Matome Patrick Sekwatlakwatla was born in 1970 and grew up in a small village known as Edwinsdale, Gakibi in the Limpopo province. Patrick’s family farmed with livestock and he spent many of his adolescent years as a herd boy. He matriculated from the Mathipa Makgato High School in 1992 at Kroomhoek where after he left to join the South African National Defense Force from 1994 to 1997. Through the SANDF Patrick was able to study an ITO Diploma (Institute of Traffic officers) through the Lyceum Correspondence College and a Security Management certificate through Intec college.
Patrick was an eager learner and soon after leaving the SANDF, he enrolled to study Animal Production through UNISA. Unfortunately, he was unable to finish the diploma due to financial constraints, but it was enough to pique his interest in agriculture. With the help from his new employer MGK OBARO, Patrick enrolled at the Tshwane University of Technology where he completed his AVCASA course in 2005 and NQF 3 animal production with Bathopele, Peritum Agri institute in 2007.
During his twelve years spent at OBARO Patrick held various management and training positions. He was responsible for training all sales personnel at the OBARO co-ops, mentoring and training emerging farmers on the importance of vaccinations as well as educating them on all aspects of feed supplementation programmes for livestock farming. While working at OBARO, Patrick also gained valuable experience and knowledge in the grain industry and was responsible for establishing the OBARO Emerging Farmers’ Feedlot, OBARO Emerging Farmers’ Carcass Competitions and the OBARO Emerging Farmers Information Days.
In 2014 Patrick joined the Sernick Group as Head of CSI & Marketing and has since then been instrumental in establishing the Emerging Farmers’ Carcass Competition, the Sernick Farmers’ Day, the Emerging Farmers’ Training Programme, the SP Bull Weaner Exchange Programme, Custom Feeding Projects and the Serlaff primary and Seed first tertiary Co-ops Initiative. The Serlaff Co-op Initiative is part of the Emerging Farmers Jobs Fund Project which has been responsible for delivering promising new farmers to the agricultural sector and serves as a successful model of empowering emerging farmers in South Africa.
Patrick has more than 20 years’ experience in the agricultural sector. He’s also South Africa‘s first black animal judge, can judge and screen all types of breeds and has extensive knowledge and experience on all dynamics of the feedlot business and livestock farming. Patrick additionally serves as a board member on the South African Fat-stock Judging Association.