Sampie Baron is sharing in the love of the land
Calla du Toit, an owner of Ouplaas Farm along with his wife Orla and father Josua says that the example of Sampie Baron is a good one as it demonstrates how when a staff member takes initiative that the results can benefit everyone.
According to Du Toit, Baron has lived at Ouplaas for over 50 years, arriving as the son of farm workers. “His mother asked my father to speak to young Sampie about continuing his education at the time when he wanted to quit school. And I remember all those years ago how impressed my father was with him. When it was my turn to take over the running of the farm from my father, I was pleased to have someone of Sampie’s experience on my team,” Du Toit says.
For Baron, the relationship continues to be a positive one: “With the encouragement of the Du Toit family I have grown my role on the farm from general worker to driver and now and have even started my own transport business following their financial assistance in purchasing a new Ford Ranger Double Cab”, Baron says, “And I also wanted a piece of land to grow my own hay and raise a herd of sheep.”
Today Baron uses land at Ouplaas for his 18 sheep (which he sells at auction for his own account) and for growing hay. “Josua du Toit lets me use his bale-making machinery to compress the hay into sellable bales,” Baron explains.
Today Baron’s wife Rachel and adult daughters Alverine and Sheroney all work on the farm. “I am very happy to work here. I respect the owners and managers and they respect me. I like living here and feel free and if I need something I speak to them for help,” Baron says. He adds: “There are always opportunities on farms for work even for unskilled people although the Du Toit’s encourage everyone to take advantage of the training and skills development offered by the state.”
Tru-Cape’s managing director Roelf Pienaar says there are many such positive stories coming from agriculture and for Tru-Cape news that illustrates the mutually positive relationship between owners and the workforce is especially of value.