This year’s ALFA was a spectacle like no other. From 17 to 19 September this year, the Afridome in Parys, Free State, was a hive of livestock activity during which enthusiasts and producers of large and small stock could delight in the numerous breeds on display. A total of 5 813 visitors visited stands, viewed animals and looked on as the cream of the country’s livestock was judged.

A total of 134 breeders brought their animals to ALFA, resulting in the presence of 311 beef cattle representing 30 breeds, 29 dairy cattle of three breeds, and 221 small stock of 26 different breeds. In addition, visitors could also view pigs, dogs, horses, rabbits, chickens and even fancy pigeons.

But ALFA’s programme was not limited to exhibitions. The jampacked programme was characterised by exciting demonstrations, workshops, conferences and competitions.

Only the best

Among this year’s prominent ALFA sponsors were Nutri Feeds, BKB and Barnlab. Nutri Feeds was the name sponsor of two projects, the National Heifer Performance Championship and the Moneymaker cow and ewe exhibition. In both cases as well as in the Total Agri Face of the Breed exhibition, performance data was used to identify the top 10% of animals within the different breeds. SA Stud Book, Breedplan and the ARC assisted in identifying the animals and the breeders were then invited to display their animals at ALFA. SA Stud Book’s Logix system generated the data that was used, and the data was then displayed as part of each animal’s exhibit.

Thirteen grand champion rams, who were crowned champions at shows presented during 2019 or were designated as breed representatives, were displayed as part of Barnlab’s Best of the Best exhibition, while BKB’s ram performance championship was presented based on the same principles as the abovementioned heifer performance championship.

In addition, SA Stud Book, as one of the central role-players at ALFA 2019, also presented its breeding symposium at ALFA and held its SA Stud Book Elite regional award functions for beef and dairy cattle, as well as its national awards ceremony for small stock at ALFA. Finalists were announced and the overall winners will be crowned in Bloemfontein next year.

Hinterland National Interbreed Beef Championship

The Hinterland National Interbreed Beef Championship held on 19 September, was an absolute highlight on the ALFA programme. Winners from the country’s top interbreed championships were judged and presented to attendees in a parade held during the ALFA gala dinner.

The worthy winner in this year’s bull championship is the Santa Gertrudis bull, Kanonkop, from Riaan Lubbe’s Red Barrel stud. The female winner is the cow, Hide-A-Ways Serenade; she is a red Angus cow belonging to Hendrik Delport of Migdol. Be sure to watch Grootplaas on kykNET channel 144 to see both winners talk about their animals.

This year Hinterland was even more invested in ALFA than before, with the company also hosting a farm managers’ conference. The purpose of this conference was to draw attention to the specialist nature of the farm manager profession. Well-known businessman and speaker, Brand Pretorius, addressed attendees at this successful event. Pretorius focused on personal, sustainable success guidelines in a constantly changing world.

Zoetis Junior Interbreed Championship

The Zoetis Junior Interbreed Championship is a popular competition among agricultural schools competing at ALFA every year. The animals used must belong to the school itself and may not be borrowed from breeders. The winners in the various categories were:

  • Heifers: Santa Gertrudis, Blouskool (Kroonstad).
  • Junior bulls: Afrikaner bull, Hoërskool Bekker.
  • Senior cows: Santa Gertrudis cow, Blouskool (Kroonstad).
  • Bulls: PinZyl bull, Merensky High.

Santam Agriculture National Silage Competition

Westend Landgoed was crowned Plaas Media’s Santam Agricultural National Silage King for the third consecutive year. They were the overall winner and the winner in the maize category. Kemin Industries entered their winning bunker. Hurwitz Farming won the sorghum category with a silo bag entered by Budissa Agroserve. In the oats silage category, De Draay reigned supreme with a bunker entered by Meadow Feeds Paarl.

The category winners were announced at a mini-conference held at ALFA, and the overall winner was announced at the ALFA gala dinner. Watch the press for more details regarding the winners and the results.

Toyota SA National Young Auctioneer Competition

The final round of the Toyota SA National Young Auctioneer Competition hosted by Plaas Media took place at ALFA. In the junior section for school learners, Albertus Gouws of Marlow Agricultural High School walked away with the honours. In the prestigious young auctioneer category, JP Marais of OVK was crowned this year’s Toyota SA National Young Auctioneer.

Marais competed against Henri Beyleveldt of André Kock & Seun as well as Shaun Kruger of Manaka Farming & Feedlot. As part of his prize, Marais will represent South Africa at an annual international auctioneer competition at the Calgary Stampede in Canada in July 2020.

SAFA Beef Brands Challenge

The South African Feedlot Association (SAFA) this year presented a Beef Brands Challenge in which the meat of various veld and feedlot animals was evaluated based on the Meat Standards Australia (MSA) protocol. In the category for grainfed animals, Sparta Angus reigned supreme, with Woodview Wagyu and eBuhlanti Wagyu Breeders hot on their heels. In the grass-fed category, Langside Meats Veld Reared Beef walked away with the honours, followed by Afri Beef. The overall winner of the challenge was Sparta Angus.

SAFA People’s Choice Beef Challenge

SAFA was also the official sponsor of this year’s ALFA’s annual meat tasting competition for the public. The competition consists of a blind tasting by members of the public, who get to taste the meat of different beef breeds and then vote for the tastiest piece of meat. This year a delicious piece of Afrikaner beef took the honours after it received the most votes. The other breeds that participated were Angus, Brahman, Simmentaler and Bonsmara.

Slaughter stock competitions

This year marks the first time that ALFA presented such a variety of carcass competitions for different species. Here are the winners of the various competitions:

  • RPO Interbreed Slaughter Ox Competition: On the hoof – Theo Coetzee, Beefmaster.
  • RPO Interbreed Carcass Competition: Single carcass – Sernick Bonsmara, Bonsmara.
  • RPO Interbreed Carcass Competition: Group of four – TJ de Jager, Braford.
  • Sernick Junior Slaughter Ox Competition: On the hoof – Morgenzon Landbou-akademie, Braford.
  • Sernick Junior Carcass Competition: Single carcass and group of four – Morgenzon Landbou-akademie, Braford.
  • Sernick Emerging Farmer Carcass Competition: Single carcass – Bodulo Mabote.
  • TAU Voere Slaughter Lamb Carcass Competition: Single carcass – Regina Harmse, Ile de France.
  • TAU Voere Slaughter Lamb Carcass Competition: Group of four – Mark de Bruin (Hageland), Ile de France.
  • ALFA Pig Carcass Competition: Single carcass – Michael Ras, PIC Springtop Farms.
  • ALFA Pig Carcass Competition: Group winner: Petrus Steynberg, Tonbridge Stud.

Other highlights

  • A record price was set when the ALFA winning pig carcass of Michael Ras of PIC Springtop Farms, was sold to Jan van Rensburg of Van Rensburg Vleis in George for a massive R110/kg.
  • In the Cape Gate Mega Ox Competition, Christian de Jager’s Chianina ox, Romeo, weighed in at a whopping 1,33 tons and snapped up the Cape Gate Mega Ox title.
  • In the GWK Highveld Dairy Performance Challenge, the princess of the expo was EDE Farming’s EDE Dreamweaver 18053, while Lowerland Mookie 16052 of Janvos Landgoed was named queen of the expo. Both animals are Holsteins.
  • This year’s FNB Agricultural School of the Year trophy went to Merensky High School. This school achieved the best average overall for the activities that formed part of this year’s ALFA schools programme.
  • Morgenzon Landbou-akademie won the annual Veeplaas School Quiz (one of the legs of the FNB Agricultural School of the Year competition).
  • At this year’s PLAAS Agricultural Youth Foundation conference youths were inspired by, among others, Anita Browne, Agri Gauteng 2019 Young Farmer of the Year, and Rikalize Reyneke, a grade 11 learner from Afrikaanse Hoër Meisieskool Pretoria and owner of La Pieus Aqua.

A new home for ALFA 2020

ALFA concluded on a high note with a very important announcement regarding the expo’s future. Grain SA and ALFA have decided to join hands and will be presenting the very first NAMPO ALFA Livestock, Hunting and Outdoor Expo at NAMPO Park just outside Bothaville in September 2020.

This is an important step in ALFA’s growth and will allow the expo room to spread its wings. In addition, there is currently a great need among producers for a central hunting and outdoor expo. The new expo will afford room for expansion and much more. More details will be announced in the press in due course. – ALFA press release

For more information please contact Albert Loubser on 082 562 2188 or Lynette Louw on 084 580 5120.