Rector is Northwest’s Agriculturist of the Year
Prof Herman van Schalkwyk, rector of the Potchefstroom Campus of the North-West University, has just been named the Northwest Province’s Agriculturist of the Year by Agricultural Writers South Africa.
Ernst Janovoksy, head of ABSA Agri-Business, hands over the award of Northwest’s Agriculturist of the Year to Prof Herman van Schalkwyk, rector of the Potchefstroom Campus of the North-West University.
According to the Association, this sought-after award was awarded to Van Schalkwyk for his meritorious agricultural expertise that can inspire others. They are of the opinion that he has proved what can be achieved through good planning and tireless application in different conditions and environments.
Agricultural Writers SA is an association for journalists and other interested parties in the agricultural media, and for more than 30 years they have been naming a national farmer and agriculturist of the year. Besides his provincial award, Van Schalkwyk is also one of nine candidates eligible for the national award, which will be awarded on 11 November in Cape Town.
Van Schalkwyk was appointed as rector of the NWU Potchefstroom Campus in February 2010 where he has since showed his mettle by launching various new initiatives.
Van Schalkwyk is also a true farmer and has a cattle farm near Dealesville in the Free State. He is a popular speaker and guest at agricultural congresses and workshops and has written numerous articles for the popular media. For the past year he has also been making weekly contributions on OFM Radio with Pieter Möller about current affairs in agriculture. Van Schalkwyk is currently the managing director of Aginfo (trading as AMT), which publishes price and market trends on a weekly basis in the magazine Landbouweekblad. “This award is a huge honour for me, and recognition for the hard work that has been done up till now in the Northwest Province. However, we still have big plans and want to ensure that this province’s role in agriculture is expanded,” he says.
His involvement in many provincial and national institutions is highly rated. He was, amongst others, appointed by the Minister of Agriculture as member of the National Agricultural Marketing Board in 2007 and as vice chairman of the board of the Land Bank in 2008. He also acted as chairman of the board of the Land Bank for 18 months. Van Schalkwyk is a consultant for the World Bank and other South African institutions as well as a specialist in agricultural and related court cases.
As respected agricultural economist and academic, he has already written six academic books and published close to 70 publications in scientific journals and 117 research and project reports. He also presented 77 papers at local conferences and 38 at international conferences and was promoter and co-promoter for 24 PhD students and study leader or co-study leader for 32 master’s degree students.