The Future Farmers Foundation is a dedicated foundation that provides platforms to young men and women you have a passion for agriculture and farming in general, and whom can become successful commercial farm managers or farmers in their own right. We have initiated an apprenticeship system that places learners on farms where they gain experience. Starting on the lowest wage, these apprentices work their way up as their skills and abilities improve. The apprentices are evaluated by their employers and by a Future Farmers mentor. After the practical experience, the apprentices who excel in their work may be selected to do a years’ internship abroad, where they are exposed to high quality work standards and work ethics, which will enable them to become future leaders in their communities. The programme offers 12 month internships in countries that include Australia, New Zealand, and the USA. The goal is for the interns to learn advanced skills and learn about different cultures and countries. They return to South Africa to the benefit of their communities, agriculture at large, and of course their personal careers.
The Future Farmers Foundation is a small dedicated foundation that provides platforms from which young men and women in agriculture and farming in general can become successful commercial farm managers or farmers in their own right. We have initiated an apprenticeship system that places learners on farms where they gain experience. Starting on the lowest wage, these apprentices work their way up as their skills and abilities improve. The apprentices are evaluated by their employers and by an independent labour specialist.
After the practical experience, the apprentices who excel in their work may be selected to do a years’ internship abroad, where they are exposed to excessive work standards and work ethics, which will enable them to become future leaders in their communities. The program is designed to provide skills to young people from other countries (such as Germany, USA, and Australia). The idea is for them to learn advanced skills, where after they will return to their respected countries and to the benefit of the communities that they represent.
Candidates must meet the following criteria in order to qualify for Future farmers Membership:
Due to the support of a number of partners, it is possible for the Future Farmers Foundation to send the selected candidates abroad for practical experience. As these candidates are being compensated for their labour, they are able to reimburse the foundation and in turn give another candidate the opportunity in this program. Only candidates with excellent references and performance records will be considered for overseas internships. Interns are representing our programme, our industry and our country!
After the apprentices have returned from overseas, they have reached a level of maturity that equips them for further study, where they are encouraged to follow courses at UNISA in Agribusiness and Economics. The practical farming skills and knowledge are being learned on the Employers’ farms. These employers are seen as invaluable partners in the program. Farmers know what these young apprentices should be able to deal with on a day to day basis and are willing to share their knowledge.
Due to the success of the program, we are delighted to have seen several apprentices becoming top farm managers. Future Farmers are making valuable contributions to farming operations throughout the country. These include managers in many different types of operations, including in the operation of drones for agricultural applications. Some have started their own businesses and most Future Farmers are assisting other young people by training and mentoring them. We are incredibly proud of the young people we are privileged to meet and work with. We set them up for success. Their success follows their dedication to their chosen career and because they alone are responsible for this success they gain confidence and believe in their own ability. Future Farmers creates opportunities, it is the choice of each individual to recognize what it offers and to make the most of it or not.
The mentor’s responsibility is to motivate the candidates in his/her care, while encouraging them to qualify for the internship abroad. The mentor will assist in dealing with difficulties the candidates may encounter in the workplace, without actively solving the problem or difficulties for them. The apprentice should also be encouraged to obtain a driver’s licence during this period. The goal of this process is designed to help each person to aspire to his/her full potential.
There are not visits to farms currently due to the lockdown. Farmers and Future Farmers are contacted by telephone and training is offered on Zoom.
Mentorship is critical. There must always be someone for the apprentices to call, should they feel that they need advice or find themselves out of their depth. When they travel overseas, the organisations who are responsible for placements, have contact people for them to call, should they need it.
Mentorship is ongoing and is there for those who need it, even after they have become successful and highly qualified farm managers.
The underlying and uncompromising principle of the Future Farmers Foundation is that only opportunities and mentorship are provided for the apprentices – it is up to each of them to make the most of their opportunity.
The Future Farmers Foundation is preparing them to become successful farmers and this is part of the process of learning to take responsibility for themselves and ultimately, others as well.
Email us, should you be interested in providing an opportunity or mentorship for a learner.
Practical training is provided with the farm environment while soft skill training is provided by Future Farmers Mentors.