ALFA 2018 is built around specific priority projects. These priority projects will focus on the various branches on the livestock farm, their products and the relevant role-players involved in each one. Most of the projects fall within the framework of the five focus areas of ALFA 2018, namely interbreed, slaughter oxen, youth, auctions, and social and agricultural development. The expo is inspired by the Animal Improvement Act, 1998 (Act 62 of 1998) with various mini expos that will focus on the different livestock species controlled by the act.

We will also focus on the different value chains of the livestock industry, namely red meat, game, dairy and natural fibre (wool). In addition, there will be an international focus with the aim of introducing South Africa to foreign countries and vice versa. Our target market with these presentations is the commercial livestock farmer who mainly farms on the Highveld, but also within the broader context of South Africa and the Southern-African Development Community (SADC).

The name ‘ALFA’ stands for: African Livestock Trade Fair. Everything hosted at ALFA 2018 is in line with the mission statement contained in the name. The focus is summarised as follows:

  • Emphasis is placed on innovation and exposure to new techniques and technology.
  • Visitors to ALFA 2018 are participants, and interaction is achieved at all levels between exhibitors and visitors. Workshops, conferences and demonstrations are presented alongside the exhibitions.
  • Top-quality animals are exhibited in all projects and by all breeds. Only the best genetics are exhibited.
  • All projects focus on precision, value chain integration and consumer attitude.
  • Recognition is given to South Africa’s role in Africa and we try to expose the South African livestock industry to the rest of Africa.
  • The aim is to facilitate trade in all exhibitions and across all industries.
  • There is a youth focus, from school to tertiary level, and integration with the different industries is encouraged.
  • The goal is to stimulate agricultural development, introduce role-players to one another and to, especially, motivate private initiatives in the sector.
  • Attention is paid to the different subdivisions of inputs to the total agricultural industry, but with a focus on the livestock farmer. It includes mechanisation, financing, seed, insurance, fertilisation, implements, etc.

NOTE: This is a concept document and not all project sponsorships contained herein have been confirmed. Contact me for more information about confirmed sponsorships, mini expos and programme items.


The interbreed concept recognises the existence of different breeds with their respective qualities, and acknowledges outstanding animals across breed boundaries. In all cases, there will be cooperation with the National Interbreed Judging Association for professional and objective judging. Performance data is always used as foundation and all evaluations are scientifically founded.

  1. The Hinterland National Interbreed Beef Cattle Championships

The interbreed grand champion male and female animal from the twelve largest shows in South Africa are invited to take part in these championships, which will crown the national interbreed male and female champions.

  1. The Vleissentraal National Heifer Performance Championships

This competition is for heifers that are not halter trained. A champion is selected per breed. Performance data is used as foundation for animals to qualify for participation. Thereafter a functional efficiency index is used. No subjective judging is used to determine winners. An interbreed winner is also chosen by the public. A total of 16 beef breeds will take part in this year’s competition.

  1. The GWK Highveld Dairy Interbreed Championships

It is the only fully-fledged interbreed championship for dairy cattle on the Highveld. Not only are all four breeds involved, but a Highveld show per breed is held, where animals can qualify for the interbreed championships.

  1. The Zoetis Junior Interbreed Championships

Veeplaas stud beef herds have already been placed at ten different agricultural schools as part of the PLAAS Agricultural Youth Foundation. These animals compete in the junior interbreed championships for best junior interbreed animals.

  1. The Nutrifeeds Moneymaker Beef Cow Championships

All beef breeds are invited to choose their top ‘Moneymaker’ cow (ten years of age) based on the number of progeny and to what extent she has influenced the breed via her progeny.

To encourage interaction and participation, visitors to ALFA 2018 will have the opportunity to select the winners in a ‘people’s choice’ challenge. There is also extensive cooperation with the breeders’ societies and the different registration authorities.


Although the small stock programme falls under the interbreed focus, special attention is given to small stock, because there is no other specific focus on the small stock industry on the Highveld. Without a doubt, the small stock industry is the most profitable part of the ruminant side of the livestock industry. Therefore, the industry plays a key role in livestock farming systems on the Highveld. Considering the recent progress with multiplets, intensive systems and sheep feedlots, it certainly is one of the most thriving branches.

  1. The BKB National Small Stock Performance Championships

Twelve different breeds will take part in cooperation with SA Stud Book to identify the best male animal younger than three years, based on measured performance. No subjective judging is used in the evaluation.

  1. The Barnlab Small Stock Expo

South Africa is blessed with a fantastic variety of animals. At ALFA 2018 we aim to exhibit these breeds under one roof, in order to create the largest and most complete exhibition of different small stock breeds.

  1. The Barnlab Small Stock Production Workshop

Kenneth Botha will discuss the practical aspects of small stock production and nutrition in a feedlot.

  1. The Zoetis Intensive Sheep Farmer of the Year competition

This competition is held in collaboration with Mamre Dormers, Veeplaas and the University of the Free State. The competition will reach its peak when the 2018 winners are announced at the ALFA 2018 dinner.


The Samic carcass identification system has allowed Samic, through the years, to add great value by acknowledging top carcasses. The farmer’s ability to predict the classification of the carcass when he judges the live animal on the hoof, is one of the few things he can do to influence his price positively. This is the goal of the Slaughter Ox Judging Association, which is involved in each of the following competitions.

  1. The Molatek Highveld Slaughter Ox and Carcass Championships

Beef farmers on the Highveld are invited to enter four slaughter animals each to take part in Samic’s different weight classes. Animals can be pure or cross-bred.

  1. The Standard Bank Interbreed Slaughter Ox and Carcass Championships (sponsorship to be confirmed)

The different beef breed societies are invited to enter four slaughter animals each to take part in Samic’s different weight classes.

  1. The Sernick Junior Slaughter Ox Competition

Agricultural schools are invited to enter four slaughter animals each, which they fed themselves, to take part in Samic’s different weight classes. The livestock carcasses are judged in the Sernick Junior Carcass Competition and the winning carcass is auctioned off in aid of the winning school.

  1. The Sernick Emerging Farmer Slaughter Ox and Carcass Competition

Emerging farmers who are rounding off their animals at Sernick, are invited to enter four slaughter animals each. After the judging and the selection of the winning carcass, the carcass will be auctioned off in aid of the winner.

  1. The Cape Gate ALFA Mega Ox Competition

We are looking for the country’s largest and heaviest ox. All breeds, crosses and ages are welcome. The top ten entries are invited to exhibit animals at ALFA 2018.

  1. The Taltec Slaughter Stock Judging Programme

Ten oxen are exhibited, with hourly presentations by junior judges of the Slaughter Ox Judging Association about how to judge a slaughter ox. Visitors can use the knowledge gained to enter a competition where they have to rank the oxen.


If we want to ensure the future of agriculture, we must empower the agricultural youth – at school and university level. While schools offer pupils the unique opportunity to receive focused, subject-specific training, ALFA 2018 supports the youth by offering them practical experience and exposure to the industry. ALFA 2018 also offers agricultural schools and universities the opportunity to compete in different disciplines.

  1. The ALFA Agricultural School of the Year (sponsorship to be confirmed)

Agricultural schools from across the country are invited to take part in a competition with seven different sections, including an exhibition and presentation of the school’s agricultural programme, a cattle and small stock youth show and a quiz. Every school enters a team of five pupils and a teacher, who will be accommodated on site for the duration of ALFA 2018.

  1. Junior championships
    1. The Toyota SA National Junior Auctioneer Competition.
    2. The Santam Agriculture National Junior Silage Competition.
    3. The Sernick Junior Slaughter Ox and Carcass Competition.
    4. The JSE Junior Wool Handling Competition.
  2. The Javlin Student Programme

Ten senior students from three universities are invited to participate in ALFA 2018 as part of the steering committee. The students actively participate in ALFA 2018, and get the opportunity to meet role-players in the industry and work alongside them.

  1. The Old Mutual Agricultural Student of the Year

The winners of the national competitions, presented at eight different universities, come together at ALFA 2018 for the final round to determine the national winners in three categories, namely animal science, agricultural economics and crop production.


The Animal Improvement Act and the species covered in the act, form the foundation of the mini expos @ ALFA. It includes the different species, the breeds within the species and the commercial side of each industry, the market where products are sold, as well as the organised agriculture organisations providing guidance. As the smaller industries don’t usually get the same exposure as larger industries at expos, our aim @ ALFA is to give them their rightful place within the larger livestock industry.

  1. The Small Stock Dairy Expo (sponsorship to be confirmed): The expo focuses on milk goats and sheep, and the value chain contained therein, and takes place in cooperation with the Milk Producers’ Organisation (MPO). It will look at the different breeds that are used, and the production systems represented. There is also a workshop on goats’ cheese and a cheese-tasting opportunity.
  2. The PIC Pig Production Expo: Traditionally, there were several small pig producers in South Africa, mostly on farms that today primarily focus on cattle or sheep production. This expo attempts to re-introduce the pig industry to the livestock industry. It includes a breed exhibition, a workshop about how to start a pig unit, an auction and demonstrations.
  3. The Working Horse Expo (sponsorship to be confirmed): Traditionally, horses were the mode of transport used by herdsmen to check watering points and draught horses pulled the wagons with which lick was put out. Given the labour and energy challenges on the modern livestock farm, the time has come to explore this option again. The expo includes five horse breeds that can specifically be used as work horses on a livestock farm, a workshop about horse care, demonstrations and a horse-handling competition.
  4. The Jock Working Dog Expo (sponsorship to be confirmed): A well-trained dog can add a lot of value to a livestock farm, especially when it comes to challenges with labour and security. This expo looks at three categories, namely guard dogs at the farmyard, dogs guarding livestock in the veld, and dogs handling sheep and cattle. The different breeds will be exhibited, and demonstrations given. There will also be a workshop about the correct care of dogs on the farm.
  5. The Opti Feeds Rabbit Expo: Intensive industries where the available facilities on the livestock farm in terms of labour, facilities and equipment can be used for alternative production, are becoming more relevant. Rabbits are perhaps the best option to fill this gap on the farm. This expo looks at the different available breeds, the production systems defining it and the market for meat.
  6. The Poultry Expo (sponsorship to be confirmed): The focus is not on large commercial units, but on broiler and egg production on the livestock farm by using existing infrastructure and capacity to supplement cash flow. The poultry expo focuses on available breeds, the equipment and inputs needed and the production system that can be built around it.
  7. The Wildswinkel Game Expo (sponsorship to be confirmed): The Highveld game industry is unique, and more and more farmers integrate their game branch into their livestock farming. Animals must be adapted to cold and fit into existing livestock practices. Input suppliers to the game industry get the opportunity to make their services and products available. Wildlife Ranching South Africa (WRSA) is our partner in the expo.

ALFA 2018’s trade focus is, among others, supported by various auctions during the event. The focus is speciality auctions ranging across species involved in ALFA 2018.

  1. The SAMM young ram auction presented by BKB Louwid: It focuses on milk goats and sheep and the value chain contained therein.
  2. The PIC production auction: Livestock farmers inspired by the pig expo to establish a new pig branch, can buy breeding animals here.
  3. The Sernick carcass auction: Local butchers and meat processers have the opportunity to buy the winning carcasses of the slaughter ox competitions for junior and emerging farmers.
  4. The Amadeus Dexter auction: Following last year’s very successful auction of Amadeus Dexters @ ALFA, a Dexter catalogue auction will again be hosted this year. The animals will be exhibited on site.
  5. Out of hand sales: Apart from the formal auctions, animals will be sold from the stalls and exhibitions. This includes horses, dogs, rabbits and cattle.


FEAD is aimed at developing agricultural development as a profession. It will also offer exposure to successful agricultural development projects. Role-players in the agricultural development environment will be given the opportunity to exhibit their products and services. Workshops and networking opportunities will also be offered, all under one tented roof.

  1. Session 1: Agricultural development in commercial agriculture.

Facilitator: Elton Greeve.

  1. Session 2: Agricultural development in agribusinesses.

Facilitator: Dr John Purchase.

  1. Session 3: Agricultural development outside South African borders.

Facilitator: Dr Theo de Jager.

  1. Session 4: Agricultural development by institutions outside the agri-sector (e.g. mining, energy etc.).

Facilitator: To be announced.

(Sponsorships for all sessions to be confirmed.)


The social structures in agriculture have been reduced and there are ever fewer opportunities for farmers to socialise. Political pressure regarding land, the farm safety situation and the economy also contribute to unknown stress levels in agriculture. ALFA 2018 offers the opportunity for meaningful and structured social interaction and activities in an attempt to bring the lighter side of agriculture to the fore.

The consumer and his preferences determine the long-term sustainability of agriculture and the more farmers in the value chain move closer to the consumer, the more important it becomes. ALFA 2018 offers opportunities to create consumer consciousness, and to illustrate and motivate value chain expansion.

  1. ALFA exhibitors spitbraai

ALFA 2018 is a team effort where exhibitors, sponsors and participants collectively offer the best value to people visiting the expo. Therefore, the traditional Monday evening braai offers the ideal motivation to kick off the week.

  1. ALFA dinner

Since its inception, the ALFA dinner has been the largest social event in the livestock industry. This year 800 seats will be available! For this reason, the dinner will be moved from the Dome to a tent on the grass ring next to the Dome. The dinner formally concludes the ALFA 2018 week and serves as the main awards and prizegiving event.

  1. The Leriba Lodge People’s Choice Beef Challenge

Meat quality is the biggest talking point in the red meat industry and although science is important, meat quality is eventually judged on the consumer’s plate. Five breeds will be entered to determine the public’s preferred choice. Leriba Lodge is a top hotel in Centurion and two of their chefs will prepare the meat, in exactly the same manner, before visitors can have a taste. Paper plates with strips of meat will be marked from A to E (no one will know which letter represents which breed) and tasters will mark their choice accordingly.

  1. The WRSA People’s Choice Game Biltong Species Challenge

There is little doubt that the long-term sustainability of the game industry will be determined by the industry’s ability to offer game meat to the market. Game biltong of different species will be presented in the same way as the Beef Challenge, to determine which game biltong is most popular.

  1. The MPO Cheese Challenge (sponsorship to be confirmed)

Different types of cheese, including Cheddar, Gouda, Mozzarella, processed cheese and Pecorino, will be presented in the same way as the Beef Challenge to determine which cheese type is most popular in South Africa.

  1. The Sanlam Merit Awards @ ALFA 2018 (sponsorship to be confirmed)

Agriculture is more than a career, with people often going above and beyond in the pursuit of a specific vision or initiative to the advantage of the industry as a whole. At ALFA 2018, we want to acknowledge those individuals, their contributions and their sacrifices. By doing this, we hope to encourage young participants in the industry – those at the start of their careers – to follow these examples and do their best in promoting the industry.

 ALFA 2018 will attempt to offer visitors something special within the context of a comprehensive presentation, focused on livestock farmers, their needs and their interests. All this will take place at one site over three days. The question is: “What are you going to do @ ALFA 2018?”