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.
Time flies! I cannot believe it’s October already! The Spring season is now well upon us, with Summer just around the corner.
At Hillcrest, it continues to be a busy time for our team. Particularly, we’re proud to have announced the prized acquisition of our new roan bull Denga: recently purchased at the 2019 Stud Game Breeders Auction from Nyumbu Wildlife (Norman Adami). Well done to Stud Game Breeders on pulling off yet another excellent auction. The Stud Game Breeders group continue to set the national benchmark, as was again illustrated by the superb quality of animals on offer by all members.
As you might have noted from the content of this newsletter, our primary focus for this edition has centered on education. I have a personal passion for education—It’s one of the most reliable and certain ways of preparing the next generation of young farmers for career and life. Accordingly, one of the Firth Group’s primary pillars of strategic investment and corporate social responsibility, is to support education initiatives and partner with education providers: At Hillcrest Game Estates (as well as with some of our other faming divisions) we strive to make a meaningful contribution to the advancement of wildlife and agricultural education in South Africa. Facilitating practical experiences for students from North-West University’s (NWU) Mafikeng campus, makes us extremely excited and enthusiastic about the student-potential that exists out there. Particularly, our collaboration
with Prof. Paul Lubout at NWU, is one of mutual benefit—a true two-way partnership it is. Not only do BSc students get to partake in practical experiences on our farms, but we too gain from being at the forefront of exploring and applying new agricultural and animal science technologies at our different farming divisions spanning cattle, pecan nuts, cycad propagation and conservation, wildlife management and game breeding. Furthermore, both parties also stand to benefit from mutually beneficial student-internship programmes and research projects that will be hosted at our main farm in Wolmaransstad. Really exciting indeed!
That’s about it from me. In our next and final 4 th quarter newsletter that will be published in December, we introduce our Firth RED Brangus and Firth Wagyu cattle farming divisions. We also launch the brand new Firth Group website, so be sure to watch this space—It’s just around the corner.
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