Friday 2 November 2018
The stage was set to give recognition to the best in the business with the annual John Deere awards evening. The event was held at Emperors palace in Johannesburg, participants and contenders showed up from all over Southern Africa. Dressed in their best, the tension in the air was palpable. Months of training, researching and examinations culminated into the moment everybody had been waiting for……………………..the John Deere Awards Ceremony 2018.
Sales awards for the year were given to Paul Jansen van Rensburg (AFGRI Equipment) for the Highveld region, Francois Destroo (AFGRI Equipment) for the Western Cape and Kwek Dietrichsen (Senwes) for the North West / Western Free-state area.
left to right: Lucas Groenewald (John Deere), Kwek Dietrichsen (Senwes), Francois Destroo (AFGRI Equipment), Paul Jansen van Rensburg (AFGRI Equipment), Jacques Taylor (MD: John Deere Sub Sahara Africa)
Parts expert awards had an astonishing 6 out of the top 9 being AFGRI Equipment employees. In no particular order the AFGRI Equipment contestants were:
Duncan Barry (AFGRI Equipment Ermelo)
Deon Britz (AFGRI Equipment Malmesbury)
Stephanus Fouche (AFGRI Equipment Grootvlei)
Wynand Pretorius (AFGRI Equipment Polokwane)
Annalien Thompson (AFGRI Equipment Standerton)
Jaco Wessels (AFGRI Equipment Marquard)
Third place winner was awarded to Deon Britz, a welcome achievement for the parts manager at AFGRI Equipment Malmesbury. Second place was awarded to Gaetano Cassara from Trekker & Diesel in Oudtshoorn. First place winner for 2018 was awarded to Jaco Wessels from AFGRI Equipment Marquard, with 15 years of experience in the trade, “I have learned so much through the Parts expert experience that John Deere has hosted. I have also learnt that there is a lot that still needs to be mastered and will be doing my best in 2019 to defend the title” added Wessels. Jaco will accompany a group of individuals on a John Deere factory tour in 2019.
Left to right: Stephan Gouws (John Deere), Jaco Wessels and Jacques Taylor (MD John Deere Sub Sahara Africa)
Top Tech 2018
Building up to the final awards of the evening the top technician of the year boasted with some regular faces, all looking for the top spot of this prestigious award. AFGRI Equipment placed three technicians in the top 10 for 2018 Gert Grobler (AFGRI Equipment Grootvlei), Artie Bester (AFGRI Equipment Bethlehem) and Niel Ackerman (AFGRI Equipment Grootvlei). Neil Ackerman being the defending champion from 2017.
Third place was awarded to Myburgh de Bruyn (Senwes Wesselsbron) who has 13 years of John Deere experience and won third place in the 2015 technician of the year awards.
Second place went to Gert Grobler (AFGRI Equipment Grootvlei) who also has in excess of 10 years experience and service with John Deere equipment. Gert has been an awesome contender achieving top ten placements in 2015 and 2016, and was placed third in the 2017 technician of the year. Gert is a level 4 AMS and Level 3 Advanced technician.
First place for the evening was awarded to Artie Bester (AFGRI Equipment Bethlehem), with 14 years of John Deere technical experience and the drive to do more, understand more and apply the knowledge Artie is without a doubt a pillar of support in the greater Bethlehem area. Artie won the John Deere technician of the year award in 2016 and won 2nd place in the 2017 competition.
Top: Stephan Nel, Artie Bester and Jacques Taylor
Left to right: Stephan Nel (John Deere), Gert Grobler (AFGRI), Artie Bester (AFGRI), Myburgh de Bruyn (Senwes) and Jacques Taylor (MD: John Deere Sub Sahara Africa)
We at AFGRI Equipment would like to thank the sponsors John Deere and John Deere Financial for their efforts in giving recognition to exceptional staff all over Southern Africa. The commitment to continuous improvement in after sales are the building blocks for a successful partnership between growers and dealers. We would also like to congratulate all of the contestants and winners on their achievements, we understand that it took a lot of hard work and commitment to compete against the best in the business!
Congratulations to all!
We look forward to the competition in 2019 as it heats up. And as always remember “Nothing runs like a Deere”.
THE TOP 10