Organised by Dairy Women’s Network (DWN) and sponsored by Fonterra since its inception in 2012, the award celebrates the vital role women play in the dairy industry.
The Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year award recognises an outstanding woman who has significantly contributed to the dairy industry with passion, drive, innovation, influence and leadership and who represents a positive role model for women in dairying.
Previous winners include the current MP for Taranaki/King Country, Barbara Kuriger (2012), Katie Milne (2015), the first woman President of Federated Farmers in its 118 history, Justine Kidd (2013), former Chair of Dairy Women’s Network, and Fonterra Shareholders’ Councillor Jessie Chan-Dorman (2017).
The judging panel includes representatives from DWN, Fonterra, Global Women, Ballance Agri-Nutrients and a previous Dairy Woman of the Year winner.
The award includes a scholarship for the winner to undertake a professional or business development programme.
The Global Women Leaders’ Programme has been the natural choice for previous winners. The 12-month course provides opportunities for women to meet and network with others from different sectors, share knowledge and learnings and gain or improve their management and leadership skills.
Mentoring others and encouraging more women to pursue a career in agriculture is a common theme for previous Dairy Women of the Year winners.
2014 winner Charmaine O’Shea: “We have a really good story to tell and we need to be doing more of this, talking about the success of women in farming because they are doing great things, and not just because they are women.
2012 winner Barbara Kuriger: “There are many women with the skills and experience needed for a successful career in agriculture, and sometimes they just need to believe in themselves a bit more to make the step up. Having said that, it’s pleasing to see the next generation of women coming through and filling a wide variety of roles in the primary sector.