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Dairy Women’s Network growth continues

23 October 2012

Dairy Women’s Network growth continues

The growth of the Dairy Women’s Network continues with another 900 women joining the organisation between 1 June 2012 and 31 May 2013, increasing its total membership from 3100 to 4000.

At its annual general meeting tonight (Wednesday, 23 October) Dairy Women’s Network Trust Board chair Michelle Wilson said alongside its membership growth, the year had been an exceptionally busy one with several highlights including being a key partner in developing the Strategy for Sustainable Dairy Farming, securing a $180K grant from the Sustainable Farming Fund to develop Project Pathfinder - the country’s first leadership programme for dairying women, and welcoming Ballance Agri-Nutrients as a major sponsorship partner.

Like all businesses she added there were also challenges.

“Our first chief executive resigned earlier this year and we’ve been operating at more than full steam without a full team for the past six months while we’ve been developing our business strategy. I am very pleased to say we aim to be announcing our new chief executive in November.”

Other highlights from the year included an increase in the number of regional group meetings from 112 to 122, announcing the second Dairy Woman of the Year which was won by Justine Kidd and sponsored by Fonterra Milk Supply, launching a series of workshops to help agribusiness professionals and farmers recognise, relate and respond to the signs of mental unwellness, and securing funding from DairyNZ to appoint two new roles to the Network’s operational team to support its 30 regional groups around the country.

Changes to the Network’s Board in the past year included the retirement of trustees Neal Shaw and Sue Lindsay, and the addition of Barbara Kuriger and Hilary Webber. Michelle Wilson was also reelected as Board Chair for another year.

“As a volunteer Board we recognise that our trustees are at different stages in their leadership journeys and we are very fortunate to have a high calibre of grass-roots and governance experience to guide us forward for the next three to five years.”

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

“I would like to thank our members, staff, volunteer conveners and trustees for 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.”

Mrs Wilson added that the Dairy Woman’s Network was in a very healthy position, with many more opportunities to continue supporting its members through industry partnerships, professional development and support.

“Nominations are currently open for the third Dairy Woman of the Year Award, and the 2014 conference venue and line-up will be announced in early November. We are also hosting the second virtual Dairy Day through our website and Facebook page at the end of October.”

She said the Dairy Women’s Network represented 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.”

- Ends -

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