Nominations are open for the Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year award. This sees women dedicated to the future of New Zealand's dairy industry recognised and celebrated nationwide.
Whanganui sharemilker Belinda Price joins Ashburton dairy farmer Rebecca Miller along with contract milker, farm consultant and Whanganui Māori farm advisor Chevon Horsford, in the running for the industry award managed by Dairy Women's Network.
DWN trustee and award judge Sophie Stanley says the three finalists were recognised by the judging panel as representing a wide range of diversity and leadership within the industry, on top of their commitment to supporting people as well as dairying as a whole.
"Belinda showed strong focus and determination to not only improve her own farming business through continuous learning, but to nurture and mentor others in the industry and contribute back to a wide range of industry organisations," Stanley says.
"Chevon's passion, purpose and vision for encouraging and supporting Māori farmers and other wahine toa in the industry is inspiring. Rebecca's positivity, enthusiasm and holistic approach to farming and family life shine through her nomination, which has enabled her to give back to the industry in a number of varied roles."
The finalists were selected by a judging panel comprised of Stanley, 2019 Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year Trish Rankin and representatives from Fonterra, Global Women and Ballance Agri-Nutrients.
Stanley says the award and the judging process shines a light on the work the women do for the industry behind the scenes, to encourage the next generation of dairy women to follow in their footsteps.
"What excites me the most is being in the presence of incredibly hard-working, passionate and inspiring women who every day wake up to make the dairy industry a better place for their families, peers, the environment and New Zealand as a whole."
The winner will be announced at a gala dinner in Taupo on April 8 and will receive the award from Fonterra chief executive Miles Hurrell.
Top Regional Worker
Two women working at the grassroots of the dairy industry are the finalists in the DWN Regional Leader of the Year award.
Donna Griggs, who farms in Ruawai, Kaipara up in Northland, and Rebecca Green, a dairy farmer from Cheviot, Canterbury, represent more than 70 regional leaders across New Zealand who connect the organisation to rural communities.
DWN chief executive Jules Benton says regional leaders are the faces of the network and are its first point of contact for farmers around New Zealand.
"They put enormous amounts of effort and time into organising and hosting regional events to provide their communities with the knowledge to further local farms, and ultimately the wider industry," Benton explains.
"The award not only highlights the effort they put into their roles as volunteer regional leaders, but the work they do behind the scenes for the food of the industry."
She adds that the two finalists are both excellent representatives of Dairy Women's Network and consciously incorporate its values into their work and day-to-day lives.
This year's award is supported by FMG. Head of rural insurance company's agribusiness centre, Nicki Mackay says FMG is delighted to support the award. "We recognise the value of connecting with others, the opportunities to keep learning and for the part they play in wellbeing," shey says. "We'd like to thank Donna and Rebecca for the work they do in their rural communities and congratulate them on being finalists for this award."
The winner will receive a registration to the 'Dare to Lead' programme facilitated by Boma New Zealand, travel to the location of the programme and accommodation. The victor of the award will be announced at a gala dinner in Taupo on April 8.