Howick dairywoman and Founder of the Future Farmers Foundation, Judy Stuart, is the recipient of the 2015 Inyathelo Award for Philanthropy in Economic Development.
It all started nine years ago in 2006 when Judy initiated an informal farming apprentice-placement programme for disadvantaged learners from Zakhe Agricultural College in KwaZulu-Natal. She organises for young people to serve an apprenticeship on a commercial farm and finds placements for the best students on globally competitive farms around the world. On their return to South Africa, Judy assists them to find jobs with local farmers.
Many young people without the necessary resources for further study have benefitted from the ‘earn-as-you-learn’ opportunities created by Judy’s foundation, with many now in senior management positions on large commercial farms both in South Africa and abroad. The young farmers are asked to contribute to the Future Farmer’s programme when they start earning so that the opportunity for learning is available to young people every year.