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Get to know our Team

BIO Jaco Stofberg

Jaco Stofberg

Co-CEO

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Jaco is passionate about the future of food production and envisions exceeding current sustainability and environmental goals for agriculture. 


Being Koos’ son, Jaco and has been involved with the AgriRevolution technology from the start, and has been instrumental in the evolution of AgriRevolution's business and technology for more than a decade. 


Jaco's background is in botany, horticulture, ecology and conservation. He studied towards a BSc in Conservation Ecology at the University of Stellenbosch and holds a diploma in nature conservation and game ranging.  He has co-authored academic research articles published in highly rated academic journals (Evolution, The American Naturalist).


Prior to joining AgriRevolution, Jaco co-founded Leaflab, a company specialising in the cultivation of microgreens and speciality vegetables for fine dining restaurants (where they also established an online ordering platform for client-chefs – 2007/8, long before such platforms would become fashionable).  Jaco also co-founded Produce Portal, an online marketplace which enabled producers and customers to connect directly.  

 

Throughout his career, Jaco has gained invaluabe experience as a agricultural consultant, advising on new agricultural developments and agri-business turn-around strategies.

BIO Karien Holtzkampf

Karien Holtzkampf

Co-CEO

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Karien, Koos' daughter, moonlighted as strategic advisor for AgriRevolution since 2020, and was appointed Co-CEO in April 2023.  She has closely followed AgriRevolution's journey since Koos brought home his first miniature model when she was in high school. After completing B.Comm and LLB degrees at the University of Stellenbosch, Karien moved to London and started her career at tech start-ups TotallyLegal.com and later EnergyQuote.  She returned to South Africa in 2006 join Intellectual Property firm, Kisch Inc. in Sandton and qualified as a trade mark practitioner - leading her to furhter her career at Deneys Reitz (now Norton Rose) before joining FNB as IP Legal Advisor.  


Drawn to the world of start-ups again, Karien joined Clickatell as group legal advisor in 2010 where she obtained invaluable global experience not only in technology, communications and commercial law a but also in productisation, strategy and scaling operations.  This experience stood her in good stead when she joined UK "new law" start-up, Radiant Law, and later martech consultancy (and another South African start-up success story) Acceleration.  Acceleration was subsequently acquired by advertising behemoth WPP.  Karien spent more than 7 years at WPP where she was promoted to Assistant General Counsel for international marketing communications agency, Wunderman Thompson before moving into the WPP Group’s central legal team.


Karien is an experienced legal, commercial, and strategic advisor, as well as a seasoned negotiator with a collaborative approach and aptitude for building relationships.  She has extensive multi-national experience in structuring and executing complex business deals and strategic initiatives, international contract negotiations, pricing strategy, privacy compliance and risk management.  Karien is passionate about helping start-ups scale, and feels privileged to have played a role in the journey of multiple start-ups, including a few that have successfully navigated their way from “3 guys in garage” to global enterprise. 

BIO Koos Stofberg
BIO Hennie Stofberg

Koos Stofberg

Director: Product Development

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Koos holds a B.Sc Agriculture in Oenology, Viticulture and Chemistry from the University of Stellenbosch.  

 

Growing up on a farm in Worcester, and overhauling tractor engines by himself from the age of 12, laid the foundations for Koos' love for both agriculture and engineering.  Starting out as a winemaker, Koos became the youngest manager of Groot Constantia Wine Estate, the oldest wine estate in South Africa, and was instrumental in establishing the estate as the brand and tourist hub it is today.  After 12 years, Koos’ entrepreneurial spirit, lead him to start an agricultural contracting company specializing in soil preparation and regeneration, Boerfin, which he successfully operated for close to 20 years. 

 

Since 1998, Koos' main focus was on the development of his vision for soil-deep-working technology but he also continued consulting on a wide range of agricultural projects locally and abroad, including the development of a wine estate in Angola.

 

Around the time Koos started Boerfin in the mid-80'ies, an experiment was done at Nietvoorbij that peaked Koos' interest: by creating a deep homogenous mix of precision treated soil, they were able to grow a single vine that, after 4 years, produced 1,000kg of grapes per year (compared to the Stellenbosch average of 1.66kg per vine at the time!). This experiment together with the experience in soil preparation and management as an agricultural consultant and contractor, culminated in Koos' big dream to give all farmers the opportunity to use effective deep soil conditioning using concepts he refers to as rotational penetration and soil-on-soil mixing to exponentialy increase crop yield and quality.

Koos built a small-scale rotational penetration model in 1996 which proved his theory that an homogenous mix of soil could be obtained up to previously inaccessible depths. He then proceeded to build a life-size soil deep working prototype in 1998, and continued to improve the technology through a number of further generations of soil deep working machines over the next two decades, which have successfully been used to prepare and regenerate more than 1,000ha, achieving astounding results.  

Koos has a deep love for soil, science, technology and mechanics, and a long-held desire to make a real difference to the world. When you ask him how he managed to cling to his dream for more than two decades, he will tell you that he could see the Earthworm in his mind since the idea first came to him, and that he never wondered whether the technology would work - he knew it would.

Hennie Stofberg

Head: Field Operations

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Hennie, Koos' youngest brother, was the first operator of all of our previous generation soil deep working (SDW) machines, and we are delighted to welcome him back.  In addition to his commercial, logistics and account management skills, Koos hails Hennie as "the best bulldozer operator" he knows, and Hennie was the obvious choice to be the first operator of our new Earthworm prototype. 

Over more than 40 years Hennie careered through the legal profession, for almost 15 years, before accepting the challenges presented by agriculture, which have occupied him to the present day. Soil preparation became a focus using the conventional equipment available during the 80’ and 90’s. The idea of soil deep working emerged during the late 90’s and Hennie started to assist Koos to develop, manufacture and demonstrate the first prototype SDW machines. These machines form part of the annals of AgriRevolution.

 

Since 2012 and until recently, Hennie was involved in the logistical challenges facing mega farming in South Africa, but also the USA. He joined the AgriRevolution team in mid-2021.

 

Going forward, Hennie will be involved in the design and manufacturing of future models of the Earthworm machine, the commissioning of these machines, the training of operators, as well as overseeing the maintenance procedures necessary. He will also actively participate in the SDW trials which will be conducted on an ongoing basis thereby promoting the marketing of SDW Earthworm machines.

 

BIO Vutomi Baloyi

Vutomi Baloyi

Soil Scientist

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Vutomi holds an honours degree - BSc (Agriculture) (Soil Science) (Hons) - from the University of Limpopo, and is registered with South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions as a soil science candidate natural scientist.

 

Prior to joining the AgriRevolution team, Vutomi completed an internship with the National Research Foundation through the University of Venda as a host institution in the Department of soil science. 

Vutomi believes that taking care of the soil is the cornerstone of effective agricultural output. In a world where the population is rapidly increasing, she sees the priority as meeting food demand, but insists that we must also protect the medium of growth.

 

Vutomi's passion has always been to be a part of a sector that provides solutions to improve people's lives, which is why she studied agriculture. Technology has advanced significantly since a decade ago, and she feels that AgriRevolution is in motion of delivering the necessary change to the farming business to boost agricultural yields. In Vutomi's words: "It's wonderful to be a part of a company that's employing cutting-edge technology to combat hunger and create jobs."

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