KZN farmer, 33 year old Anthony Goble from Tongaat, beat young farmers from all over South Africa to scoop the much coveted national title of 2015 Agri SA / Toyota SA Young Farmer of the Year. Goble was elected as KZN’s Kwanalu Young Farmer of the Year earlier this year and went on to compete for the national title. He will drive back to his farm in Tongaat in a brand new Toyota Hilux Single Cab, bringing home to KZN the national trophy, for the first time.
“It was a big surprise – I didn’t expect to win against such strong opposition, but I am very excited and happy to be bringing the trophy home to KZN” said Anthony Goble after receiving his award.
“This will be a big boost for KZN agriculture and will hopefully highlight the talent and progressive attitude of our young farmers” he said.
The National Young Farmer of the Year competition saw top farmers from all nine provinces competing for the prestigious title. The applicants (under the age of 35, male or female) who had won their respective provincial competitions earlier this year, each underwent a rigorous judging and evaluation process at national level. They were evaluated on all aspects of their businesses, including their overall vision for the future of their farm/ business. The main features on which young farmers are judged is their management/ business philosophy as well as the technical competence with which their philosophy is applied.
“The competition was very worthwhile and I learnt a lot from the process. I enjoyed meeting the other applicants – we are already making plans to visit each other’s farms to learn more from each other,” said Anthony.
“Anthony is a wonderful ambassador for KZN agriculture and particularly for Kwanalu. His approach to, and involvement in production, land reform and restitution, reveals a progressive and optimistic attitude – and one that can be show cased for the future of KZN agriculture. We are very pleased for him and his family.” Said CEO of Kwanalu, Sandy La Marque.
Antony, who inherited Evelyn Park Farm after his father, Neil Goble, passed away in 2000, is the fifth generation of Gobles to farm in Tongaat. Aside from the 280ha sugarcane family farm, Anthony runs another five separate farms including 430ha of land under cane and another 340ha that he leases from land reform beneficiaries, bringing the total area under sugarcane to 1 050ha, with 300ha of natural bush.
Since running the family business, Anthony has diversified into bananas (12ha) and macadamias (5ha), as well as developing seed cane as a third source of income. He also leases out 20ha per year to local madumbi growers as part of a crop rotation scheme.
At just 33, Antony has secured a position of leadership in the local farming and sugar industry as well as forming and maintaining good relationships with the local communities and land claimants. He is the Chairman of the Gledhow Farmer’s Association and a director of the Gledhow Sugar Company. He is also vice-chairman of the Upper Tongaat Security Committee and is the founding member of the Upper Tongaat Study Group.