Hard work, attention to detail and strong faith are the pillars on which Free State
Agriculture’s new Young Farmer of the Year builds his farming business.
Doug Osler (39) from the farm Fourieshoek in the Fouriesburg area, was named Free State Agriculture’s 25th Young Farmer of the Year during a small function last night, 13 April 2021.
Osler, who has been farming in a family business for the past 16 years and in which he has 25% shareholding, believes that challenges and setbacks serve as a learning curve and that it also contributes to the experience he describes as a ‘unique career choice’.
Osler says he is primarily responsible for the apple enterprise and packhouse of Lone Tree Farms. In addition to his involvement in organized agriculture as a member of the Fouriesburg Agricultural Association, Osler is also chairman of Highveld Fruit Producers and also serves as a director on the Hortgro Pome producers’ council.
The father of two believes in creating a work environment in which everyone is willing to help, learn and grow. According to him, mutual respect for each other is the core factor. It is also important for him to assist his employees with problems, whether work-related or personal.
Among other things, Osler walks away with a cash prize from Free State Agriculture and gift vouchers from Kynoch and Brand New SA. He also automatically advances to Toyota SA / Agri SA Young Farmer of the Year.
According to prof Pieter Fourie, convener of the judges and Head of the Department of Agriculture at the Central University of Technology (CUT), participants are judged on among others future vision, budget, and finances, production, marketing, maintenance, personnel management and community involvement. Fourie believes that the current generation of young farmers have leadership and innovation and say that he is hopeful about the future of agriculture in the hands of such admirable young people.