57 cross stage at Grootfontein Graduation Ceremony:

On Friday, December 2, it was again time for the final Academic Prestige Day at Grootfontein College of Agriculture when 57 of the final year students received their Agriculture Diplomas at the College. 60 students enrolled for the 3rd year program, only 3 failed which gives a 95% pass rate for the College.

The Dux student for 2016 is Michelle Peens.

The guest speaker was Mr. Breyton Milford from Agri Expo in the Western Cape. He referred back to his Diploma Ceremony in 2007 where Mr Namakwa Dreyer was the guest speaker and what a huge impression he made on Breyton. He motivated the students to get themselves a mentor in life and to look up to that person. “Don’t be afraid to achieve your goal. Grootfontein learned me a lot and shaped me into the person I am today. I made many friends at Grooties and every moment here was worth it. Grab your opportunities and learn out of other people’s mistakes so that you don’t have to make the same mistakes. When you are on top of a mountain, you have a better view, so reach for the top!”, Breyton  said.

The acting Principal Mr Leslie Mukwhevo presented his Graduation speech  and the Training Report which included the following:

“The competency based learning (CBL) Curriculum was introduced in 2014 and today we have the 1st group to graduate under this new curriculum. With CBL, students are encouraged to apply their minds, explore, investigate, discuss and take responsibility of their studies.

Few policies were revised last year and this includes the Language policy, admission and exclusion policy and student disciplinary policy. The new language policy puts English as the language of teaching and it was then implemented on a facing-out basis, meaning that it was implemented for the 1st year group of 2016 only in this year. Change is always difficult and most people were sceptical about the language issue, but we are glad to report a 98% pass rate from all the 1st year students who wrote examination under this new language policy.

Grootfontein’s main objective is to provide vocational agricultural training in order to prepare students for a career in farming and related occupational fields, with particular emphasis on small stock production and farming in the arid to semi-arid agro-ecological zones of South Africa. This is aimed towards food security and wealth creation within rural communities.

From the 3rd year group 46 students indicated in our survey that they are going to work, 15 have decided to study further and only 4 were undecided. 11 students registered for a B. Agric through our articulation agreement with the University of Free State and it is programmes like this that helps us to test our standard against our vision. Where we fall short we make plans to upgrade.

It is also an interesting, observation that female students are out performing their male counterparts not only in theoretical work but in practical work as well in all year groups.

Merino students’ production unit participated in 2 regional shows where they won the best ewe and best ram in different categories.

The highlights however come from our Angora Goats students’ production unit who participated in the National Angora Goat Show. They won the National Champion Ram and National Champion Ewe. They also won all the other major categories. It goes into history as the first single farm to ever win such many national prices. Today I want to claim that Grootfontein has the best Angora Goats flock in the world and whoever wants to challenge us, bring it on. In line with our vision we have decided to make it a priority that we support our national champions but most importantly improve the standard of the other Student Production Units to this top level!”

Breyton Milford presented the Sanlam Trophy for Integrated Farm Planning to Bennie Kitching (SRC Chairperson 2016).

Petri Maré (SASKV) presented the Mohair SA Award to Esna le Roux (for Outstanding Academic Achievement : Angora Goats and Mohair).

Lismari Hansen received the Louis Hugo Trophy (Best Student: Small Stock practical over 3 years) from Breyton Milford.

Breyton Milford presented the Jotello F Soga Trophy (Versatility through Perseverance) to Khotso Khalo.

Michelle Peens received the Gariep Eco Reserve Award from Gary Donian for the Best Student in Wildlife Management Questionnaire.

Breyton Milford  presented the Grootfontein Students' Association Trophy to TP Swanepoel for Sport Personality of the Year.

Siwe Ndimithi received the Grootfontein Old Students' Union Trophy from Breyton Milford for Merino Sheep & Wool Practical.