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Hortgro to the rescue!

By Engela Punt

Throughout my childhood, I enjoyed being outside, despite my parents desperately teaching me otherwise, I outright believed I was raised in a barn. In hindsight, agrisciences might have always been in my future. I mean it fits me like a perfect-sized pair of gumboots!

Both my parents studied agriscience and their love for agriculture clearly filtered down to me, their wild child. I can easily see myself doing any job in the field of agricultural sciences and the more I study, the more I fall in love.

From the beginning, I was ready to go to extreme lengths to make my dream of studying agriculture a reality and I was not afraid to get my hands dirty. As the end of matric approached doubt crept its way into my heart as finances and opportunities dried up. I had no idea what I was going to do in 2023, my family had just moved more than 1000 kilometres from where I grew up and we were all facing uncertain times in our lives. I would like to say that it was my desperation and pure will that helped me find this opportunity, but I would be lying, it was entirely the team at Hortgro who was as kind as to offer me this wonderful opportunity.

When Hortgro first offered a bursary, I was so frantic I completely misread the bursary amount and only found out the full extent of the opportunity much later. Imagine my surprise, honestly, I am still in shock. I am immensely grateful for the chance I have been given the longer I study agriscience the more in love I fell. I hope to one day be in a position where I to can give back to the agricultural community and become someone who can properly thank Hortgro for the opportunity they have given me.

Friends and I after a three-hour long practical at the organic science building.
Me studying on the roof of the Stellenbosch library


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