Nominations are open for Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year as the 13th year of the awards gets underway.
Each year, women from across New Zealand’s food and fibre sector, and who are part of the Dairy Women’s Network (DWN), are nominated for this prestigious award.
DWN CEO Jules Benton says these incredible women have a commitment, drive and passion for the dairy sector as a whole and are positive role models for women in dairying.
“We encourage our dairy women across Aotearoa New Zealand to put themselves forward for this award. They can either be nominated or apply themselves. Every day I meet women doing amazing things for their community and country and this award goes a small way to recognising their efforts.”
Donna Cram was named 2023 Dairy Woman of the Year. She says she has been overwhelmed by the difference winning this award has made in my life.
“Not only does the Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year achieve the coveted title, but this year the recipient will receive a scholarship to the Kellogg Rural Leadership Programme, which includes the programme fee, travel, and accommodation, mentoring and access to DWN and Fonterra platforms to share their research,” Cram says.
Last year Vanessa Thomson, a Te Awamutu sharemilker, mum and full-time contracts and commercial adviser, received a scholarship to the programme. She called it a life-changing opportunity.
“I am so grateful for the network that I have made through Kellogg, and the tools that it has given me. I am excited for the future, and what my leadership journey might bring.”
Benton says a recent study showed that 960 Kellogg alumni have served in over 26,858 leadership roles, playing a direct role in creating an estimated 33,600 full-time equivalent roles.
At 28%, there is a high rate of self-employment in the dairy sector compared to New Zealand as a whole.
Over the years, the judges have had strong criteria to assess the applicants as the nominees are of such high calibre.
The selection panel is led by DWN trustee Donna Smit, and consists of five judges, including representatives from DWN, Fonterra, Ballance Agri-Nutrients, Rural Leaders, and a previous Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year.
“Our Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year needs to be a strong performer who is recognised by her peers as a potential leader and who demonstrates leadership within her community and further afield.
“She is influential in the dairy sector, holding or having held leadership positions on regional or national dairy organisations. Ultimately, she has a vision to add value to the dairy sector’s future and is actively working towards achieving that in her leadership aspirations”.
All finalists will have a professional video recorded and have conference costs, travel and accommodation paid to attend the 2024 DWN conference and gala dinner.
The location and date of this event have yet to be announced.
This article first appeared in the December edition of our sister publication, Dairy Farmer.