Agri Heroes Competition 2015 | Western Cape Government

Agri Heroes Competition 2015

The 2015 Farmworker of the Year Competition recognises and rewards the valuable  contribution that farmworkers make to the sustainability and growth of the farming and agriculture sector in South Africa.


The competition was started in 2002 by the Hex Valley Table Grape Association. It’s since grown from 36 entries in its first year in the Hex Valley, to the participation of 15 regions with 1 057 entries in 2014. 

Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Alan Winde, praised the top performing workers, calling them heroes who need to be applauded. “Like we celebrate the heroes of our sports fields, we need to celebrate the heroes of our economy. Our agri-professionals play a vital role in ensuring that the produce delivered to our shelves, and to outlets across the world, is of a very high standard. They’re helping us to grow this sector, and together, we’re building a sustainable economic future,” Minister Winde said.

Through this initiative, the Department of Agriculture wants to broaden the farmworkers’ scope and understanding of the agricultural sector and expose them to new life experiences.  It also aims to motivate farmworkers to improve their knowledge and skillset to create opportunities and develop their future career path.

“Previous winners have used this platform to make important connections in overseas markets. They are seen as role models and ambassadors for the sector, and I am looking forward to profiling their successes,” said Minister Winde.

First regional Agri Hero announced

The first regional competition took place on 30 July 2015 in Koue Bokkeveld at the Kaleo Manor Guest Farm in Op-die-Berg outside Ceres.

Lien Visagie, who works at Donkerbos near Rietfontein, walked away the winner and had an inspiring message for people working in the sector: “I am proud to be representing farmworkers.. Nelson Mandela often said that we are never too old to learn. And I would like to draw on that and tellfarm workers: there are opportunities all around us. Get involved in activities, whether it is a Women’s Day event or planning a camp. With the right support from those around you, you can push forward and get to where you want to be in life.” Witzenberg farm worker of the year

Lien will compete alongside the winners of the other regional competitions, which take place across the province over the next few months. 

As part of the selection process, entrants are interviewed by a panel of agricultural experts on a range of issues including transformation and their vision for the future of the sector. Winners are chosen across 11 different categories:

  1. general worker,
  2. tractor driver,
  3. administrative personnel,
  4. animal production,
  5. technical operator,
  6. irrigation specialist,
  7. agri-processing,
  8. social development (crèches, health work etc.),
  9. foreman,  
  10. junior management  and
  11. middle management. 

The overall winner of the 2015 Farm Worker of the Year award will be announced at a gala function on Friday 13 November at Nederburg Wine Estate in Paarl. The winner will receive a cash prize and an overseas trip. Additional prizes will also be awarded to the entrants with the ‘best potential for future achievement’ and the ‘best performing farm’.

Uniting our people

The Agri Heroes-event has been designed to build self-esteem and to unite communities.  The initial process of entering the competition brings the producer and the farm worker together, while the interviews demand an extra level of confidence from the contestants. 

 Regional ceremonies






05 August 2015

6:30pm for 7pm


Klein Karoo

20 August 2015


Surval Boutique Olive Estate, Oudtshoorn

Breede Valley

26 August 2015


Aan de Doorns Cellar

Hex Valley

27 August 2015

3pm for 3:30pm

Hex Valley Ledesaal


28 August 2015


Durbanville Hills Winery


Read more about the rest of the regional award ceremonies for the rest of the year.

Follow the competition on Twitter: #AgriHeroes2015

The content on this page was last updated on 31 August 2015