All over the world, women play an important role in the future of agriculture. As women are showing their worth in various departments of the agricultural sector, they gain more recognition than in the past.

Magda Wallace, Parts Sales Person at AFGRI Bethlehem, shares her experience of being a woman in the agricultural industry.

Magda’s career commenced in December 2011 as Administrative Clerk at AFGRI Marquard.

Magda tells: “In 2013, I had the opportunity to become part of the parts sales team after a position fell open.”

Before applying for the post, she discussed it with her grandmother who asked: “My child, are you certain that is what you want to do?” and she replied: “Why not?”

Magda braced herself, applied, and was appointed. Today, she has been in the parts department of AFGRI for ten years.

“I grew up in the city, so I knew nothing about agriculture or the farming industry. I had to learn everything from scratch. To be honest, I did not even know the purpose of a harvester or a planter,” Magda laughingly admits.

For Magda, everything is about opportunities. “Women must raise their hands with self-confidence and grasp every opportunity that comes their way,” she believes.

Career highlights

In 2019 Magda was granted a transfer to AFGRI’s Bethlehem branch. That same year, she was nominated as one of the two females in the Top Ten John Deere Parts experts competition of the year.

This year, Magda is one of the Top Ten finalists again, and the only woman in the category. She says she feels very excited and positive for the outcome of the awards this year. She also believes that there is more room for women to compete against men nowadays.

Magda Wallace, Parts Sales Person at AFGRI Bethlehem.

The role of being a woman in the industry

Magda advises: “In the industry it is important to understand and to know what you are talking about. Do not pretend that you know everything; ask questions until you fully understand.

“Women enter the business world uninvited. We invade areas where we are not always welcome. We as women should not stand back when the going gets tough, as can always be expected. The question is: How serious are we to make our mark?”.

Her advice to women who wish to work in the agricultural industry, is to equip themselves with more knowledge. “Ultimately, every women must determine for herself what she is willing to do and what she is willing to learn. If you bring your part, you can advance very far in the industry. Do not question yourself. It will not always be easy, but if you are willing to learn and to go the extra mile, you will attain your goals” she adds.

Magda believes: “Training is very important. It not only helps your company to grow, but also yourself. In my opinion, training is the one critical aspect.”

Magda also believes a positive attitude to be a very important step towards success. “Long ago, I have learnt to accept the fact that no job is without challenges. My passion and love for what I do is the driving force behind it all,” she says.

What does the future hold?

“Without farming there will be no future. I am excited for the future of farming. I feel there is much potential to be exploited. Agriculture is one of the industries that does not stagnate, and the possibilities are endless,” she believes.

Magda works hard to be promoted to a management position in the near future. “I also hope to see many more women in parts positions within the next few years,” she concludes optimistically.