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August 2012


Grain SA is an organisation of people. Our focus is to assist producers of grain and oilseeds to produce sustainably, but today I want to say something about the other side of our business – something about our humanity. People woven from flesh and blood by our Creator, but also full of emotions and by His Grace, filled with His Spirit.

We experience joy when it rains on a newly planted wheat field; or when we have one eye on the monitor of a combine during harvesting in a good season; and the emotions to just drive through the fields with your wife and son, taking in the smells and rows after a nice rain shower. And then Koos always talks about the days when, instead of reading a book, he would rather take the bakkie to go driving among the cattle just to look – and to enjoy!

I want to get to the point I want to make: What do you say to fellow producers who, after a fire, stands there looking at the charred carcasses of numerous dead stud rams; or a field devastated by a tornado or to a mother who has to leave her child, still in primary school, at the boarding school and then take the ride home in the car alone and in silence? More still, after the tragedy of losing loved ones in accidents on the road. That feeling of loneliness when everything on the farm go quiet and it is just you, your God and life’s emotions that are left. When you stare, like a Caleb, at the mountains and the giants residing there and you know there is no other way, but the road up the mountain; when everything does not necessarily go the way you dreamt it would.

The other day I read the following quote from the book by Ruth Barton: Strengthening the soul of your leadership, which reads “The great illusion of leadership is to think that man can be led out of the desert by someone who has never been there”.

Yes, the same Creator who is responsible for those unbelievable experiences and emotions we often experience as tillers of the land is also the One who sometimes takes us into the desert to change our characters there in solitude. It is not a nice time, but it is so necessary – in order to lead us to greater servitude. Subservient to our Maker, our spouse, our family, fellow producers and our country.

As Grain SA we wish to take a moment today to consider the human side of our business. We wish to think about those who have been driven into the desert in whichever manner by the westerly wind. We wish to pray that God will bring to fruition the work He has started in you until He returns. We pray for those who have lost loved ones or employees; those who have been diagnosed with an illness; those who have experienced losses and those struggling for financial survival.

We pray for every employee and their families who daily spend their time and energy to make the agricultural environment a better place and lastly we pray for our country, its leaders and its people.

May God show you mercy and lead you through whichever cycle you may go, to become the person He is dreaming of.

“...you know there is no other way, but the road up the mountain; when everything does not necessarily go the way you dreamt it would.”


Jannie de Villiers, CEO

Publication: August 2012

Section: Editorial