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24 Apr 2023

Graduation Ceremony, class of 2021

Graduating students’ achievements celebrated

Peritum recognises student achievements at graduation ceremony

“Peritum graduates had access to the very best lecturers with a world of knowledge in agriculture. They had access to the best possible practical education and agriculture institutions in the country. This puts them in a position to be successful and contribute to making South Africa one of the best agriculture countries in the world.”

These were the words of Ernest Beck, director of Peritum Agri Institute, following the institute’s graduation ceremony on 21 April 2023 at Leopards & Lace in Bloemfontein, Free State. 90 students graduated, receiving national diplomas in both plant and animal production.

Peritum’s national diplomas are designed to be career-focused, with practical courses to develop skilled, ready-for-work graduates for the agri talent pipeline. All diplomas are 100% accredited, with equal time focused on practice and theory. The course material is supported by access to dynamic role players in the agriculture sector through Peritum’s partnerships.

“The development of skilled people for the agriculture industry is of critical importance,” says Jaco Beyers, John Deere’s managing director Africa and Middle East, a long-term Peritum partner. “We need young people in agriculture. They are more open to adapt to and embrace the fast-paced technological advances, which, by now, we know are crucial for successful farming.”

John Deere, manufacturers of some of the most technologically advanced farming equipment, partners with Peritum because it’s important to invest in every generation, according to Beyers. “Many of these students don’t come from farms or a farming background, but their interest in the industry is proof of the many career opportunities the sector offers. We resonate with the Peritum’s values and their continuous evolvement in training young people who will drive the industry forward with their innovative thinking.”

Ferdi Marx, John Deere regional parts distribution center manager, attended the graduation on the company’s behalf.

“We are here today because people need to eat,” Marx said in his keynote speech addressing students. “More and more skilled people are required in the industry, as we need to find innovative ways to help feed the continent and play our part for food security.” He went on to say that they are very positive about South Africa and even more so about agriculture, which is why they will continue to invest in the industry. “This is also why John Deere partners with a reputable institution like Peritum to offer the John Deere Precision Agri Technology course, enabling young farmers to master the full functionality of John Deere machines.”

“The value in our partnerships with John Deere and the RPO, cannot be overstated,” Beck says. “It’s almost impossible to imagine offering these two diplomas without their involvement. They provide support by sharing their resources and expertise, whether it be through practical learning or acting as guest lecturers. Our partnerships provide our students with exposure to real agriculture.”

Another one of these partners is the Red Meat Producers’ Organisation (RPO) of South Africa, an organisation representing producers to promote the sustainability and profitability of the red meat industry in South Africa. James Faber, chairman of the RPO, attended the graduation ceremony and says that there is a high demand for skilled people on all levels of agriculture.

“Agri training is becoming increasingly critical to fill this void. Taking into consideration the capital flow in the agri sector, farmers and agri businesses can’t afford to employ unskilled people. The RPO is honoured to be associated with the level of training offered by Peritum, and glad to see students from all walks of life graduating,” Faber says. He goes on to say that the graduation ceremony was of the highest professional standard, which excites him about the talent entering the greater agri sector.

Many of the 90 students graduated in absentia, as they are already working full-time jobs in the agri industry. This is proof of the value and relevance of Peritum’s diplomas and the graduation was a special ceremony to give recognition to students who successfully completed two years’ studies.

“My wish for these graduates is to never back down and to embrace new practices with confidence and passion,” says Beck, “to ensure food security for South Africa and Africa.”

Photo 1: G Thomelang (Merit Award: Best Progress), RG Culverwell (Merit Award: Leadership), Ernest Beck (Peritum Agri Institute), Ferdie Marx (John Deere Africa and Middle East), N Scheepers (Peritum Agri Institute), N Maree (Top Achiever), PH Wickham (Merit Award: Best portfolio of evidence)


Photo 2: H Jordaan (Merit Award: Leadership), L Schulze (Merit Award: Best portfolio of evidence), Ernest Beck (Peritum Agri Institute), James Faber (chairman, RPO), N Scheepers (Peritum Agri Institute), K Gietzman (Top Achiever), ZJ Caka (Merit Award: Best Progress)



Peritum is your portal for sourcing total solutions for the design and development of a future-proof workforce that will transform the Agri sector for a sustainable tomorrow.

We are a skills development institute focused on shaping the minds of the people taking South African agriculture forward. These people include young farmers interested in obtaining a skills-focused agricultural qualification, corporates working with or in the agriculture sector, commercial farmers with established businesses and the people they employ, emerging farmers, and everyone involved in farming-related industries.

The PERITUM WAY is a method of lifelong learning and improvement for people and their organisations. It is the way for people who enter a specific learning pathway where they continue to gain skills, over the years, to ensure a sustainable career in agriculture. And it is the way for organisations that are set on a continuous improvement pathway that helps them grow and adapt to the challenges of tomorrow.