It started with a dream...
When Nick Serfontein was young, he knew for certain what he wanted to do with his life: become a farmer. His parents, however, had other plans for him — they said that the agricultural industry wasn’t stable or reliable, that he would waste his potential, and that he should go to school and find a more suitable career instead. In order to respect their wishes, Nick dutifully took up his studies and pursued other careers where he could earn a respectable living and make his parents proud. Despite his success, his dream of profitable farming never truly left him.
In 1983, Nick finally decided to take his destiny into his own hands, and with one bold leap of faith, he bought a small piece of land and his first herd of 30 commercial Bonsmara heifers. From there, his first-hand experiences with the challenges of the agricultural industry inspired him to find solutions that would empower other dreamers like him to achieve profitable farming using a holistic farming approach in South Africa. The result of Nick’s vision is the Sernick Group, a diversified agricultural organisation that owns assets along every step of the value chain, including a Bonsmara stud, a commercial Bonsmara herd and a Phase C bull testing station, as well as an animal feed factory, a feedlot, an abattoir and several retail butcheries.
Still, Nick was not satisfied with his success. His dream had developed into a calling to not only achieve great things in farming, but to enable others to follow in his footsteps and do the same. Nick recognised the need to have a separate company to deal with farmer development programmes, value chain development as well as community development. Previously these issues were dealt with by the operating companies within the Sernick group, but as the demand for learnership programmes for farmers grew, it was time for a separate entity to take charge.
This led to the creation of SerDev, a development implementation initiative that was launched in 2021 as a separate company within the Sernick group with the goal of coaching young farmers to achieve profitable farming.
Since 2021, SerDev has played a massive role in holistic farmer and community development while developing local value chains in which these activities can flourish. We have created a tried and tested model that has proven to be very successful in to achieve their goals, empowering them to contribute to . As we look to the future of agriculture in South Africa, we are optimistic about the potential of a new generation of developing farmers who are prepared to turn their dreams into success stories.