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The farming community can make no better investment than investing in the development of its youth. The new Kovsies Agri student organisation was officially launched in Bloemfontein on 14 March 2023 at the Old Students Sports Club.
Kovsies Agri is more than just a student organisation at the University of the Free State (UFS). It is a dynamic group of students who focuses on closing the gap between the agricultural value chain and the farmers of tomorrow.
Their goal is not only to broaden students’ knowledge by focusing on practical experience and networking opportunities, but also to create a family type of environment at the university for students with the same interests in the agricultural industry.
The organisation’s leadership is dynamic and passionate and comprises students who are eager to make a difference in the agricultural industry and in the lives of members. Kovsies Agri will serve as a platform for students to socialise, network, learn and explore opportunities within the agricultural sector.
Read more about the Farming for Tomorrow initiative.
“We are thrilled to launch Kovsies Agri and provide students with a unique opportunity to gain practical experience and feel part of a community that is passionate about agriculture,” said the organisation’s chairperson, Nicola Wiid. “We believe that agriculture is the backbone of our economy, and it is essential to equip students with the skills and knowledge to make a positive impact in the industry.”
Innovative solutions for future challenges
The organisation is committed to being innovative and tackling challenges of the future in a competitive manner. This will be done by hosting practical events such as farm visits, guest lectures and workshops to engage students and provide them with a deeper understanding of the agricultural industry. Kovsies Agri will also host a series of social events, allowing students from all faculties to learn from each other since agriculture comprises many different careers.
With the opening of the Agriculture Building on the UFS campus in 1958, minister SP le Roux said, “‘n Volk wat vir sy landbou sorg, sorg vir sy toekoms” (A nation that takes care of its agriculture, takes care of its future) and the words were engraved in granite to remain with the students forever.
Although agriculture is the backbone of the South African economy, younger generations did not consider agriculture a career of choice. It was mainly because agriculture was viewed as something from the ‘old school’, with many more exciting careers on offer.
Luckily, this trend changed over time, and today, agriculture is once again a popular choice. “The newly launched Kovsies Agri contributes to the sexy side of agriculture. It is an organisation led by young people for young people to bring together the next generation of producers and agriculturalists who will take care of agriculture and, thus, take care of our future,” says Prof Frikkie Maré, head of the Department of Agricultural Economics at UFS.
According to Theo de Jager, chairperson of the family farmers network Saai, these students are the producers and leaders of tomorrow, the future CEOs of agribusinesses and the foundation of the food systems as they change over time.
On launch day, Kovsies Agri also launched its brand-new website and various social media pages. – Press release, Kovsies Agri
For more information about Kovsies Agri, please visit their website or Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.