Husselmann Follows Father’s Footsteps

“I grew up on a farm near Karasburg and became interested in farming from a very early stage. So much so that I wanted to leave school and start farming at the age of 15. However my father convinced me to first obtain a qualification”.

That was the beginning of the success story of one of Namibia’s formerly disaantaged commercial farmers in southern Namibia, Sebastian Husselmann. He is not only an avid and enthusiastic farmer, but also one of Namibia’s first black mechanical engineers and a holder a Master of Business Administration degree, which he obtained in 1996.He started farming with only 80 Dorper ewes in 1998 when he rented grazing from his father in the Karasburg district. In 2003 he moved to the Kalkrand area with 539 and started renting two camps before buying a 6000 hectare farm in the Uhlenhorst area when his Dorpers reached the minimum qualifying number of 800.

” I enrolled in the Ekwatho cattle scheme of the Meat Corporation of Namibia (Meatco) with 104 tollies in 2009 and was awarded the Meatco Ekwatho Producer of the year award in 2011. At the same time I started farming with Boerbok [Boergoat],” says the soft-spoken farmer who is presently employed by the Road Contractor Company (RCC) as the Group General Manager: Plant Hire in Windhoek. Husselmann also received an award as one of the top five lamb producers of the year by NAMCO, Meatco’s small stock affiliate in 2011.

With the success he has made with the meat producer’s scheme, he increasingly became interested in cattle farming and after “I lost the battle against jackal and my neighbors changed to game and cattle farming, I decided to follow suit. I sold all my sheep and Boerbok and converted to cattle farming with mainly pure Santa Gertrudes and Simbra separately.”

Husselmann says his main objective with farming is to produce quality meat for local and export markets. “In this regard animal welfare is of utmost importance. One should never compromise on essential periodic vaccinations and licks. Ensure that water points are always clean and facilities functional and well maintained to ease the process when working with cattle.”

Although he is not a stud breeder he still believes that commercial herd must comply with the best quality one can afford. “Farmers must cull animals that are not complying with the necessary standards and always introduce better quality male animals on an annual basis to the herd. In doing so, we can ensure that the herd quality will improve incessantly,” says Husselmann.

The well-known farmer says he visits the farm every weekend to check on progress of the projects and the welfare of animals. The farm is managed by a foreman and five workers. Animal health, feeding and sufficient clean water are top priorities followed by routine maintenance of infrastructure. He addds that rotational grazing is employed and animals are moved every three months to new camps. “We have dedicated breeding seasons to ease weaning and farm management. We have been blessed with very good rains this year and the veld has responded very well. Therefore and to mitigate potential risk of veld fires after winter, we will harvest vast areas of grass to stockpile it for future use,” he says.

The successful farmer concludes that he has diversified his farming activities and has into Livestock transport. This proved to be rather successful and he endeavor to expand this operation soon.

Source : New Era