The South African livestock industry will soon gather for Agri-Expo Livestock at Sandringham outside Stellenbosch, presented for the sixth time this year, from Thursday 10 to Saturday 12 October 2019. The event is considered a unique opportunity where the public can experience the total value chain of different livestock industries.
This year, a total of 30 different championships, competitions and activities will be presented. Visitors can see the country’s top animals of various breeds compete with 20 breeders’ societies involved. Highlights include the biggest dairy show in SA, the biggest beef cattle interbreed championships of its kind, as well as the biggest rabbit show in the Western Cape, the Cape Rabbit Club’s Spring Championship show with 12 rabbit breeds. New this year is the first South African Merino Youth Competition, the Cape Arabian Horse Championships and the Milk Producers’ Organisation (MPO) Nedbank Stewardship Awards.
“Livestock’s goal is to provide South Africa’s top breeders with a world-standard platform to showcase their animals and market the breeds, but also to engage the youth in various facets of the agricultural sector with training and knowledge transfer forming an integral part of the expo,” says Johan Ehlers, Chief Executive Officer of Agri-Expo. “The farmer and the public are brought together here. Visitors can look forward to more than 150 exhibitors and meeting 300 farm animals up closely, even behind the scenes such as at the washing bay and the milking parlor. Livestock is a wonderful, honest agricultural experience.”
Best exhibition in Africa
Livestock has, both in 2017 and 2018, been awarded the prestigious ROAR Award as ‘Best Trade and Consumer Exhibition in Africa’ for 12,000+ m2, by AAXO (Association of African Exhibition Organisers). According to Ehlers, this award is not only recognition for Agri-Expo, but also for the larger agricultural industry. “With the support of the industry Livestock has over the past five years been established as the leading and most accessible livestock expo in the country,” Ehlers says.
Biggest dairy show in SA
Livestock is especially popular for the biggest dairy show in South Africa, with the three largest dairy breeds, Jerseys, Ayrshires and Holsteins, competing for the prestigious title of FNB Dairy Queen. The crowning ceremony takes place on Saturday 12 October in the Kaap Agri Show Arena. The judging panel includes international judge Mary Creek of America.
Other dairy industry events include: The Dairy Management Consulting (DMC) Congress; the MPO’s National annual general meeting and gala dinner, where the MPO Nedbank Stewardship Awards are announced; the Western Cape Milk Goat Championships; the Ayrshire Breeders’ Society of South Africa’s annual general meeting and dinner; and the Agricultural Research Council’s Master Dairyman of the Year Awards function.
Biggest beef cattle interbreed championships of its kind
At least 12 different beef cattle breeds compete in the Agri-Expo Livestock beef cattle interbreed championships, the biggest of its kind in SA. The crowning of the BKB Red Meat King or Queen will also take place on Saturday 12 October in the Kaap Agri Show Arena. Well-known breeder Andrew Masterson of the Eastern Cape describes Livestock as “the best marketing opportunity for the industry with first-class amenities and a sky-high standard where you measure yourself against the best”.
Livestock grooms are honoured for their hard work behind the scenes during the Grooms’ Challenge, which is presented for the third time in partnership with Landbouweekblad. The winners will be announced at a special event in the Kaap Agri Show Arena on Friday 11 October.
Free information days for goat and beef cattle industries
The growing consumption of goat products holds tremendous potential for the industry, but first there is a great need for basic training, according to dairy goat expert Donald Mouton. Mouton is Fairview’s farm manager and a speaker at Livestock’s Goat Information Day in partnership with the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) on Thursday 10 October. Other speakers include Dr. Faffa Malan, SA’s best-known virtual veterinarian (made possible by Landbouweekblad), the young livestock farmer Etienne van Wyk of Marydale in the Northern Cape, Samson Morebodi, Fairview’s dairy goat supervisor, and the livestock researcher Leon Kruger.
Those interested in the beef cattle industry can learn from experts from across the country at Livestock’s Beef Cattle Information Day, in partnership with the WCDoA and Standard Bank, presented on Friday 11 October. A highlight is the participation of Kleinjan Gasekoma, National Cattle Farmer of the Year in 2015. Other speakers include award-winning beef cattle breeder Llewellyn Angus, Dr. Faffa Malan, and a Standard Bank financial expert.
“These information days are the ideal opportunity for emerging as well as commercial farmers to broaden their knowledge and obtain the latest information in order to think and farm innovatively,” says Breyton Milford, Operations Manager of Agri-Expo. “Attendance with pre-registration is free, but space is limited.”
Thousands of learners benefit from biggest schools’ programme
About 3 000 learners annually attend Livestock’s free agricultural educational programme, presented in partnership with the WCDoA. It is the biggest schools’ programme of its kind in SA and includes more than ten interactive stations where specialist providers convey the dynamics of the industry. Learners also visit the Connect Agri career and services exhibition of the WCDoA.
Other youth activities include the Old Mutual Insure Agri Western Cape Regional Youth Show, the Toyota SA National Junior Auctioneers Competition (hosted by Stockfarm) and the Merino Youth Competition, which is presented for the first time, in collaboration with the Western Cape agricultural schools.
Entertainment for the whole family
Visitors can look forward to farm food such as Boer goat meat, roosterkoek and skaapstertjies as well as wine, craft beer and gin, and much more. The Groot Plaasproe on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 October includes performances by Nic Stevens, The Wildberries and Pieter Mohr; a Pinotage and biltong tasting on International Pinotage Day (Saturday 12 October) and a Shiraz and venison tasting on Sunday 13 October; as well as line dancing competitions, World Cup Rugby on the big screen, an ice cream eating competition and braai competitions.
Information and tickets
Also on the programme is an agri-worker seminar in partnership with the WCDoA on Thursday 10 October and the third SA Working Sheepdog auction by BKB and well-known breeders, as well as an auction of Percherons from the Elsenburg stud on Friday 11 October. Visit www.livestock.org.za for the full programme.
Livestock takes place daily from 09:00 to 17:00. Tickets are available from Computicket and at the gate at R120 for adults, R60 for pensioners (Thursday and Friday), R30 for scholars (free Thursday and Friday) and free for children under six years. For more information, contact Agri-Expo on 021-975 4440 or e-mail us.