Outstanding in her field
A 42-year-old female North West farmer has scooped the Absa Agricultural Research Council National Emerging Beef Farmer of the Year Award for 2012.
Matshediso Molale-Mooketsi, a Bonsmara and Nguni cattle breeder from Lykso in the Greater Taung municipality, beat eight other competitors on September 7 2012 to pilot the North West province to the top position.
Molale-Mooketsi is one of the province's Nguni Cattle Development Project beneficiaries and owns the Barui Farming Cooperative.
She outperformed other competitors from eight provinces and positioned North West - for the second successive year - as the best in the promotion of good livestock production practices.
As the 2012 National Emerging Beef Farmer of the Year Molale-Mooketsi will embark on an educational trip to Texas in the United States in April-May 2013.
Texas is regarded as the cattle capital of the world.
The National Emerging Beef Farmer award was was bestowed on Molale-Mooketsi at the recent National Cattle Championship awards held at the Pretoria Show Grounds.
Molale-Mooketsi is a member of the Kaonafatso Ya Dikgomo Scheme, which is sponsored by the national department of agriculture, forestry and fisheries in partnership with the Agricultural Research Council.
More than 1,400 livestock farmers across the country are members of the scheme.
The scheme seeks to support emerging beef farmers by teaching them how to apply best livestock management practices with a view to increasing their productivity and profitability.
Molale-Mooketsi won because of "her proper record-keeping, consistent participation in vaccination programmes, good financial management practices and self discipline".
Molale-Mooketsi said: "The experience I have gained in this scheme will be worthwhile as I will continue to put it to good use in unlocking my potential as a farmer.
"I am also grateful to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development for presenting me with the opportunity to become a successful commercial livestock farmer."
Molale-Mooketsi, who entered this competition for the first time, started farming in 2008 with seven mixed-breed cattle.
Today she is the proud owner of 89 Nguni cattle and 58 Bonsmaras and employs three permanent workers.
Congratulating Molale-Mooketsi on her achievement, the North West MEC for agriculture and rural development, Desbo Mohono, said this milestone was the result of thorough planning, commitment and hard work.
"Seeing the beneficiaries of the department's farmer support programmes demonstrating commitment to the point of being recognised nationally is a great encouragement to us.
"This will also heighten the value we have attached to developing subsistence beef farmers who are prepared to do their part in livestock production and improvement programmes," said Mohono.
Clifford Nkokou from Ganyesa in the Kagisano-Molopo Local Municipality won the award last year.