Dairy Women's Network has announced the four finalists in its new DWN Regional Leader of the Year award.

The finalists are spread from the north of the North Island where Sue Skelton is farming south west of Whangarei near Waiotira, to Central Southland where Jessica Goodwright is sharemilking in Drummond.

The other two finalists are Mid-Canterbury farmer and personal development coach Tania Burrows and North Canterbury contract milker Rebecca Green.

All four finalists represent over 70 volunteer Dairy Women's Network Regional Leaders spread throughout the country.


"Our Regional Leaders provide such a vital point of contact for farmers as they organise, host and promote regional events all over New Zealand aimed at providing our communities with informative and relevant knowledge to enhance themselves, their business and the dairy industry," Dairy Women's Network CEO Jules Benton said.

The inaugural DWN Regional Leader of the Year award was developed to "acknowledge their efforts and celebrate their leadership in their community" said Benton.

"We are really impressed with the four finalists. They are all passionate about leadership in the dairy industry, encompass the values of Dairy Women's Network, are good representatives for the network and are viewed as a go to person for connection in their community."

Head of Key Partnerships for Crombie Lockwood David Rayner said that being involved as a sponsor and judge of the awards gave him the opportunity to understand much more about the amazing achievements of the nominated Regional Leaders.

"The passion that they have for their roles and the many different contributions that they make on farm and to DWN and the wider community is incredible," he said.

"We are proud to be involved in this award to recognise these achievements."

The 2020 DWN Regional Leader of the Year award will receive registration for the New Zealand Women's Leadership Symposium in Auckland in late September that includes travel and accommodation and two mentoring sessions to support them on their leadership journey or goals.

The award is supported by insurance brokers Crombie Lockwood and the winner will be announced early next month.


Dairy Women's Network Regional Leaders finalists:

Tania Burrows

Tania Burrows. Photo / Supplied
Tania Burrows. Photo / Supplied

Burrows is a wife to Johno, a mother to three outgoing girls and a lower order sharemilker in mid-Canterbury.

Burrows farms 2000 head of stock between their dairy farm and run-off block, with four to seven team members on-farm each season.

She began her leadership journey as an early childhood teacher, progressing to management roles where she was responsible for up to 150 children, their families and a team of seven teaching staff.

Now involved full time in their dairy business Burrows volunteers as a Regional Leader for the Dairy Women's Network and dabbles in Leadership Coaching.

Rebecca Green

Rebecca Green. Photo / Supplied
Rebecca Green. Photo / Supplied

Living in Cheviot, North Canterbury, Green contract milks 780 cows with her with husband Blair and three young children.

A Dairy Women's Network member since July last year, she has thrown herself into her Regional Leader's role creating the first ever Dairy Women's Network Country Women Competition and is looking forward to taking over the DWN Instagram account in a few weeks.

Jessica Goodwright

Jessica Goodwright. Photo / Supplied
Jessica Goodwright. Photo / Supplied

Goodwright farms in Drummond in a 50/50 sharemilking and in equity partnership with another dairy farm in Southland with her husband Lyall and three children.

She is the Dairy Women's Network Regional Leader for Central Southland and finds time to fit in studying for a Diploma in Agribusiness Management through Primary ITO, of which she's on her final paper.

Sue Skelton

Sue Skelton. Photo / Supplied
Sue Skelton. Photo / Supplied

Farming south west of Whangarei near Waiotira, in Northland, Skelton and husband Pete own two dairy farms with a total of 500 cows.

Son Bradley, and daughter-in-law Jessica contract milk on one of the farms.

With four children all in their 20's Skelton says she still does most things on the farm from milking to administration.

She started attending Dairy Women's Network events in 2014 and became a Regional Leader in 2015.