Mid-Canterbury farmer Tania Burrows is winner of Dairy Women’s Network inaugural Regional Leader of the Year award.
CEO Zelda de Villiers is urging the industry to support the award – now in its fifth year - saying it's more important than ever to unite and celebrate as an industry.
"The New Zealand dairy industry is in the midst of a very challenging time. In the work we do across the country with dairying women, we've certainly seen how tough financial times can create a ripple effect of negativity throughout families and communities," says de Villiers.
"But what we've also noticed is that dairying women, in particular, are making an enormous positive impact on their families, their communities and the wider industry through their resilience and perseverance.
"The positive influence and impact these women make for the industry and for New Zealand does not fluctuate with payout. And that is something we should celebrate."
Sponsored by Fonterra, the Dairy Woman of the Year award recognises an outstanding woman who has significantly contributed to the dairy industry with passion, drive, innovation and leadership.
The main prize for the winner is a 12-month Breakthrough Leaders' Programme delivered by Global Women valued at $25,000.
Maury Leyland, managing director – people, culture & strategy, at Fonterra said, "The drop in global dairy prices is making it a difficult year for farmers.
"Despite the tough conditions there is still a lot of innovative work going on in our rural communities that will help build resilience and strength into our industry.
"The Dairy Woman of the Year Award is a real opportunity to take some time to recognise and celebrate those who are making a difference in business and their communities."
The Dairy Woman of the Year is announced annually at the national Dairy Women's Network conference, which is on May 4-5 in Hamilton.
The current Dairy Woman of the Year is Katie Milne – a position she holds alongside her role as Federated Farmers national board member.
Visit www.dwn.co.nz Nominations close March 1.