Lüneberg farmer bags 2023 Kwanalu young farmer title

Lüneberg timber, maize, soy bean and free range cattle farmer, Heiko Gevers is the 2023 KwaZulu-Natal Agricultural Union (Kwanalu) Young Farmer of the Year. Gevers’ remarkable precision, keen eye for maximizing profitability, and unwavering commitment to community development captured the judges' attention.

“Each year, we're inspired by the fresh approach of a new generation of farmers who blend innovation with tried-and-true farming practices to create resilient businesses in the face of industry challenges,” said Kwanalu CEO, Sandy La Marque.

Gevers (28) stood out for his organised, systematic and detail-oriented approach to farming. As the farm manager on his parents' farm, he has implemented precise farming practices, ensuring economic sustainability and optimal yields.

“Proper attention and meticulous record-keeping are paramount in our business. Spreadsheets are my trusted companions, used for everything from grazing schedules to rotation planning and chemical usage,” said Gevers, sharing his approach.

The Toyota/Kwanalu Young Farmer of the Year 2023 competition is open to farmers under the age of 40, male or female who are full members of their provinces agricultural unions. Judges evaluate applicants at the provincial level, assessing various aspects of their business, including their vision for the farm's future and their practical application of management philosophy.

Using his business acumen and innovative mindset, Gevers is continuously exploring ways to adapt operations to enhance profit margins and ensure long-term economic sustainability.

“I'm always on the lookout for innovative ways to refine our product for the market and exploring new crops that could be a lucrative commodity. If we expand the business, we can create more job opportunities for our local community,” said Gevers.

Gevers' deep compassion shines through his commitment to the people reliant on the farm. He consistently initiates community upliftment projects, assists local residents in planting maize, and supports the local school with various needs, including levelling of the soccer field and constructing goalposts.

“Heiko's genuine care for people and the farm is evident in everything he does. He embodies the spirit of innovation, community support, and sustainable farming that the KZN Kwanalu Young Farmer of the Year represents, making him a true champion for the agricultural industry,” says La Marque.

“As farmers, we are constantly surviving new challenges; whether environmental, economic or political. But we are united in that we are aligned to a common goal, providing for the nation. It is of the utmost importance to have good working relationships with neighbours and the community to ensure a long-term farming future. At the end of the day, we have to look after one another,” said Gevers.

The KwaZulu-Natal Agricultural Union, Kwanalu, is a representative organization voice of the rural and agricultural sectors in the province. It’s viewpoints are based on submissions from its members and it is committed to a sustainable and profitable future for Agriculture within KwaZulu-Natal and the greater South Africa.

For more information on Kwanalu, visit www.kwanalu.co.za or call 033 342 9393.