Author: John Firth
John Firth is the 4th generation family owner of Hillcrest Game Estates (a Firth Group subsidiary). Other farming subsidiaries within the Firth Group include pecan nuts (Maquassi Spruit Pecan Nuts), cycad propagation and preservation (Highlands Cycads), as well as the Firth Red Brangus and Firth Wagyu beef businesses.
This Christmas, let us be thankful for life’s many blessings. As I wrote in my year-end message last year (2018), I write again this year: “With an attitude of gratitude” kindly allow me to express my heartfelt thanks to and for the following:
- God’s grace and many blessings: He truly is Lord of the rains and the harvest.
- My wonderful wife and family — I cannot go on without your ongoing love and support.
- For their specialist contributions to our business: Prof. Frederick (Fritz) Hölscher, Prof. Paul Lubout and Mrs Marguerite van der Burgh.
- Hillcrest’s staff and management — Were it not for them, there’d be no farming business.
- Our many stakeholders, suppliers and collaborative partners.
- Lastly, to our many readers and newsletter supporters, a big thank you. Your reader-interest and support makes publishing this newsletter a pleasure.
This past year has had its challenges. The game and wildlife ranching industry remain in a state of contraction. Yet, I am confident however, that these lean years will be followed by years of plenty yet to come. So let’s keep on persevering!
I am excited about next year, 2020, the beginning of a new decade! At the Firth Group (incl. Hillcrest Game Estates) we remain curious and courageous: two essential character-qualities that my wife, Louise, recently reminded me of. Long-time friend and associate Frederick (Fritz) Hölscher (based at the Hult International Business School in the UK, where I studied and completed my MBA) wrote this in a recent email sent to me:
Curiosity and courage are two characteristics of an entrepreneur:
Curiosity opens one’s eyes for opportunities and opens the mind for learning (Curiosity is also a characteristic of love).
Courage is that leap of faith to step out of one’s comfort zone into the unknown.
Conquering one’s fear is the third ‘C’- and this happens when we step up in Hope. Hope is the space of unlimited possibilities: The anchor of our soul!
And then, a final thought I wish to share: As farmers, we need to remain fit in order to face the future with readiness and preparedness. At the Firth Group, Future Fit Farming is an exciting concept (a curious and courageous way of living life and doing farming) that we will share with you in the new year, so be sure to watch this space for news of what’s to come for us in 2020.
In closing, on behalf of the Firth Family and all at Hillcrest Game Estates, may curiosity and courage accompany you into the next decade. We wish you a blessed Christmas and a prosperous New Year. May 2020 be filled with peace, happiness, good health and—above-all—much hope of good things yet to come for you and your families.
Until next time, take good care and God Bless.
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Author: Frits Van Oudtshoorn Frits van Oudtshoorn is a rangeland ecologist residing in the Limpopo province of South