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Dairy Women’s Network grows by 30 percent this year

MEDIA RELEASE – for immediate release

17 October 2012

Dairy Women’s Network grows by 30 percent this year

The Dairy Women’s Network celebrated a year of growth at its annual general meeting tonight (Wednesday, 17 October) including the addition of 700 new members between 1 June 2011 to 31 May 2012, increasing its total membership from 2400 to 3100.

Special guest Hilary Webber, founding chair of the Dairy Women’s Network in 1998, was at the meeting to pay tribute to retiring trustees Robyn Clements and Marie Marshall. Mrs Clements was the last remaining founding trustee on the Network’s Trust Board.

Dairy Women’s Network Trust Board current chair Michelle Wilson said it had been a year of transition and growth with many achievements.

“The management team has grown from three to five part-time staff and we appointed Sarah Speight to the full-time chief executive role, the number of participants in our Dairy Days training increased by 100 more than last year, we held 112 regional group meetings – 47 more than the previous year, and we created and celebrated the inaugural Dairy Woman of the Year Award which was won by Barbara Kuriger and sponsored by Fonterra.

Other highlights included new partnerships with AgITO and TBFree, more than 95,000 visits over the course of the year to the Network’s website and the addition of Robyn Judd, Sue Lindsay, Leonie Ward and Neal Shaw to its Trust Board.

Mrs Wilson also acknowledged the many volunteers who continued to support the Network’s Dairy Days, regional events and conferences.

“I would like to thank our members, staff, volunteers and trustees, and the many hours you all dedicate to the Dairy Woman’s Network. Without your passion and commitment we would not have the organisation we are all part of today.”

With the retirement of Robyn Clements, the Network’s last remaining founding trustee, the AGM also signaled a poignant time in the organisation’s 12-year history. Mrs Clements was with the Network from its inception, and was chair of the Board from 2008 to 2010.

Chief executive Sarah Speight said the Dairy Woman’s Network was in a very healthy position, with many more opportunities to continue supporting its members through professional development and support.

“Nominations are about to open for the second Dairy Woman of the Year Award, and the 2013 conference venue and line-up will be announced in early November. We are also hosting the first virtual Dairy Days through our website at the end of October.”

She said the Network was representing thousands of women who were key decision makers and industry and community leaders in their own right.

“As such, our organisation is an influential voice in the dairy industry.”

About the Dairy Woman’s Network

The Dairy Women’s Network began in 1998 following Willy Geck and Hilary Webber attending a Women in Agriculture conference in Washington DC. They came home inspired to use a technology approach to reach dairying women.

With the help of Robyn Clements and Christina Baldwin, the women created an email network, primarily serving dairying women in the Waikato. 2002 was a turning point for the Network when it expanded nationally.

In 2008, the organisation rebranded to become the Dairy Women’s Network.

-ends-

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