Nominations are open for Fonterra's board election but a repeat of the drama that rocked the vote three years ago can be ruled out.
The other finalists were Ashburton dairy farmer Rebecca Miller and contract milker and LIC farm consultant hevon Horsford from Whangarei.
Dairy Women’s Network (DWN) trustee Sophie Stanley, who headed up the judging panel, says all three finalists highlighted the wide range of diversity in leadership within dairy and the shifting focus of the industry to a people-focused approach.
“The three finalists were all impressive with a different approach to how they lead and create positive impact for our people, communities, industry and the agriculture sector as a whole,” says Stanley.
“Belinda demonstrates a passion for people, building up the industry from grass roots through her roles in coaching and mentorship. She has a strong foundation of values and she displays humility, passion and high energy, which creates a unique approach to leadership.”
After entering the industry 12 years ago through a sharemilking contract, Price and her husband now own a dairy farm in Taranaki and sharemilk 650 cows in Nukumaru, where she is responsible for the day-to-day running, calf-rearing, human resources and administration for their two businesses.
Active in upskilling herself, Price completed the Kellogg Rural Programme and shares her knowledge and experience across many mentorship roles within the industry including PrimaryITO, DairyNZ’s Dairy Connect Programme and Rural Support.
Being named the Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year is recognition for her contributions to the industry so far, Price says.
“Winning the 2021 Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year is a huge honour. Its acknowledgement that what I have done to date has been really helpful and beneficial, and allows me to upskill and continue that journey to help others achieve their goals in the industry that has given me so much and that I love.”
Fonterra chief executive Miles Hurrell says it was his pleasure to present the award to Belinda Price.
“It’s great seeing her give so much to our industry. The passion, energy and co-operation she clearly displays across her multiple roles is paving the way for the next generation of farmers to succeed,” Hurrell says.
As the 2021 Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year, Price receives a scholarship of up to $20,000 to undertake a development programme, professional and business coaching, a learning experience, or a combination of all three.