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Major funding boost for Dairy Women’s Network

Major funding boost and new board appointments for Dairy Women’s Network

14 December 2010

Dairy Women’s Network General Manager, Nita Harding, says a major funding boost and new board appointments have set the organisation on a path for growth in the new year.

“We are excited to announce that DairyNZ has doubled our funding, which means we’ll be able to carry out twice as many Dairy Days educational workshops over the coming year.

“Last year we held 20 Dairy Days across the country, with 650 women participating. With this huge boost in funding, we are confident we can exponentially increase the positive influence our organisation is making in the professional lives of dairying women,” explains Mrs Harding.

The 20 additional Dairy Days the Network holds next year will relate solely to the topic of ‘financial capability.’

The Dairy Women’s Network was established in 1999 and its purpose is to provide professional development opportunities for dairying women in New Zealand. It administers 21 regional groups throughout the country and has 500 members active on the Network’s website discussion groups.

“Participation in our online discussion groups is stronger than ever and continues to grow. There is also a lot of interest in establishing new regional groups, and enabling this to happen is one of our goals for the current year,” says Mrs Harding.

In line with the goal of expanding regional groups, the Dairy Women’s Network has appointed dairy farmer, Fiona Heberley of Masterton, as its new Regional Convenor, National Support. The Network’s goal is to add three more regional groups by May 2011.

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Mrs Harding says staff and the Board have worked together over the past few months on a strategic plan for the organisation. “The plans we’ve put in place are focused on actions we can take to expand our network and increase our impact in the dairy industry. Women working in our industry are eager to improve their professional knowledge of dairying as a business and our role is to bring these women new learning opportunities.”

At its recent annual general meeting, the Dairy Women’s Network announced the retirement of Robyn Clements as Chair as well as founding trustee, Sue Van der Poel.

Long-time trustee and Deputy Chair, Michelle Wilson of Tuatapere, has been elected as the new Chairwoman. A new trustee, Marie Marshall, also joins the Board. Marie lives with her husband on a dairy run-off near Balclutha.

Michelle Wilson says she is excited about leading the Dairy Women’s Network into its next phase of development.

“Going forward, I would like to see the Dairy Women’s Network take the lead in encouraging more awareness of the contribution that dairy women make to the industry and the New Zealand economy. Women’s involvement and influence in our industry - whether it is labouring on the farm, taking care of administration and/or supporting the family – is huge and we need to ensure they get the recognition they deserve.

“Additionally, I’d like the Network to work on further initiatives to help bridge the urban/rural divide. The dairy industry impacts the lives of just about everyone in New Zealand, whether you’re living in Auckland or Invercargill. It’s important for our industry to raise this awareness,” says Mrs Wilson.


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