Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year award calls for leaders beyond the farm gate

Nominations are now open for the 2021 Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year as the industry searches for its next inspiring and passionate leader.  

Dairy women are encouraged to nominate their role models in the industry before February when finalists will be put before a judging panel, comprised of Dairy Women’s Network Trustee Sophie Stanley, 2019 Dairy Woman of the Year Trish Rankin, and representatives from Fonterra, Global Women and Ballance Agri-Nutrients.  

2021 Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year will be the 10th year for the award. We continue to call for leaders beyond the farm gate who offer support to the wider dairy industry and its people, and who are committed to giving back to their communities. Nominees may not work for a farm business, but be striving for the future of dairy through leadership in industry organisations. 

In doing so Jules Benton, Dairy Women’s Network CEO, hopes that the award will open up to young women who haven’t had the same level of on-farm experience as previous recipients but whose experience is supplemented by a commitment to the industry through other avenues. 

“One of our core values as an organisation is about seizing opportunities, and this year’s recipient Ash-Leigh Campbell demonstrates this in both her work and her attitude. We hope that her success will encourage other young women in the industry to nominate their peers, and remember that there is no age limit for this award.” 

Fonterra’s Group Director for Farm Source Richard Allen says no other award in New Zealand specifically recognises and encourages the capability and success of women in the dairy industry. 

“Each year we see many outstanding women nominated who, like Ash-Leigh, are passionate about the dairy industry, leaders across the sector and in their communities and networks, and who are contributing to the frameworks that will enable the next generations of farmers to succeed.” 

As one of the youngest finalists for the Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year and the first female finalist for the 2016 Ahuwhenua Young Maori Dairy Farmer of the Year, Campbell is passionate about supporting other young farmers and showing other young women in the industry what they are capable of achieving. She has previously been recognised for her leadership qualities at the New Zealand Young Farmers Excellence Awards and is Chair of the New Zealand Young Farmers Board, the first time in 12 years that a woman has held the position. 

Starting her farming journey ‘swinging cups’ throughout high school, Campbell now oversees eight farms in her role as Technical Farm Manager with Ngai Tahu Farming. She is responsible for assisting with their management and performance, and helping to address on-farm environmental issues. 

Campbell joins previous winners Trish Rankin, Loshni Manikam, Jessie Chan-Dorman, Rebecca Keoghan, Katie Milne, Justine Kidd, Charmaine O’Shea and Barbara Kuriger. 

Nominations can be made at  


For more information:
Zellara Holden
Partner Relationships, Marketing and Communications Manager
Dairy Women’s Network
021 177 0300

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