Annual General Meeting 2020 – CEO Report

The Past teaches us LESSONS, The FUTURE provides opportunities

COVID-19 paused the world, and instead of NZ looking on from the side-line we were very much part of it. Rather than thinking about history with distance, this year we were at the forefront as both a country and an organisation.

Overnight, our planned events and activities were postponed or cancelled. The wind changed but we adjusted our sails accordingly and focused on what we could do to meet the needs of our members.

One of our core strengths as an organisation has always been the ability to connect and despite a year of uncertainty we did this with enthusiasm and energy… online.

While we could have followed in the footsteps of other organisations and postponed our events indefinitely, connection and learning are key to who we are and what we do so we delivered the first online conference in NZ. DWN2020 Make It Matter Online was an opportunity to do things differently with our members. But we didn’t stop there; we changed two partner workshops to a webinar format and hosted various other talks to provide opportunities for knowledge and connection within out virtual bubble, until we could meet face to face again. These events reinforced that DWN provides a place for all, no matter what their role is or where our members are on their career journey.

People are at the heart of DWN – from our dedicated Trust Board and our committed Head Office team to our Hub and Regional Leaders across NZ who strive to be the best they can be every day, giving back to and supporting an industry they are incredibly proud to be part of.

Together, we provide a place where our people develop the confidence to learn, step up and lead in their businesses, their communities and the wider dairy industry.

Our Partners play a vital role in enabling us to deliver knowledge and leadership opportunities across New Zealand to our members.  For that support I want to take this opportunity to say thank you.

As for the future, we need to continue to value people for they the dairy industry’s greatest asset.  Let’s take the opportunity to nurture and support our current and future leaders.

To all of you who are part of, endorse and believe in DWN, thank you. We are proud to support our members and the NZ dairy industry.

Now let’s throw open the farm gates to connect with all food producers and other industries for new opportunities, innovation, learning and connection. Let’s shine as an industry and continue to be the greatest dairy farmers in the world.

Jules Benton

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