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Award winner becomes Dairy Women’s Network Chair

For immediate release

Date: 24 September 2014

Award winner becomes Dairy Women’s Network Chair

Dairy Women’s Network has appointed one of its past Dairy Woman of the Year winners as incoming chair.

Incumbent network chair Michelle Wilson has announced 2013 Dairy Woman of the Year winner Justine Kidd as the organisation’s new chair; a role she will assume following the organisation’s annual general meeting on 22 October.

“It is a credit to the Dairy Women’s Network board to have a person with Justine’s knowledge of agriculture and governance experience at the helm,” said Wilson.

“As outgoing chair I take a lot of comfort in knowing that the organisation will continue to grow from strength to strength with strong leadership at the board table.”

With the major prize for winning Dairy Woman of the Year being a place on the 12-month Global Women’s Network’s Breakthrough Programme, Kidd is nearly finished and will graduate in November.

Kidd says she is excited to be working with chief executive Zelda De Villiers and the team at the network.

“I’m really looking forward to the challenge and am thrilled to get my first chair opportunity with a chief executive like Zelda and an organisation that has a strong fit with my own leadership goals.

“The sense of responsibility to do a great job for the DWN will drive me. The network has come through a significant development stage under Michelle’s leadership. It is poised to move into its next phase of growth and organisational development.

“I think Michelle has done such a fantastic job of leading DWN through some significant changes and challenges.

“My ambitions lie firmly in building positively on a fantastic foundation, working with the board to support the ability of DWN to sustainably deliver great outcomes for its members and the dairy industry year in and year out.

Kidd, who hails from Hawke’s Bay, heads the BEL Group, a private dairy farm milking 9500 cows, is a shareholder in Dairy CHB which is now milking 1000 cows across two properties in its second year of operating and also owns JMK Consulting – a business leadership firm – as well as holding several directorships.

She has been involved in many aspects of the dairy industry after graduating with a Bachelor of Agricultural Science (honours) in 1993.

Starting out, Kidd was employed by the Dairy Board as a consulting officer and took a posting on the West Coast of the South Island, followed in 1994 with the Hawke’s Bay/Manawatu region.

In 1997, she was recruited by Dairy Research Corporation as a farm production scientist, where she was responsible for the management research completed on several research farms including No. 2 Dairy at Ruakura in Hamilton and the Taranaki research farm sites.

Following that role, she left employment to pursue opportunities in dairy farm property development while also establishing herself as a trainer/facilitator of leadership, people and performance and business strategy programmes.

Kidd was involved in purchasing a 300-cow farm west of Huntly which was developed over a two-year period and on-sold to support an investment in Canterbuy – Robindale Dairies Ltd. – which was the first of the Synlait projects.

In 2003, she was offered a role with Equestrian Sports NZ in Wellington, and as her passion and sport of choice she eagerly took up the opportunity.

After selling out of Synlait Ltd., Kidd was promoted to chief executive of Equestrian Sports NZ.

While at Equestrian Sports, Kidd also entered into a business partnership with her sister and brother in-law, which saw the creation of Avance Ltd. This partnership sharemilked 240 cows and leased a neighbouring farm milking a further 150 cows between 2005 and 2008.

Kidd left Equestrian Sports NZ in 2007 and focussed on the business of Avance which saw her return to the Hawke’s Bay when BEL Group contracted Avance to run their New Zealand dairy farm operations in 2008.


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