Nominations for the 2020 Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year awards have opened.
The DWN started 21 years ago and has truly come of age, she told the annual general meeting in Hamilton.
The future will have some tough times but sharing stories as a key strategy will create deeper engagement with members, the dairy industry and ultimately New Zealand, Benton said.
“There is strength in support as the industry will be truly seen for its passion, commitment and as world leading food producers.
“We should be proud of owning our own stories, as they are authentic and capture the heart of who we are. For some, storytelling will provide hope and inspiration.”
Looking to create deep emotional connections is the drive behind the DWN’s launch of its visual story telling project -- Our People. Their Stories -- with two stories launched and well received.
DairyNZ chief executive Dr Tim Mackle praised the “terrific story telling efforts” of the network.
“Farmers’ story telling is powerful,” he said. “It connects people with people to gain more understanding and the effort of the DWN is helping connect dairy to the people of New Zealand.
“I see the DWN playing a key role in creating more confidence to see a positive future and achieve greater certainty as we all look to support each other to get over the next hill to our long term goals.”
Mackle said the Dairy Tomorrow strategy is vital in formulating what the dairy industry will look like in the future. He stressed the importance of crafting the industry’s story to gain more understanding and tolerance.
“We need to craft our future story and then deliver on it,” he said. “We have to deliver results on the issues Kiwi’s care about.”
Chair Cathy Brown reflected on a full year of delivering knowledge and connection to members.
“Real and relevant learning is essential for our busy members and this was evident in the attendance of several of our modules,” she said.