It's Women’s Month and to celebrate, PANNAR is featuring five wonderful ladies in agriculture over the course of five weeks for the month of August.
Next up in the PANNAR spotlight, is the exquisite Jeanine Claassen.
Where do you live/farm?
Wolwehoek, Sasolburg Region
What is your occupation?
Did you grow up on the farm or did you fall into farming by accident?
I wouldn’t say that my story is an accident, but rather a romantic love story. My father once took me pigeon shooting, when a handsome farmer challenged me to a friendly pigeon shooting competition and as they say – the rest is history! I am now a proud farmer’s wife.
How are you currently involved in farming?
I am involved in the office with daily obligations, wages and contracts of employees and temporary workers during planting- and harvest times.
Who is your biggest role model?
My biggest role model is my husband. The enthusiasm with which he gets up early every morning to see if all the animals survived the cold weather, or when he plants in dry soil that is desperate for summer rain, is a true inspiration. It is a great privilege for me to to pack him a flask of coffee early each morning. It reminds him of the childlike wonder and admiration that I have for who and what he is. At times, when he doesn’t quite understand what on earth is going on in his wife’s head, he spoils me with a field flower or sunflower. Flowers are always the answer!
What do you love most about farm life?
The smell of the soil after a good spell of rain is my favourite. There are also few things better than witnessing the Creator's sunrise and sunset over the plains of the Free State. I get to jog in the fields between the goats, buffalo, cattle and sheep, and it makes me realise once again how privileged I am. In our region everything dies in winter, but with the first rains, everything is green again in summer. It is magic and a sign of new life.
Tell us more about your son. How does the farm play a role in how he is raised?
Edwin Alfred Conroy Jr. is 11 years old. We are blessed that he can grow up on the farm. He has a love for the plants, animals and birds. Louis Hendrik teaches him how the planting and harvesting processes work. He can already drive the tractors and harvesters by himself. During planting and harvesting time, he finds it is difficult to focus at school. The teachers don’t always understand that he would rather be on the tractor than reading and doing sums!
How do you see the role of women in farming?
A woman's role in farming has certainly become more advanced than say 50 years ago. Nowadays we do not only cook and bake, but we also assist our husbands in decision-making, accounting and everyday administration – the things they don’t always have time for. Women also support their husbands through motivation, dedication and prayer during those difficult times when no rain is predicted and no clouds are in the sky.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
We wish to plant more and work with more animals in the next five years, to ensure we can continue to provide food for our nation. In spite of all the challenges surrounding government, we must do our best daily to enjoy what we do.
Anything else you would like to mention?
I love my family and friends very much. I want to live to the full every day with the power and grace that our Father gives us. I believe that people should grab each day with both hands and be grateful, because tomorrow is not necessarily guaranteed.
You can follow Jeanine’s journey via her Instagram account @j9claassen.
WIN! WIN! WIN!
What is a farm without the support, understanding, encouragement and love of a woman? Nominate the special lady on your farm (OR in your agricultural business) here and stand a chance to win one of ten R500 Takealot vouchers. Hurry, competition closes 31 August 2018!
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