Brangus day at Hillcrest Game Estates

NWU BSc Animal Science Students Attend Firth Red Brangus Farm for Practical Day of Learning

Adrian Baillie-Stewart
Adrian Baillie-Stewart

On a part-time basis, Adrian serves as lead digital communications consultant for the Firth Group of farms. This includes Hillcrest Game Estates, Firth Red Brangus, Firth Wagyu, Maquassi Spruit Pecan Nuts and Highlands Cycads. A communications specialist at Content Strategics (Pty) Ltd., Adrian helps small to medium enterprises achieve their primary operational goals by maximising the commercial impact of their media content published across multiple online digital platforms.

On 23 November 2021, a student-cohort from North-West University (NWU Mahikeng Campus) visited the Firth Red Brangus farm just outside Wolmaransstad at Maquassispruit. 

As part of a collaboration partnership between the NWU and the Firth Group, fourth-year BSc Agricultural Sciences students gain valuable opportunity to get first-hand experience on what it takes to, amongst other things, scientifically assess and manage Brangus cattle.

Prof. Paul Lubout of the NWU Animal Science programme says a number of South African university graduates struggle to find employment after obtaining their qualifications because they do not have the necessary practical experience.
“Agriculture and animal sciences is an applied science, and students need to have practical experience for them to be employed on a farm or in the farmer support sector—they must be able to effectively apply the science they were taught at university,” says Prof Lubout.
The collaboration partnership is part of a practical training partnership between several commercial farmers and the NWU. These partnerships offer students a combination of on-the-farm practical training sessions.
Once the day’s visit is done, students walk away with a wealth of information and experience—essential knowledge for real-world application once the students graduate and move on to employment.