Who are we?
Gorba Bonsmaras Stud was started between the De Jager Family Trust & Dewald de Jager Investment Trust, represented by Isaiah de Jager & Johan de Jager in September 2000 with animals bought from Gavin Bristow, Johan Breugem, Adv. Thomas Langley, Dubble N Bonsmaras and later animals from the old IVY Bonsmara herd were acquired.
Isaiah de Jager
Isaiah keeps himself busy as a businessman and investor in Botswana, where he stays for the last 23 years. He is married to Marina and they have two sons, Christiaan and André.
Johan de Jager
Johan worked as a technical officer for the ARC’s Animal Improvement Institute for 21 years in total and has experience in the private sector as well.
I am qualified as a researcher with a B Tech degree in Animal production and worked as an Animal Improvement technician for the ARC. In 2009 I became a full time farmer after my Father was in a motor vehcile accident. I have a son named Dewald who lives with his mother and are now married to Jolandi and have a daughter named Elizma. We are living on the farm Rietfontein in the Potchefstroom area where we run part of our Bonsmara herd. The rest of the herd are kept on the Farms Voorspoed between Reitz and Tweeling and the Farm Buffelshoek on the northern boundary of the Vredefort Dome.
Medium birth weight & size. Retain good growth with good maternal & reproduction abilities.
In our breeding policy we follow a system where we have minimum and maximum values for each trait. It is basically one standard deviation from our aim. We try to exclude the extremes, as they are more often the animals that won’t perform consistent on the same level.
We set the aim for each trait, which could be the same, just below or higher than the herd or breed average for this year. We might be happy with certain traits and need not to adjust our aim for those specific traits.
In the Mating program GenePro(originally Genus 2000) animals will be mated toward the aim for specific traits and will also keep other traits within our Min. and Max. Values. This is a holistic approach where correlations between traits are looked at and thus helping us in a balanced approach.
It is however very important to maintain a balance between performance, conformation and functional efficiency. No single aspect or trait can be over emphasized. That will only lead to extremes, which our region will not allow, or except. It is our believe that nature will still be the judge in all our attempts to change things. If you want to go somewhere you need to know where to!
Biologically efficient productive and adapted breeding herd which will comply with all market expectations for quality and consistency.
To provide the South African beef industry with approved, performance tested breeding stock recognised by the Bonsmara SA, SA Studbook and the Animal Improvement institute.
The herd consisted of animals bought in from mainly Mr. Gavin Bristow, Mr. Johan Breugem, adv. Thomas Landley and Dubble N Bonsmaras where we select a few old cows from the old Gerhard Brönn lines.
Some of our first Bonsmara type animals were also mated to Afrikaner Bulls from the herd of Mr. Willem Kooij, who is considered to have one of the best Afrikaner herds in South Africa. This was mainly done to ensure a hardy adapted herd of basic animals, in-line with the original Bonsmara policy of the late Professor Jan Bonsma. That is also why the first stud animals were bought in the northern regions of South Africa, for their hardiness and adaptability. Furthermore, we have the intention of using selected animals from the old Ivy Bonsmara herd, or animals with Ivy parentage.
More recently Bulls or Semen shares were acquired from Dr. Henti Vogel (HJL960168 line), Philip Dreyer (EI980080 line), Boet Reinecke (Different IVY line), late Mr. Kit Thompson(FCT line and BG960125) and Adv. Gerhard Strydom(JJF line). We also look after the bull JRB960014(PER000077 line) of Henk Meyer that could not go to Namibia because of the closed FMD movement restrictions to Namibia.
Although we still believe that the old genetics are relevant we realize that the old type Bonsmara became obsolete. It is however important to maintain the Sanga type(respiratory type) but with more width, capacity and muscling. The average Beef Producer has created an environment that is not totally extensive anymore. We have created paddocks that are relative small with water points in each of them. Animals do not need to walk for excessive long distances anymore. Pastures are improved and many producers make use of fodder flow programs that includes planted pastures, irrigated pastures, legumes and stower thus creating a more intensified environment. Producers on big ranches also intensified in the sense that paddocks are becoming smaller with water and they follow strict pasture management programs’ We believe that Global warming will in future have an effect on the type of animals that will survive. It seems that averages temperatures is slightly higher thus having an influence on adaptability. The future will however proof itself!!
Where are we?
The farm is situated just off the N12 highway on the R47, 12 km east of Potchefstroom in the North West Province of South Africa.
The grazing consist of mainly mixed veldt types that varies from less palatable species to more palatable species in the Acacia tree lines. As Potchefstroom is a more cultivated area, proper grazing is not readily available. We are subsequently very reliant on planted pastures, which mainly consist of digitaria Smutsi and some Digitaria Eranthia species.
We also have a farm in the Reitz area which consists of about 50/50 land and grazing. Some land is leased for maize production and we look forward for our first winter with stower. In the past animals were only kept on the natural grazing and old lands with assortment of cattle licks throughout the year.
We plan to expand our farming operation to other areas in the proximity of Potchefstroom in the near future. At the present we’re hiring grazing from a few neighbours until we can buy more land.