Fonterra farmers named finalists for top dairy award


Three Co-op farmers have been announced as the finalists for the 2018 Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year award.

Rachel Baker, Tracey Collis and Loshni Manikam are in the running for the award, which is organised by the Dairy Women's Network (DWN). The winner will be announced at the DWN conference in Rotorua on 22 March.

Dairy Women’s Network CEO Zelda de Villiers says the three finalists highlight the wide scope of skills and expertise evident among women in New Zealand’s dairy industry.

“The role of women in this industry is unique and unparalleled, and we’re proud to recognise and celebrate their success,” says Zelda

“The skills and experience Rachel, Tracey and Loshni bring to the dairy industry range from local government and leadership development through to board and governance expertise.

“These women show an unwavering commitment to progressing the dairy industry internationally, yet still retain their links and involvement at a grassroots level in their home regions and communities.”

Jo Finer, Fonterra’s General Manager NZ Industry Affairs, says Fonterra is once again proud to support the Dairy Woman of the Year programme as it enters its eighth year of sponsorship.

“No other award in New Zealand specifically recognises and encourages the capability and success of women in the dairy industry,” says Jo.

“On behalf of Fonterra, my congratulations to Rachel, Tracey, and Loshni. I have no doubt they will continue to excel in their leadership careers, and I look forward to seeing their successes in the years to come.”

The 2018 Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year receives a scholarship prize of up to $20,000 to undertake a professional/business development programme. Fonterra Shareholders' Councillor Jessie Chan-Dorman won the award in 2017.

About the finalists...

Rachel Baker

Rachel Baker milks 850 cows on a dairy farm in Central Hawke’s Bay with her husband and three children. With more than 20 years’ experience in the dairy industry, Rachel has held several roles during her career, including as a vet and a dairy consultant. She is a Primary ITO tutor, a Kellogg scholar and chair of the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards executive. Locally, Baker is heavily involved with her community and school and coaches junior netball.

Tracey Collis

Tararua District Mayor Tracey Collis milks 220 cows with her husband and four children in Eketahuna. Tracey is a member of the Institute of Directors and her local Chamber of Commerce, graduate of the Fonterra Governance and Agricultural Women’s Development Trust Escalator programmes and one of DairyNZ’s environmental leaders. Other governance roles include chair of the Tararua College Educational Trust and Eketahuna Charitable Trust and deputy chair of the Waireka Community Trust. Tracey also serves as a Justice of the Peace.

Loshni Manikam

Loshni Manikam is originally from South Africa and now lives in Southland, milking 600 cows with her husband and three children. Loshni 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. A former lawyer, Manikam transitioned from dairy farming to leadership coaching after receiving her coaching certification in 2012. She is the founding director of Iceberg Coaching, working with Farmstrong Learning and Education to support the wellbeing of farming communities.