ABOUT THE SCHOOL

What is the value of an Industry Educational Event such as the Aldam Stockman’s school?

(English version)

As with any other business, the main purpose of any farming enterprise is to make a good profit every year. There are however so many factors that influence a livestock farm’s profit margin. Large and small stock breeders must therefore have knowledge on so many different things, that it sometimes becomes overwhelming. These include genetics, genomics, animal nutrition, grazing management, animal health, financial management, marketing, meteorology, etc. These are, for example, some of the topics that are discussed annually at the LRF Stockman School.

The LRF Stockman School is the platform where in a nutshell, participants can get exposure to the latest ideas about breeding in the world. We seek the best local and international speakers to provide their input at the school. JP Landman, a guest speaker at the 2011 LRF Stockman school put it succinctly when he showed how producer numbers have halved over the last three decades. He predicted that producer numbers will continue to decline over the next decade. However, the numbers of cattle and lamb produced will remain more or less the same. The difference is that the more efficient and better-informed producer, is the one that will remain on the farm. The production system will change as knowledge changes and producers become better equipped to meet the challenges of the future.

Keeping up to date with the latest developments in all these different fields is sometimes a huge challenge. It is precisely this gap that the Livestock Registering Federation (LRF) noticed twelve years ago (in 2009) and that led to the establishment of the LRF Stockman School. One of the corporate goals of the LRF is Research and Development and more specifically to make the members of LRF affiliated societies (and wider) aware of the latest livestock farming practices. Training of breeders is therefore something that is very close to the LRF’s heart. The LRF Stockman School is one of the world’s best educational agricultural events and quality is always paramount.

What makes the school exceptional is not only the ±15 local guest speakers/industry experts but also the value that is added from the international guests that are invited. One of our previous international speakers, Roger Hunsley from the USA, was recently inducted into the USA cattleman’s hall of fame (that includes two USA presidents!). Doc Hunsley has initiated similar schools in Australia, Ireland, Canada, the USA and South America. His lesson on “what is under the hide” was always extremely well received and is a visual demonstration that capacity is often not well understood amongst producers. There are breeders who annually attend this school and learn something new every year.

Over the years, the school focused on various aspects of livestock farming, such as feed efficiency, carcass quality, grazing management, reproduction, animal health, genomics, etc. Each year, three or four international speakers, who are leaders in their respective fields, are invited to share their knowledge with the delegates. The LRF also takes this opportunity to bring breeders into contact with leading local scientists and breeders. The Stockman School is also used as a platform to bring breeders into contact with various role-playing agricultural companies in South Africa that assist breeders in making certain management decisions. The Stockman School also filled the gap in the livestock industry by linking the different sectors in the livestock industry, for example commercial and stud producers, feedlots, abattoirs as well as retailers.

The interaction amongst producers and also the interaction with leaders from all facets of industry, adds to the value that the school provides. The management of the school are committed to keep the costs as affordable as possible but at the same time provide leading Southern African producers with the very best educational value possible to ensure that they run even more profitable beef and sheep enterprises. We encourage everyone with an interest in the livestock industry to attend the school, that normally runs over a course of three days. The school is usually fully booked with a maximum of 200 delegates (if held at Aldam), so we suggest you book as early as possible. We look forward to welcoming everyone at this year’s first virtual LRF Stockman School 2020.

By Dr Michael Bradfield (Convener)

(Afrikaans version)

Net soos met enige ander besigheid, is die hoofdoel van enige boerdery om jaarliks ‘n goeie wins te maak. Daar is egter soveel faktore wat ‘n effek op ‘n veeboerdery se winsmarge het. Groot- en kleinveetelers moet dus beskik oor kennis van soveel verskillende aspekte wat ‘n effek op hul boerderye het, dat dit soms oorweldigend raak. Dit sluit onder andere genetika, genomika, veevoeding, weidingsbestuur, dieregesondheid, finansiële bestuur, bemarking, weerkunde, ens. in. Hierdie is byvoorbeeld van die onderwerpe wat jaarlikse by die LRF Veeskool bespreek word.

Die LRF Veeskool is die platform waar deelnemers in ‘n neutedop blootstelling kan kry aan die nuutste idees oor diereteling in die wêreld. Ons kry die beste plaaslike en internasionale sprekers om hul insette by die skool te lewer. JP Landman, ‘n gasspreker by die 2011 LRF Veeskool, het dit bondig gestel toe hy gewys het hoe produsentegetalle die afgelope drie dekades gehalveer het. Hy het voorspel dat produsent getalle in die volgende dekade sal aanhou daal. Die getal beeste en skape wat geproduseer word, sal egter min of meer dieselfde bly. Die verskil is dat die doeltreffender en beter ingeligte produsent op die plaas sal aanbly. Die produksiestelsel sal verander namate kennis verander en produsente beter toegerus word om die uitdagings van die toekoms die hoof te bied.

Om op hoogte te bly van die nuutste ontwikkelinge in al hierdie verskillende velde, is soms ‘n groot uitdaging. En dit is juis hierdie leemte wat die Lewendehawe Registrerende Federasie (LRF) twaalf jaar gelede (in 2009) raak gesien het en wat gelei het tot die ontstaan van die LRF Veeskool. Een van die korporatiewe doelstellings van die LRF is Navorsing en Ontwikkeling en meer spesifiek om die lede van LRF geaffilieerde genootskappe (en wyer) bewus te maak van die nuutste veeboerderypraktyke. Opleiding van telers is dus iets wat die LRF baie na aan die hart lê. Die LRF Veeskool is een van die wêreld se beste opvoedkundige landbougeleenthede en gehalte word altyd vooropgestel.

Wat die skool uitsonderlik maak, is nie net die ± 15 plaaslike gassprekers / kundiges in die bedryf nie, maar ook die waarde wat toegevoeg word deur die internasionale gaste wat genooi word. Een van ons voormalige internasionale sprekers, Roger Hunsley van die VSA, is onlangs in die “USA cattleman’s hall of fame” opgeneem (dit sluit twee VSA presidente in!). Doc Hunsley het soortgelyke skole in Australië, Ierland, Kanada, die VSA en Suid-Amerika begin. Sy les oor “Wat is onder vel?”, is altyd baie goed ontvang en is ‘n visuele demonstrasie dat kapasiteit dikwels nie goed deur produsente verstaan ​​word nie. Daar is telers wat jaarliks ​​hierdie skool bywoon en elke jaar iets nuuts leer.

Deur die jare is daar gefokus op verskillende aspekte van veeboerdery, soos byvoorbeeld voerdoeltreffendheid, karkaskwaliteit, weidingsbestuur, reproduksie, dieregesondheid, genomika, ens. Elke jaar word daar drie of vier vooraanstaande internasionale sprekers genooi wat leiers in hul onderskeie velde is en wat hul kennis met die afgevaardigdes deel. Die LRF maak ook van hierdie geleentheid gebruik om telers in aanraking te bring met vooraanstaande plaaslike wetenskaplikes en telers. Die Veeskool word ook gebruik as platvorm om telers in aanraking te bring met verskillende rolspelende landboumaatskappye in Suid-Afrika wat telers bystaan om sekere bestuursbesluite te neem.   Die Veeskool het ook die leemte in die veebedryf gevul deur die verskillende sektore in die veebedryf met mekaar te skakel, byvoorbeeld kommersiële – en stoetprodusente, voerkrale, abattoirs asook kleinhandelaars.

Die interaksie tussen produsente en ook die interaksie met leiers uit alle fasette van die bedryf, dra by tot die waarde wat die skool bied. Die bestuur van die skool is daartoe verbind om die skool so bekostigbaar as moontlik te hou, maar terselfdertyd aan toonaangewende produsente in Suider-Afrika die bes moontlike opvoedkundige waarde te bied om te verseker dat hulle nog meer winsgewender bees- en skaapondernemings kan bedryf. Ons moedig almal met ‘n belangstelling in die veebedryf aan om die skool, wat normaalweg oor drie dae duur, by te woon. Die skool is gewoonlik vol bespreek met ‘n maksimum van 200 afgevaardigdes (as dit by Aldam gehou word), daarom beveel ons aan dat u so gou as moontlik bespreek. Ons sien uit daarna om almal hierdie jaar te verwelkom by ons eerste virtuele LRF Veeskool 2020.

Deur Dr Michael Bradfield (Sameroeper)

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