While the plane went down Prof. Swart opened a door at the back of the airplane and jumped out. With him he took the stewardess who tried to hold him back. They were the only survivors of the plane crash.
Prof. Dr. Johannes Cornelis Swart (Jannie), born on the 8th of January 1900, was the head of the Departments of Animal Improvement at the Agricultural faculty of the University of Stellenbosch. He became professor in 1948 and for 41 years he served the university as lecturer and researcher. In 1967 he was awarded a gold medal from the Society of Animal Production of South Africa.
In July 1948 Prof. Swart attended an AI conference in Milan and after that went to Stockholm for an international conference for genetics. On his way to Stockholm the airplane had engine problems and crashed near Keerbergen/Brussels. While the plane went down Prof. Swart opened a door at the back of the airplane and jumped out. With him he took the stewardess who tried to hold him back. They were the only survivors of the plane crash.
In 1954 he returned to Europe to visit several research centers and bought some Friesland cows in Holland for the Elsenburg Agricultural College. While he travelled through Germany he got to know Fleckvieh in Bavaria. This breed made an excellent impression on Prof. Jannie Swart. (In 1951 there was almost no Fleckvieh in South Africa.) He was impressed by the milk and beef production of this dual purpose breed.
Six years later, in 1960, Matthys Swart of the Koesanie farm (at an age of 18) came to his uncle Prof. Swart to ask him for advice: „Which cattle breed would be the best for the farm in Swellendam.“ Prof. Swart himself was raised on this family farm in the Ovenberg region and therefore knew the climatic conditions very well. He remembered the Fleckvieh cattle he saw six years ago in Bavaria and told Matthys to try this breed. He was sure that Fleckvieh was doing excellent in the costal regions of South Africa and would become a very important breed because of its milk and beef quality that was not nearly equalled by any other South African breed
In 1965 Matthys bought his first pure Fleckvieh cows for the Kykso stud near Windhoek in South West Africa on an auction. The cows he bought were from the pioneer herds of Mr. II.E. Rust and Mr. G. Rush. In 1967, 1972 and 1976 the Kykso stud imported animals from Bavaria.
German bul Kaiser, imported by MJ Swart
Prof. Swart always believed that the costal area will become the granary of South Africa (fruit, vegetable and milk). This meanwhile became true. More than 70% of the country’s milk is produced in the costal planes. He also believed that the breed he recommended to the young Matthys will become very important in this area. This did not happen yet… (In the beef producing areas of South Africa Simmentaler already became one of the biggest and most important breeds. 99% of Simmentalers in SA originate from German Fleckvieh.) But the idea that Fleckvieh could become one of the most important cattle breeds in the milking parlours on the costal plains has come within reach now. As a dairy breed, Fleckvieh was completely unknown five years ago. Now crossbreeding with Fleckvieh on dairy breeds becomes more and more popular as farmers want to harvest the fruits of crossbreeding. (This article was published in Fleckvieh World magazine Germany)