Finance Minister Bill English says it turns out that the country is not as dependent on the dairy industry as we thought.
The award was made by the Dairy Women's Network in association with Fonterra.
DairyNZ board chairman John Luxton says the award is highly deserved and recognises Barbara Kuriger for the active role she has taken in the dairy industry over a number of years.
"Barbara has demonstrated leadership and dedication and is a great role model for the industry," says Luxton.
The Dairy Woman of the Year award includes a 12 month scholarship for the prestigious Women in Leadership by Global Women, which is valued at $25,000. The scholarship is sponsored by Fonterra Milk Supply.
Kuriger and her husband, Louis, along with other family members, farm in Taranaki and other North Island locations. She plays a key part in the business and is known for her leadership contribution - not only locally but also on a regional and national level.
Kuriger is a past chair of LIC's national council, a former Fonterra shareholders' council member and is involved in the entrepreneurial investment organisation Taranaki Growth Spurt.