Women at the grass roots of industry being celebrated by Dairy Women’s Network

4 February 2020

The efforts and success of women from grass roots through too leadership of the dairy industry will be recognised and celebrated with the Dairy Women’s Network new DWN Regional Leader of the Year award.

“Over 70 volunteer Regional Leaders provide an important point of contact for farmers as they play an important role in their communities through to organising, hosting and promoting regional events all over New Zealand,” Dairy Women’s Network CEO Jules Benton said.

“They are the face for the network throughout the country so it’s vital that these women who are playing a major role who in some cases are running a million dollar business as well as finding time to support the Dairy Women’s Network, and often have to balance family life as well, were recognised.”

Benton said Regional Leaders worked as part of a team to deliver events that aligned with the Dairy Women’s Newark values of Making it Happen, being Inclusive, being One of a Kind, and Standing Tall Together.

Dairy Women’s Network Regional Leaders gather during a Leadership Forum last year.

“There is no doubt that becoming a Regional Leader is an exciting opportunity to extend a leadership journey and contribute insights and feedback into the dairy industry and is a step along a path that may lead into governance, employment or other forms of leadership in the industry or beyond; Regional Leaders help us grow vibrant and prosperous communities.”

“We already have the Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year Award which celebrates the outstanding leadership of women in the business of dairy, but we also really needed to acknowledge and thank our Regional Leaders for all the efforts they make, as so much of it can go under the radar.”

Benton was happy to welcome insurance brokers Crombie Lockwood as a sponsor to support the awards.

“Having Crombie Lockwood join us to support our Regional Leaders was just fantastic,” she said. “They are one of the largest insurance broking companies in the country and are really committed to supporting the rural sector so it’s a great fit.”

Head of Key Partnerships for Crombie Lockwood David Rayner says they are proud to sponsor the inaugural DWN Regional Leader of the Year Award. “As volunteers supporting others in their community all of the Regional Leaders contribute significantly and we appreciate the opportunity to recognise this through this award.”

“Crombie Lockwood started out in the regions so we really understand the role of Regional Leaders that are locally focused while contributing to a national structure.”

Benton stresses that you don’t have to be a dairy farmer or hands-on on farm to be a Regional Leader, saying many are involved in the industry in other ways coming from all aspects of agribusiness.

Nominations for the DWN Regional Leader of the Year Award opened in early February and the winner will be announced at the Dairy Women’s Network conference gala dinner in Hamilton on the 6th of May.

Nominations close 3 April 2020 at

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