PANNAR Women’s Month: In the Spotlight, Suzaan van Eeden1 August 2018

August is Women’s Month and to celebrate, PANNAR will be featuring five wonderful ladies in agriculture over the course of five weeks.

First up in the PANNAR spotlight is the lovely Suzaan van Eeden.

Where do you live/farm?

Delmas, Mpumalanga.

Wat is your occupation?

Admin Officer, Trade, at Suidwes Landbou (Delmas)

Did you grow up on the farm?

Farming has always been part of our family's heritage. My father is a farmer, as is my grandfather. We grew up as my father's little "tomboys" on the farm.

How are you currently involved in farming?

I work fulltime, but over weekends I'm with my dad on the farm to see what can be done: which lands can be harvested, what can be fixed etc.

Who is your biggest role model?

My father is my biggest role model. He taught me important values, such as self-respect, honesty, what's right and wrong - I can go on! But one of the most important things he taught me is to always be yourself and to stand up for what's right, even if you're alone. You only have one reputation and you have to take care of it!

What do you love most about farm life?

Farming keeps you on your knees and brings you closer to God. You must pray for rain and a good harvest and be grateful when you receive it. What’s more, you appreciate the scenery and the silence into which you can escape. On the farm, you also learn something new every day.

Would you like to raise your future children on the farm?

I'm not a mother yet, but I want to be one day and would prefer to raise my children on a farm. Growing up on the farm means you are free! If you want to climb a tree, you do it! If you want to chase cattle into the kraal, you do it! If you want to play in the freshly harvested maize, you do it! Growing up, one of our favourite things was to play in the cow dung. Our grandmothers used to say: "You must play in the dung as it will help you grow taller!"

How do you see the role of women in farming?

I would love to see more women working in the agricultural industry, BUT it must also be their passion. In my current job, I learn a lot about agriculture and I love it when a farmer walks in and I can advise him/her with the knowledge that I have acquired.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Hopefully I’ll be married by then. Just kidding! I would like to start farming and exporting protea flowers for the overseas market. I would also like to start my own cattle farm when the time is right. One of my big dreams is to own my own farm and to know that I worked hard for it.

Anything else you would like to mention?

  • Get a job you love - it's important to be happy.
  • Things happen that are not always good, but it shapes who you are as a person.
  • Don’t do anything just to impress other people. Life is worth more than seeing how many "likes" you get on Facebook.
  • Spend quality time with your family. Time is not something you can get back!
  • Most importantly, always be yourself and remain humble.

You can follow Suzaan’s journey via her Instagram account @suzaanvaneeden.

COMPETITION TIME: Join PANNAR in our Women's Month tribute and upload a photograph of a special lady who is involved in agriculture (in any shape or form) and deserves to be mentioned. You can find more information here.

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