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Justine Kidd takes 2013 Dairy Woman of the Year title


Justine Kidd takes 2013 Dairy Woman of the Year title


Justine Kidd with her award at last night’s gala event


BEL Group business manager Justine Kidd from Waipukurau was named the Dairy Woman of the Year last night at a gala dinner held by the Dairy Women’s Network in Nelson.

With more than 20 years’ experience, Justine has influenced many aspects of the dairy industry after graduating with a Bachelor of Agricultural Science (hons) in 1993.

She started in the industry as a consulting officer for the Dairy Board, worked for the Dairy Research Corporation as a farm production scientist and went on to establish herself as a trainer of leadership, people and performance, and business strategy programmes.

Justine was also a founding director of Synlait where she led the initial development of strategic planning, team development and human resource structures.

In 2003 she joined Equestrian Sports NZ, and was soon promoted to the role of CEO. At the same time, in partnership with family members, she started Avance Ltd - a company designed to create a family farming asset by helping other farm businesses achieve their strategic goals. She left Equestrian Sports NZ in 2007 to focus on Avance.

In 2008 the BEL Group contracted Avance to run their Hawke's Bay-based dairy farm operations. The BEL Group employs more than 60 people milking 8600 cows across eight dairy farms totalling 2400 hectares, with another 960 hectares in dairy support.
Under Justine’s leadership BEL Group has grown to reach its first milestone strategic goals and won the Human Resources Institute of New Zealand’s 2011 HR Initiative of the Year award.



On being named the winner Justine said she was excited and very grateful to the Dairy Women’s Network and Fonterra for the opportunities the award would create for her career. She also said she was humbled by the deep sense of responsibility that comes with the award to do something positive for the industry.

“I have aspirations to get involved in and contribute to agribusiness governance in New Zealand. I also believe there is immense value in supporting New Zealand’s farming families and helping their businesses thrive. They make a massive contribution to communities all over the country as well as building the bridge between the rural and urban divide, and that is an area where I would like to contribute and make a difference.”

The judging panel for the award was comprised of the Dairy Women’s Network chair Michelle Wilson, representatives from DairyNZ, Fonterra and Global Women, and last year’s inaugural Dairy Woman of the Year winner, Barbara Kuriger.

The panel acknowledged Justine’s leadership skills and tenacity.

“Justine is creative in finding solutions and is a positive role model for dairy women. Justine aspires to inspire those she works with and believes leadership is demonstrated by inspiring others and leading by example.”
Mrs Wilson said the calibre of all entrants for this year’s award was exceptionally high.

Justine was nominated for the award alongside Juliet MacLean, chief executive Synlait Farms Limited; Kath Taylor, veterinarian VetSouth Limited; Kathryn Van den Beuken, farm owner/operator and key account manager AgITO; Leonie Guiney, farm owner/operator and Sarah Watson, Canterbury MyFarm farm supervisor.

Her prize is a Fonterra-sponsored scholarship to the Global Women, Women in Leadership programme valued at $25,000. The programme will give her 12-months exposure to globally focussed women in leadership roles across the New Zealand business sector.

Maury Leyland, Fonterra’s group director strategy, congratulated Justine on behalf of the company.

“Justine’s passion for the industry is infectious and it’s great to see her growth and leadership acknowledged through this award. We wish her the best of luck with her place on the prestigious Women in Leadership course and look forward to working with her in the upcoming year.”


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