Southland farmer and dairy leadership coach Loshni Manikam has been announced as the winner of the 2018 Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year award.
The award was presented last night as part of the Dairy Women’s Network’s (DWN) annual conference In Rotorua. Loshni and the other finalists - Tararua district mayor Tracey Collis and Hawke’s Bay dairy consultant Rachel Baker – are all Co-op suppliers.
Organised by DWN, the prestigious honour recognises the vital role women play in the dairy industry and has been sponsored by Fonterra since it was first awarded in 2012. Fonterra Shareholders' Councillor Jessie Chan-Dorman won the award in 2017.
A former lawyer, Loshni is the founding director of Iceberg Coaching and a strategic consultant for Farmstrong, working to support the wellbeing of farming communities. She is a trustee of the Southern Dairy Development Trust, a coach and facilitator of the Agri-Women’s Development Trust’s Escalator Programme and a Federated Farmers Southland executive member.
Loshni says receiving the title is proof that the success of an “ordinary dairy farming woman” can translate far and wide. “It shows you can raise a family and still progress through the industry, reach the top, and have a say at industry level,” she says.
“I’m passionate about creating change by working alongside industry leaders and farming communities. I think it’s important to first build relationships and understand each group’s drivers before collaborating for change, and I hope winning this award will allow a few more doors to open to allow that to keep happening.”
As Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year, Loshni receives a scholarship prize of up to $20,000 to undertake a professional/business development programme, sponsored by Fonterra.
The award was presented by Miles Hurrell, Chief Operating Officer at Fonterra (Farm Source). He says the award, and associated scholarship, is an investment in the future of New Zealand dairy farming.
“We are proud to support, celebrate and help develop the women in dairying who, like Fonterra, set high standards for themselves and for our industry,” says Miles.
“Loshni is another outstanding dairy woman to add to the ranks of previous recipients of the Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year title. On behalf of Fonterra I wish her all the best and I have no doubt we will see more great things from her in the near future. I would also like to congratulate the other finalists Tracey and Rachel and acknowledge the contribution they have made, and continue to make, to our industry.”