Message from John Firth – December 2020

John Firth is a 5th generation Firth, current CEO of the Firth Group. Other farming divisions within the Firth-family farms include: Maquassi Spruit Pecan NutsHighlands CycadsFirth Red Brangus, Firth Wagyu and Hillcrest Game Estates.

Dear farmers, friends and readers

The end of this somewhat crazy upside-down year has arrived! Can you believe it!

As I write this message, I’ve just heard President Ramaphosa’s ‘family meeting’ address in which he announces yet more restrictions intended to curb the rising Covid-19 Second Wave. Who would have thought that, by this time (December 2020), our country and our world would be experiencing an even greater coronavirus threat now than earlier in the year. Yet, somehow we continually find cause for hope—looking for a reason to remain positive, even under the harshest of times.

I guess that it’s safe to assume that our economies, both locally and abroad, will continue to take strain under extraordinary conditions such as these. Be that as it may, we need to keep on keeping on. In fact, it’s when encountering challenges during times like these, that I am reminded of the stories (of perseverance and endurance under hardship) that my forbears encountered during their lifetime. In fact, now is as good as any to share with you, the story of my family history: Firth Farming Family History.

The feature for this edition of our newsletter tells the story of some of the happiest and the harshest of times that my forbears have had to endure. It’s a family history that describes an interesting story that 5 generations of farmers (spanning some 150 years) have lived through. This is a unique historic account in which my father, ‘Doc’ Ian Firth (together with the help of my dearest mom, Jenny), details his recollection of our family’s origins dating back to 1872 when my great-great-grandfather, Thomas Spence Leask, set foot in South Africa. I invite you to grab yourself a coffee, a tea, or perhaps even a glass of wine or a beer and sit back to what I hope will be a pleasurable, encouraging and inspiring read.

In closing, on behalf of my entire team at the Firth Group, may I wish you and yours a peaceful & merry Christmas, as well as a happy (and hopefully prosperous) New Year! Let’s not forget the true meaning of Christmas: to remember and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and the gift of salvation that he brings to all who choose to place their faith, hope and trust in Him. 

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I remain curious and courageous for what’s to come. I encourage you to do the same.

Warm season’s greetings

John Firth


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