Gamtoos Irrigation Board News

Tertius Meyer

Afrikaans
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Tertius Meyer is al vir jare voorsitter van die Gamtoos Besproeiingsraad en geniet dit om so betrokke te wees in sy gemeenskap.

Hy boer in die Kleinrivierstreek buite Hankey met 200ha sitrus en bedryf ook sy eie pakhuis, Mandaryn Pakhuis. Hulle oestyd begin in Maart met Satsumas tot in November met naartjies.

Tertius het na skool by Hoërskool Nico Malan in Humansdorp, BSC Agric by Tuks in Pretoria studeer, daarna 2 jaar diensplig in Kimberley en het in 1990 saam met sy pa, Johan Hendrik, begin boer.

Hy is die vierde geslag wat boer op die plaas, en hy en sy vrou, Carina, woon in die huis wat sy oupagrootjie, Jan Hendrik Meyer, in 1898 gebou het.

"Ek is baie trots om hier te boer en geniet die geskiedenis van die plaas,”sê Tertius. Hy vertel met trots van hoe sy oupagrootjie se naam nog op ‘n wisseltrofee in Katco se trofeekamer in Cathcart staan vir die beste uitvoervrugte vir 1928. Een van die naartjieboorde was verlede jaar 90 jaar oud en Tertius het spesiale verpakking vir die oes gemaak om dit te vier. Hy het ook planne om die oorspronklike pakhuis in ‘n plaasmuseum te omskep.

As jy hom nie op sy geliefde plaas kry nie, is hy heelwaarskynlik op sy motorfiets êrens op ‘n avontuurrit of op sy ski op die Kromrivier.

Sy vrou Carina, eintlik ‘n musiekonderwyseres, het sowat 15 jaar gelede met opleiding vir werkers begin. Eers met Bybelstudie, waar sy die behoefte raakgesien het om lewensvaardighede aan te bied. "Volheid Vrou” en "Volwasse Man” is van die kursusse wat sy in samewerking met die Kaapse Vroue Forum begin het, en vandag bied sy enige plaasrelevante opleiding aan wat strek van bestuur tot tegniese en chemiese opleiding.

Tertius en Carina het twee kinders, Lara (24) wat al die wêreld platgereis het met ‘n Bedryfingeneursgraad agter haar naam, en Warren (21). Hy studeer op die oomblik BSC Agric met ekonomiese analiese-bestuur aan die Universiteit van Stellenbosch.

Tertius is positief oor die boerdery en voorsien dat Warren ook eendag sal boer. "Landbou is wêreldwyd in ‘n baie goeie posisie omdat kosvoorraad laag is. Mense eet ook beter en dit skep groter aanvraag na vars produkte,”sê hy.

Hy is baie tevrede met die GBR se fyn bestuur. "Baie geld word spandeer om verliese te beperk en ons sien resultate. Water word al hoe beter bestuur en boere doen meer met minder water. Ek is baie tevrede met die boere se samewerking,” se Tertius.

Maar hy is bekommerd oor die toekoms van water in die land. "Daar moet nog damme gebou word en daar word nie damme gebou nie. Water moet meer gestoor word, soos ‘n lewenspolis vir voedselsekerheid.”

Hy het ‘n passie vir sy werk en sê hy het dit by sy pa geleer. "Die lekkerste van boerdery is om ontwikkeling te sien, om iets uit niks te maak. As jy ‘n passie het vir jou werk, voel dit nie soos werk nie.” Sy pa wat nou 78 jaar oud is en op Jeffreysbaai afgetree is, kom steeds gereeld werk in die pakhuis as hy kom kuier.

English
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Tertius Meyer is the chairperson of the Gamtoos Irrigation Board for years now and enjoys it to be involved in the community like this.

He farms in the Kleinrivier district near Hankey with 200ha citrus and runs his own citrus pack house, Mandaryn Pack house. Their harvest starts in March with Satsumas and ends in November with naartjies.

Tertius went to Nico Malan High school in Humansdorp and studied Bsc Agric at Tuks University in Pretoria. He started to farm with his father, Johan, in 1990, after completing two years of army in Kimberley.

He is the fourth generation on the farm and he and his wife, Carina, stay in the same house his great grandfather, Jan Hendrik Meyer, built in 1898.

"I am very proud to farm here and love the history of the farm,” he says. He talks with pride about how his grandfathers’ name still appears on the floating trophy in Katcos’ trophy room in Cathcart for the best export fruit for 1928. One of the naartjie orchards was 90 years old last year and Tertius made special labels to celebrate this special harvest. He also has plans to convert the original pack house on the farm into a farm museum.

If you can’t find him on his beloved farm, he will probably be on his motorbike somewhere on an adventure trail or skiing on the Krom river. His wife, Carina, a music teacher, started with training for farm workers about 15 years ago. At first it was just Bible study, where she saw the need for developing life skills. She presented courses for men and women in conjunction with the "Kaapse Vroue Forum”. Today they do all kinds of farm related training from management to technical and chemical training.

Tertius and Carina have two children, Lara (24) who has already travelled the world with an industrial engineering degree, and Warren (21) who is still studying BSC Agric and is majoring in economic analytic management at the University of Stellenbosch.

Tertius is positive about farming and predicts that Warren will also farm one day. "Agriculture is worldwide in a very good place because food supply is low. People also eat better and it creates a bigger demand for fresh products,” he says.

He is very impressed with the GIB’s good management. "Much is being spent to limit water losses and we can see results. Water is being managed much better and farmers do much more with less water. I am very pleased with the farmers’ cooperation.”

But he is concerned about the future of water in the country. "There must be more dams built but it does not happen. Water must be stored, like a life policy for food security.”

Tertius has a passion for his work and says he learnt it from his father. "The best thing about farming is to see how your farm develops, to make something out of nothing. If you have a passion for your work, it does not feel like work.” His father who is now 78 years old and retired in Jeffreys Bay, regularly works in the pack house when he visits.




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Fred Ferreira Way, Patensie, 6335, Eastern Cape
+27 (042) 283 0329
+27 (042) 283 0382
info@gamtooswater.co.za
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