The tenth biannual South African Large Herds Conference (SALHC) held at Champagne Sports Resort in the Drakensberg, KwaZulu-Natal attracted industry leaders from around the world. Close to 450 delegates attended the conference with the theme “Resilience – What makes a resilient dairy business going forward?” Local and international experts made presentations on enhancing dairy farming resilience by managing soil, water, feed, fertility, animal health, risk optimally, and on the challenges and opportunities arising from changing circumstances. Dairy farmers were encouraged by the fact that they rank among the best in the world and have a bright future with many growth opportunities.
This year’s farm videos featured the farming operations of Rob Stapylton-Smith in KwaZulu- Natal and Hannes Celliers in the Eastern Cape. Once again, the virtual farm visits proved to be one of the highlights of the programme.
The well-balanced programme also catered for the emotional well-being of dairy farmers, providing them with advice on balancing stress in their working lives in the dairy in addition to a humorous and inspiring talk on the secret to resilience. Delegates thoroughly enjoyed a performance by the renowned Drakensberg Boys Choir on Monday evening and had several opportunities for informal interaction at social events from Sunday to Tuesday.
Dairy farmers and representatives throughout the dairy value chain attended the event; farmers from Swaziland and Zimbabwe were among the delegates this year. A record number of 40 local and international companies exhibited their products and services. New to the conference this year was the Event App and also 29 scientific poster presentations.
Simon Matthews, chairman of the organising committee, thanks to the 17 sponsors, in particular, Standard Bank the platinum sponsor for making this memorable conference possible.
Dr Chris van Dijk, MPO chief executive said, “The conference has proven over the years to be a sound investment and I hope that every dairy farmer who attended this year returned home inspired in their quest to achieve resilience on their farms.”
Published on Tuesday, 13th June 2017 - 08:08