Free State Agriculture is a voluntary membership organisation for commercial farmers in the Free State province, established in 1904.
The organisation comprises of an established structure that assists members and looks after their common interests. Four thousand (4000) members are accommodated within 168 farmer’s associations in the 20 municipal districts of the Free State. Free State Agriculture’s members determine the organisation’s overall management and strategic direction. Staff members, with the office in Bloemfontein, supports members and management mainly in an executive capacity. Currently, 115 members serve on FSA’s strategic work areas (committees.)
The highest authority of Free State Agriculture is vested in the annual Congress. The executive management is elected out of the Congress and it consists of the President, Vice-president and regional representatives from all 20 municipal regions. The executive management also includes representatives of several affiliated agricultural businesses and industries.
Free State Agriculture aims to influence policies and policy makers within the given political system in such a way that a more functional agriculture environment can be established. The main goals, which focus on a safe and sustainable agriculture environment in the Free State, remains the driving force behind the organisation.
Members (farmers) of Free State Agriculture determined that, if the organisation focuses on the following strategic areas, we will be able to establish a functional agriculture environment:
LABOUR, HUMAN RESOURCES & SOCIO ECONOMIC FACTORS/ISSUES
LAND REFORM AND TRANSFORMATION (land reform, BEE, farmer development)
RURAL SAFETY (law and order)
NATURAL RESOURCES (Disasters & Emergency Relief; Mining & Minerals; Irrigation and Water Affairs)
Our committees are focused on and actively takes part in the following fields:
To improve safety on farms.
To inform, train and advise members on labour issues (minimum wages, workers contracts, etc.).
To support farming management by regularly keeping you informed about market trends, risks, opportunities & risks in the industry.
To be continually involved with rural and local government in the context of rural development.
To investigate the risks that mining and mineral rights could have for the agriculture industry.
To support young farmers and incorporating them within the community of organised agriculture.
To improve infrastructure (roads & licenses, telecommunication and energy) in rural areas to promote agriculture.
To assist members strategically to reduce risks in terms of disaster management and emergency aid by managing it organised within structures.
To improve communication within rural areas by making technology more accessible and affordable for farmers.
To assist with social economic development of rural communities.
To meaningfully promote land reform and BEE in terms of commercial agriculture’s involvement.
To promote the image of the organisation by:
by liaison with members about agriculture issues during annual regional meetings. to culminate all activities of Free State Agriculture in the Annual Congress – A showcase for agriculture in the Free State.
to regularly share valuable information in terms of the agriculture industry by means of the website, e-newsletter and SMS’s.
Get involved and join hands to overcome the challenges. This was the plea of Francois Wilken, President of Free State Agriculture (FSA), to farmers and the sector at FSA’s annual congress of 2019.
“If we in agriculture do not realize that we have to stand together, a big surprise awaits us,” he said. “Are we going to sit back and hope someone is going to address problems on our behalf or will we constructively be part of possible solutions?”
Wilken called on farmers to reflect on their role in organized agriculture. The theme of FSA’s congress, which took place on 7 and 8 August 2019 in Bloemfontein, was What is my role as member of Free State Agriculture?
Read the full media release about FSA’s congress of 2019 here.
Click below to download notes/presentations of the speakers:
For each annual congress, a congress book – which is a summary of what Free State Agriculture (FSA) was busy with the last year – is published and each attendee receives a copy. It includes messages from members of the management, reports from the different regions in the Free State and FSA’s committee reports.
A watershed congress. Probably the most important in the history of agriculture in South Africa and the Free State. That is how Francois Wilken, President of Free State Agriculture (FSA), described his organization’s annual congress.
According to Wilken, “there is nowhere in the world where farmers have to farm under the same pressures as South African farmers”.
More than 250 guests attended the congress, where land expropriation without compensation was high on the agenda, on 15 and 16 August 2018 in Bloemfontein. The theme was Back to Our Members and farmers had the opportunity to share and debate their concerns with FSA.
Various well known people such as Dr John Purchase, Chief Executive Officer of Agbiz, Theo Venter, Political Analyst at the Business School of the North-West University, Ivor Price, TV presenter, Dan Kriek, President of Agri SA, and Andries Vermeulen, storyteller, were some of the speakers.
Read the full media statement about the FSA congress for 2018 here.
Visit our Facebook page here to look at these speeches, as well as others by various speakers.
This includes speeches by Wilken, Vermeulen, Kriek, Henk Vermeulen, former Chief Executive Officer of FSA, Theo Oosthuizen, founder and director of Salvo Capital, and André Venter, former Springbok flank.