape of Good Hope Agricultural Society, known today as Agri-Expo, expressed the need for a department of agriculture in 1883. “Shows continue to offer the department an opportunity to fulfil its mandate of rural development while serving as an ideal platform to directly connect with our clients,” Dr. Troskie said. He stated that a healthy show contributes to a thriving town. The department plans to exhibit at four shows this year: George, Beaufort West, Clanwilliam, and NAMPO Kaap in Bredasdorp. Moreover, senior representatives will visit other shows as well.
At the meeting, other speakers included Du Toit Wessels, Council Member of Agri-Expo, who stressed the importance of a biosecurity protocol at shows, and Braam Lochner, Director of PPC Makelaars in Piketberg, who discussed financial systems and constitutional obligations of shows. Breyton Milford, General Manager of Agri-Expo, described the meeting as a resounding success, commending the large number of guests from across the Western and Northern Cape for attending and showing their commitment to staying abreast of new trends to improve and grow.
AGRI-EXPO RECOGNISES SHOW STALWARTS
Agri-Expo took the opportunity to honour four stalwarts for their long-term contributions to Agri-Expo’s member shows. Honorary awards were presented to Job Steenkamp, Joubert van Wyk, Hannes Lotz, and John van Breda. Both Steenkamp (Victoria West Show) and Van Wyk (Riversdal Show) served as Presidents of their respective shows and were members of the Council of Agri-Expo for several years. Van Wyk served as President of Agri-Expo from 2011 to 2012. Lotz previously managed the Worcester Show, was a Council Member of Agri-Expo, and also worked at Agri-Expo as Show Coordinator. Van Breda, well-known in show circles as “Mr. Show,” served as a former General Manager of Agri-Expo and played various roles in the sector, including as the manager of the then Goodwood Show and as the first Chairman of the National Youth Show.
Anton Swart, who received the award on behalf of Joubert van Wyk of Riversdal Show, Job Steenkamp of Victoria West Show,
Chris Fourie, Vice-President of Agri-Expo, John van Breda, former General Manager of Agri-Expo, and Hannes Lotz, retired Agri-Expo Show Coordinator.
Springtime marks showtime in the Cape, and there are numerous upcoming shows in the Western and Northern Cape throughout the year. Don’t miss out on the excitement in the “platteland” during showtime. For more information about Agri-Expo’s Member Shows, click here.
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