n Stockfarm - Stud breeding the pursuit of improvement - on the farm

Volume 7 Number 9
  • ISSN : 2221-7304



Upon entering the homestead on the farm Georgeskraal in the Warden area in the Eastern Free State, you are greeted by a sign stating: “Home … is where your story begins.” This is where Leon and Susan Becker farm with their sons, Louis and Crause. They run a mixed farming enterprise consisting of potatoes, maize and soya beans, with SA Mutton Merino and Simbra studs comprising the livestock branch. Leon says he is often confronted by the question as to whether stud farming is worth the while. In his view one only has to look at the successful farmers in the area. “They have one thing in common, namely being the best at what they do. When farming at such a level, stud breeding becomes a natural outcome of one’s goals. “But stud breeding can be romanticised to some extent. Stud breeding entails a lot of work with little room for mistakes. Because of the high quality of commercial animals, a stud breeder has to breed extremely well in order to produce animals that will add value to his customers’ herds. I believe the door is wide open for any prospective breeder. “The chances of having a surplus of outstanding animals is slim, but this is what the market wants – wellbred, exceptional animals. Just look at the premium paid at any auction for outstanding animals.”

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