A formidable team and an intuitive approach: A recipe for success

Stockfarm|May 2020

A formidable team and an intuitive approach: A recipe for success
“I think Esté has a God-given instinct when it comes to cattle. Combine this with her passion, and you have one formidable cattle farmer.” This is how Bismarck Fick described his wife, Esté, when asked to unpack their individual strengths and how they, as a team, combine these to make their farming enterprise a success.
Izak Hofmeyr

Bismarck and Esté farm mainly vegetables, maize and Angus cattle on the farm Waterval in the Clocolan area. They also established a sheep branch about a year ago. Although they both know exactly what goes on in each branch, Esté’s main responsibility is the livestock, while Bismarck oversees the crops.

Focus on the good aspects

“I think it is an incredible privilege,” says Bismarck, “for you and your partner to farm together. But it certainly has its challenges. It is easy to get caught in the trap of not being able to separate your work and personal life. We have therefore agreed that when we get home in the evenings, we won’t talk about the farm. This allows us to concentrate on other aspects of our lives.”

It is imperative, says Esté, to focus on each other’s strengths and not the weaknesses. “I’m very precise and detail oriented,” she explains. “I see things Bismarck might overlook. My other strength is that I’m a good judge of character. For me a good herdsman is invaluable, since they play such an important role as the first point of contact between the cattle and the farmer. I am blessed with the ability to identify the right people and to motivate them.”

She specifically mentions Tsidiso Sekoto, her right-hand man when it comes to the cattle. Without him, she says unequivocally, the running of the cattle branch might not go as smoothly. If she is not around, he effortlessly takes over.

“As for Bismarck, one of his strengths is that he gives me the freedom to follow my own path. He trusts my judgment, which I really appreciate. He is also an excellent manager and can juggle several balls at the same time. Each person on the farm knows exactly what is expected of him or her, and the processes all function as they should.”

The cattle branch

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May 2020