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The Graduation of the 2017 Syngenta Grain Academy Programme

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The graduation of the 2017 Syngenta Grain Academy Programme

Shaping the future of agriculture with dynamic growers

On Friday 23 June the latest crop of young commercial growers graduated from the fifth annual Grain Academy – a business leadership development programme, hosted by Syngenta, a leading agri-business company. 

In partnership with the University of the Free State Business School and with the support of Grain SA, the Grain Academy has focused on instilling a Smart Farm thinking and approach to agriculture and encourages them to share what they’ve learnt with others in our agricultural industry. 

This year’s guest speakers included some of our well known agricultural experts and influencers: Jaco Minnaar: executive member of Grain SA, Deon Barnard: Deputy Director for the University of the Free State Business School, Jannie de Villiers: CEO of Grain SA and host Antonie Delport as the commercial head for Syngenta SA.

Speaking to the graduating class, Antonie Delport said: “In partnership with the University of the Free State and with the support of Grain SA, we are honoured to congratulate our graduates on the successful completion of this year’s programme.  We are confident that you will make a difference in the agricultural industry and in each of your respective communities. ”

While the focus for this year’s programme was on the art of leadership and personal wholeness, Jannie de Villiers, the CEO of Grain SA encouraged these young growers not to view this programme as an academic course, but one that provided a platform for personal investment.

As we honour these 19 young growers, we also give special mention to the five female growers who are actively involved in agriculture – a growing trend for the Grain Academy Programme, and in South Africa as a whole. This year’s Grain Academy Projects under the auspices and direction of Harry van der Merwe and Dr René Uys from Thinking Fusion, targeted and covered the following:

  • The new worlds of the leader
  • The art of leading
  • Followership & The skills of power
  • Valuing diversity
  • Personal wholeness
  • Being the leader & Leading people
  • Empowered communication
  • Giving direction & Leading teams to high performance
  • Planting and growing a new culture & Leading change and transformation

“With the Grain Academy’s tailored leadership development programme we equip young growers with the skills needed to tackle industry challenges.  Their passion and excitement at the launch of the programme in February will certainly continue to spur on other growers to become Smart Farmers,” says Linda van der Merwe, Head: Customer Marketing Syngenta SA.





Graduation 2017