Taranaki farmer Donna Cram has been announced as the 2023 Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year.
Donna was presented with the award by Fonterra Director Cathy Quinn at the Dairy Women’s Network annual conference gala dinner in Invercargill.
Donna is a fourth-generation dairy farmer and influences locally and nationally through a large range of positions.
These include the Taranaki Catchment Communities Chair and Founder, a DairyNZ Dairy Environment Leader, a DairyNZ Climate Change ambassador, a Trustee for Dairy Trust Taranaki and Councillor at Taranaki Regional Council. Donna and husband Phil’s farm was also one of three finalists in the Fonterra Responsible Dairy Award in 2021.
The other finalists were Executive Director of DCANZ Kimberly Crewther, Ashburton farmer Rebecca Miller and Assistant Manager at Whananaki Farms Sheena Penwarden.
Donna Smit, DWN Trustee says the judges had an unenviable job with such an incredible group of women.
“But what stood out for them was the way that Donna leads from the front, acting as an inspiration for her community and especially encouraging young people. Her ability to see the big picture and then mobilise those around her was something the judges' thought was really special. They were looking for commitment, drive and passion for the dairy sector and someone who is a positive role model for women in dairying. Donna also has a strong focus on the environment and how we can continue to produce amazing food in a sustainable way.”
(L-R), Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell, Fonterra Director Cathy Quinn, Donna Cram, Fonterra Chairman Peter McBride and the other finalists Kimberley Crewther, Rebecca Miller and Sheena Penwarden
Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell says “Donna is well known within our Co-operative and is an outstanding ambassador for the industry. Her leadership qualities, community engagement and commitment to sustainability represent some of the best attributes of Kiwi dairy farmers. We want more young people coming into the dairy sector and she’s helping to do exactly that, paving the way for the next generation of farmers to succeed.”
Along with the award Donna receives a scholarship from Fonterra of up to $20,000 for an approved and personally chosen development programme, or professional/business coaching and/or learning experience.