“Your dreams will not work if you do not make them come true,” says Christine Bouwer, Managing Director of Ripper Tillage Equipment. She has been working in agriculture, an industry she has loved since childhood, but only entered much later.

“I grew up on a farm where my father and grandfather both farmed. It was always fun to join my father on the tractor and see what he was doing,” she recalls. “What really interested me were the implements that he built and what they did to the soil. I found my heart’s passion in the smell of that overturned soil.”

Her path helped shaped who she is as a woman

After Christine matriculated, she joined the SALVKOL for army training. “It made me strong,” she believes. She then completed her studies in Business Management in Johannesburg, but after a short time in the financial world, she decided to start her own business.

“I opened a boutique where I made wedding dresses and matric farewell dresses. Before I knew, ten years had passed since I joined the fashion industry.”

When the opportunity presented itself to move back to the farm, Christine and her husband grabbed it with both hands. “My husband was able to find a job in Welkom and when I heard that, I said now we are moving to the farm!” Christine laughs. “I thought I was going to help my father at work, making coffee and writing invoices. But on the first day, he gave me his phone and said: ‘Here! Answer.’

“I had to learn quickly because many farmers asked questions that I initially knew nothing about.

“I am still learning every day. I am a curious person, so I want to know how everything works. For that I am very grateful, because it is satisfying to learn something new every day; it makes me feel alive.”

There is nothing that this woman’s hands cannot do! Whether Christine Bouwer is busy in the workshop or in the fields making sure that the implements are set up correctly to cultivate the soil, she is always ready to help wherever necessary.

From strength to strength for ten years with Ripper Tillage Equipment

“I do not miss fashion design, even though people often ask me, because this job is what I want to do until I die!” Christine admits. 2023 also marks the tenth year she has been part of the Ripper Tillage Equipment team.

This company is a well-known name in seedbed preparation equipment and under Christine’s leadership it is going from strength to strength. During 2022, they acquired dealer rights from Cerealis Precision, a leader in South African precision farming equipment. This filled a void that the Ripper Tillage Equipment team noticed in their own range. But now, thanks to Cerealis, they can also make planter technology available to farmers. Cerealis offers various solutions such as precision planter equipment, Weed-it, Y-drops, Drago-maize headers and Nardi sunflower headers.

Working in agriculture doesn’t just mean you have to farm. The agricultural industry offers more facets and many opportunities. Christine can testify to that.

“My passion is to combine everything that fits together to give the farmer a customised package of equipment he or she needs,” she explains.

Women in agriculture

One of the qualities that Christine believes helps her as a woman to meet farmers’ needs, is her listening skills. “Women bring good listening skills to the table. We also have perseverance and a positive outlook. This is especially necessary in agriculture which requires long hours, but if you are dedicated, you will achieve your dreams.”

Her advice to young people who want to work in agriculture is to gain practical experience. “Agriculture has such a wide variety of job opportunities, because there is also a supply chain. It is important to find out for yourself what you can achieve in the wide variety of jobs, because it is radically different from what you learn in the books. But also, be curious,” she concludes.

You can find Cerealis’ precision tillage solutions at Ripper Tillage Equipment. Call them at (+27)82-773-9297 or visit their website at www.rippertillage.co.za.