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Celebrations for DWN at annual general meeting

Celebrations for DWN at annual general meeting

Celebrating success and reward for hard work will be the upcoming Dairy Women’s Network AGM theme.

The Network’s AGM is due to be held in Hamilton on 15 October at Narrow’s Landing, in the Waikato and chief executive Zelda de Villiers says there is plenty to celebrate with membership numbers up, event numbers up, new commercial partners on board, a stable financial position and innovative ways of working paying dividends.

“Looking back at the last 12 months, we have achieved an awful lot,” she said.

“It has been a year of growth and change and a year of developing pilots and rolling them out, in particular with the modified Dairy Modules, in place of Dairy Days.

“With that, we have put a big emphasis on receiving great feedback on those and increasing participation – which we have absolutely achieved.

“Dairy NZ was instrumental in the development and funding of the module concept and we are very grateful for their ongoing support.”

Some 991 people attended the Dairy Modules in the last financial year, with more than half of those non-DWN members, which has seen the Network’s membership increase from 5000 to 8100 over the same period.

The number of events the Network runs has increased from 134 to 214.

“We pride ourselves on being an organisation that is committed to offering and facilitating quality connections for our members, that make positive differences to their personal lives and businesses,” said de Villiers.

“An organisation that connects like-minded, successful people is necessary at the best of times and crucial in the current climate.

“With our commercial partners we have been able to offer a wide range of opportunities for our members to connect, learn and upskill in the business of dairying.

She said the Network was able to sign up a number of key commercial partners in the 2014-2015 financial year, including LIC, Whatever Marketing and FMG.

“We were also fortunate to have MSD Animal Health and Farmsource increase their support, and cement some of our existing healthy and mutually beneficial partnerships, not to mention a very generous donation from our gold partner ASB.”

With a full staff complement, the Network has been able to re-establish inactive regional groups, bringing new regional convenors on board and increasing the regional group count from 26 to 33.

“We have really developed and centralised our database so we have a much better understanding of the demographic and profile of our members, which is vital in delivering a valuable service.

“Justine Kidd also signed on as our board chair, and I think all our members would agree she is doing a wonderful job, as are the rest of our very dynamic team.

“They are the reason we were able to hold another extremely successful conference in Invercargill in March where a wide range of trade stands and inspiring key speakers proved to be a real highlight.”

Looking ahead, de Villiers said the Network is in a stable financial situation and having volunteered for their very first audit, are ensuring that is on track to continue growing its balance sheet year on year.

“Our next conference will be held in Hamilton in May and the theme will be ‘United to succeed’. We will also continue to roll out new Dairy Modules throughout the country.

“The upcoming modules – ‘Taking care of your cash’ and ‘Step up to Safety’ are very relevant to the climate and we anticipate they will be well attended and members will be grateful for the learnings.”

She said the Network has recently established a group at Lincoln University for young women entering the agricultural industry and will look at other areas in the future where it can establish similar groups.


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