Plaas Media recently held its year-end function at its offices in Centurion. The company decided to make this year’s event a somewhat toned down function, in a bid to support drought-stricken farmers and their workers. The money that was saved in the process was donated towards household goods and food parcels for farming families.

As every year, the company also handed over its annual awards to staff. This year’s awards were handed to the recipients by CEO, Lynette Louw. The awards went to:

Long Service (five years) award: WA Lombard, regional representative, Free State

Technically, WA has been with Plaas Media for nine years, as he was the first recipient of a Plaas Media bursary. However, he was officially appointed as a writer in 2014 and has become a regular writer who tackles difficult subjects with a solid academic and farming background. He also represents Plaas Media in the Free State area and is a well-known face at events in the region.

Social Butterfly award: Esmarié Moodie, sales consultant, Centurion

Esmarié is a member of the Plaas Media sales team, but made an exceptional contribution to Plaas Media’s social media platforms this year while attending events. She provided the online team with very well executed videos, as well as photographs of outstanding quality, while ensuring that minute to minute feedback was given, especially of the auctions she attended.

RSG Landbou Radiorakker-toekenning: Koos du Pisanie, regional representative, Northern Cape

Having won this award previously, Koos proved his consistency by once again making an exceptional contribution towards the content of RSG Landbou. Both the presenter, Lise Roberts, and the producer, Hennie Maas, agreed that the content supplied by Koos was not only useful but also unique, interesting and of exceptional quality.

Plaas Media Ambassador award: Lise Roberts, presenter of RSG Landbou

Lise is not only a pleasure to work with, but her professionalism and conduct has afforded her a highly positive reputation among clients and role-players in the agricultural field, many of whom are leaders in their field. She works mostly independently and has truly embraced the Plaas Media brand, doing the company proud at events through her conduct and the professional relationships she has built up over many years.

Regional Representative of the Year award: Hugo ‘Kardashian’ Lochner, regional representative, Western Cape

Regional representation is one of the most important roles that anyone can fulfill at Plaas Media, but it requires a person who can operate independently and on their own. Anyone who has ever attended an event with Hugo will know that he truly is the face of Plaas Media in the Western Cape (and beyond!). He is well-known, well-respected and promotes the company in a manner that is praiseworthy.

Here are some of the award winners. From left to right are Koos du Pisanie, Esmarié Moodie, Rochelle George, Carin Venter, Hugo Lochner and Juan de Villiers.

Salesperson of the Year: Esmarié Moodie

Despite a difficult year, Esmarié was able to achieve excellent results in especially auction advertising. The Salesperson of the Year award is judged on a number of aspects – from achieving and exceeding targets, to client relations, new client listings and good administration. She came out tops in her team.

Writer of the Year: Carin Venter, regional representative, Eastern Cape

Plaas Media truly does not have poor writers – they are all excellent and this was once again a very difficult category to judge. A number of aspects were considered for this award, including meeting deadlines, factual correctness, presentation of facts, level of interest, level of difficulty, grammatical correctness, etc. Carin met all the criteria and walked away with the award for the second time in her career at Plaas Media.

Plaas Media Merit award: Rochelle George, senior debtor’s clerk

The Plaas Media Merit award is a special award made to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to the company by always having the company’s best interest at heart. It is a person who is dedicated, loyal and often operates in the background to make things work for the better of all our employees. Rochelle has been with Plaas Media for quite a number of years. She is dependable, independent and doesn’t hesitate to take responsibility on her shoulders. Truly a stalwart.

Project of the Year: AFMA Matrix

This year Plaas Media boasted fourteen products and projects which were measured against each other in terms of income, profitability, sales growth and gross profit margin. These products were:

  • www.agriorbit.com (own website).
  • ALFA (annual livestock expo, now NAMPO ALFA).
  • Dié Rooi Ras (magazine for Bonsmara SA).
  • FarmBiz (own monthly magazine title covering agribusiness sphere).
  • Grootplaas (television programme weekday mornings on kykNET).
  • AFMA Matrix (quarterly magazine on behalf of the Animal Feed Manufacturers’ Association).
  • Oilseeds Focus (quarterly magazine on behalf of the Protein Research Foundation).
  • Old Mutual Student of the Year Competition (Plaas Media annual project).
  • RSG Landbou (radio programme weekday mornings from Monday to Thursday on RSG).
  • Stockfarm (own monthly magazine title).
  • Santam Agriculture National Silage Competition (annual Plaas Media project).
  • SA Stud Breeder (annual publication on behalf of SA Stud Book).
  • Toyota SA National Young Auctioneer Competition (annual Plaas Media project).
  • Veeplaas (own magazine title).

All these projects were measured against each other in terms of certain criteria. In respect of growth, the top three products were AFMA Matrix, Oilseeds Focus and the Toyota SA National Young Auctioneer Competition.

In terms of sales targets achieved/exceeded, the top three projects were AFMA Matrix, AgriOrbit and Grootplaas. In terms of gross profit margins, the projects that stood out were AFMA Matrix, Oilseeds Focus and Veeplaas. In terms of contribution to company turnover, the top projects were Veeplaas, Stockfarm and Grootplaas.

To determine the product of the year, scores were allocated to each element measured and the product that came out tops in terms of all the elements of growth, target achievement, contribution to income and gross profit margin was AFMA Matrix.

The team responsible for putting together this product, from left to right, are Susan Steyn, sales consultant, Jayne du Plooy, sub-editor, Karin Changuion-Duffy, senior sales consultant, Danielle Barfoot, deputy editor, and Ursula Human, assistant editor.

The team responsible for putting this product on the table every semester were honoured for their contribution. They are Karin Changuion-Duffy, senior sales consultant, Susan Steyn, sales consultant, Jayne du Plooy, sub-editor, Ursula Human, assistant editor, Ilani Ackerman, layout artist, and Danielle Barfoot, deputy editor.

Staff Member of the Year: Juan de Villiers, sales consultant

The staff member of the year award is a people’s award and the winner is the person who received the most nominations by his or her colleagues. This year three new junior staff members were nominated along with some of the longer-standing employees. The new staff who received nominations this year were Ernst Breytenbach, cameraman, Juan de Villiers, sales consultant, and Deidré Louw, administrative assistant. The longer-standing employees who were nominated were Rochelle George, senior debtor’s clerk, Beauty Mthombeni, administrator, Yolandé Roodt, broadcast co-ordinator, and Ursula Human, assistant editor.

The eventual winner was newbie, Juan de Villiers. Juan not only had an excellent year in terms of sales, but is regarded by his colleagues as always friendly and smiling, a positive energy in the office, helpful and willing to walk the extra mile, always professional in his work conduct, always serious about his work, and always a bok vir sports. Well done, Janneman. – Lynette Louw, Plaas Media