Based in the picturesque Mooketsi Valley in the Limpopo Province of South Africa, ZZ2 is the largest producer of tomatoes in the southern hemisphere. ZZ2 additionally produce a fair amount of avocados, onions, apples and stone-fruit. Apart form their successful agronomic and horticultural endeavours they also specialize in commercial cattle ranching and have been actively involved in stud breeding for the last 47 years. At ZZ2 we aim to be the benchmark of success in agriculture. We at ZZ2 Livestock Division believe in combining sound, ethical farming practices that has stood the test of time with technology and accurate record-keeping to breed the best stock and supply our customers with superior genetics and quality beef.
ZZ2's Livestock Division manages four Pinzgauer studs, two PinZ2yl studs, a Santa Gertrudis Stud and a Nguni stud. The division also operates an intensive weaner-calf production system producing quality animals for their own feed-lot and other major feed-lots in South Africa's beef-industry. All of these exceptional herds graze on abundant natural bushveld-type grass. Some of the herds' grazing is adapted to the ZZ2 tomato planting program. Resting tomato farmlands are fenced and the cattle apply grazing pressure to facilitate ZZ2's "Natuurboerdery" principles in weed-control and to add extra carbon to the resting soil. This fits in well to the overall farming scheme at ZZ2 by adding value to unproductive farmlands by utilising the natural regrowth without infringing on the agronomy program.
ZZ2 was founded by the Van Zyl family and expanded to one of the largest agricultural companies in South Africa. Under the leadership of the late Mr Bertie van Zyl the first Pinzgauers were imported into the country in the early 60's and the ZZ2 Pinzgauer Stud was registered in 1964. He was the President of the Pinzgauer Cattle Breeders Society of South Africa (PCBSSA). Bertie van Zyl went on to become the President of the International Pinzgauer Cattle Breeders Association (IPCBA) and held the position from 1993 until his passing in 2005.
Mr. Tommie van Zyl, son of Bertie van Zyl and CEO of ZZ2, is the current vice-president of the IPCBA. Tommie is also actively involved in the PCBSSA and ZZ2 is the proud sponsor of the South African Pinzgauer. This includes an extensive, two-year Pinzgauer Road Show where ZZ2's Pinzgauer champions competed and attended many of the prominent agricultural shows across the country in a Pinzgauer marketing and awareness campaign. This achievement would not have been possible without his reinforcement and the generous donation of the Pinzgauers' transport. Tommie and ZZ2's contribution to animal improvement in South Africa includes sponsoring and supporting the development and research on the PinZ2yl since 1998. He is the guardian of the PinZ2yl breed and is an honorary lifetime member of the PinZ2yl Cattle Breeders Club of South Africa.
Mr. Paul Bester is the General Manager of ZZ2 Livestock Division and has made an immense contribution to the success of this division as we know it today. He is the current President of the Pinzgauer Cattle Breeders Society of South Africa, Chairman and founder of the PinZ2yl Cattle Breeders Club and serves on the IPCBA Board of Director's and Executive Committee. He is the mastermind and unstoppable driving force behind the PinZ2yl cattle breed. He started developing the breed in 1998 and through on-farm experiments and meticulous record-keeping of his findings had the opportunity to propose his findings to the Department of Agriculture in 2009. As a result the PinZ2yl is registered as cattle breed under evaluation in South Africa today.
In 2008, ZZ2 Livestock Division and the PCBSSA led by Paul organised the biggest ever Pinzgauer National Championship held at the Pretoria Agricultural Show. A staggering 180 animals from 24 different breeders competed against each other in several categories. A world record amount of Pinzgauers on show at the same time! The Pinzgauer name was held high and the breed got immeasurable exposure.
Following the success of the 2008 SA Pinzgauer National Championships - a great Pinzgauer marketing campaign was initiated and executed by Paul in 2009 and 2010. ZZ2 and the members from the PCBSSA embarked on a phenomenal Pinzgauer Road Show. In two years 15 agricultural shows were attended and the Pinzgauer champions from ZZ2 competed in each and every interbreed event, travelling more than 20 000 km. The highlight being when Mr. Silence won the gold cup (award for best animal on show) on three separate occasions! This is no small feat considering that this magnificent bull won these awards at the prestigious Pretoria Show and the renowned Royal Agricultural Show in Pietermaritzburg.
Paul is a mentor to many upcoming and established cattle breeders and initiated the concept of Study Groups in the PCBSSA. Mentoring is in Paul's nature and this is a cause and purpose he holds dear to his heart. Paul in association with ZZ2 launched his first official mentorship program, the Limpopo Study Group, in 2008 with six members and now in 2011 more than 20 members are a part of this long-term endeavor. Paul was recently honored with an award by SA Studbook for "the breeder in the association that gives exceptional aid to developing and upcoming farmers" Paul has an innate understanding of indigenous cultures and is fluent in several indigenous South African languages that enables him to mentor upcoming farmers in their preferred home language. The Study Group initiative has expanded and currently there are five active Study Groups in the PCBSSA run by Paul's fellow Pinzgauer breeders.
Over the years ZZ2 Livestock Division has hosted many training and development events on Grootboom Estate. We believe in sharing our knowledge and expertise in order to empower our fellow breeders and companies. ZZ2 hosted and sponsored a Stockman's Training Weekend in July in association with the PCBSSA and hosted a Molatek Show Cattle Assessment Course in October 2011.
ZZ2 Livestock Division is based on Grootboom Estate located approximately 90 km from Polokwane and approximately 50 km from Tzaneen on the R81 Giyani Road. GPS coordinates: (-23.556405; 30.145047)
Map courtesy of google maps
Directions courtesy of google maps