Learners who are currently attending school are the embodiment of agriculture’s future. Soon after leaving school, they will be active role-players in the agricultural community or students at different tertiary and training facilities. They will become the producers, representatives of agricultural companies or agricultural scientists that will ensure our future food security. They will soon become clients of the agricultural input suppliers and many will become the agricultural leaders of the future. It is our duty to provide the next generation with the best possible chance of success.
This calling served as the motivation that led to the establishment of the Agri Youth Foundation (AYF).
AYF’s main objective is to retain the youth in agriculture through providing a permanent and sustainable body that formalises and structures industry support, specifically for the agricultural youth. The focus is on children and young people who are already part of the agricultural community:
The foundation was formaly founded in late 2017, but many of the projects started as early as 2014. These initial projects provided schools with access to different livestock species and breeds. However, a need for diversification emerged and projects in other production areas such as aquaponics, crops- and lucerne production, silage, poultry and viticulture are being rolled out. The main aim of the foundation has always been to support the training and education of the agricultural youth by empowering agricultural schools. With this project, AYF enriches and supports academic training whilst facilitating industry engagement. In the process, a close collaboration between various breeders’ societies, commodity organizations, agricultural schools and other important role-players in agriculture developed.
By year-end 2021 AYF boasts with:
This is a total of 24 herds at 16 schools with a total commercial value of well over R5,000,000. The schools represent seven provinces, several official languages, different cultural groups and varying socio-economic conditions.
Fourteen breeders’ societies and four individual breeders are currently involved in the projects. Several projects are in different stages of completion and will involve an additional six schools.
The foundation is a non-profit organisation that adheres to all registrations and accreditations. Is managed by a fulltime manager and governed by a members’ council consisting of a representative of each of the corporate members, as well as three co-opted members from the Friends of the Foundation group.