Taranaki dairy farmer Trish Rankin, who is also a primary school teacher and a passionate environmentalist, tells The Country's Jamie Mackay that her workload is common for women in farming.

Being named the 2019 Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year was an "amazing honour", Trish Rankin reckons, but she says she's just the same as any busy farming woman.

"Fitting it in my day, I do it just like everyone else I know. All the dairy farming women that I know are just as busy.

"You get up early and you stay up late and you make the most of every minute of every day."

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Rankin farms in South Taranaki with her husband Glen. The couple have four boys, ranging in age from 14 to 6. Rankin says life at home is less hectic as the children are now at school.

The award was presented to Trish Rankin by Mike Cronin, Fonterra's Managing Director of Co-operative Affairs. Photo / Dairy Women's Network
The award was presented to Trish Rankin by Mike Cronin, Fonterra's Managing Director of Co-operative Affairs. Photo / Dairy Women's Network

Last year Rankin was selected as a New Zealand Climate Change Ambassador as part of the Dairy Action for Climate Change, a role that she said was very important to her.

Originally not knowing much about climate change, Rankin said being an ambassador allowed her to learn through "a lot of information and a lot of training".

She also got to meet with the Interim Climate Change Committee (ICCC), and ministers at Parliament.

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"Just being that farmer voice, representing the farmers to make sure that with this carbon zero bill and the Climate Change Committee's report coming in that they know what it's like for people out here doing the job on the farm."

The other finalists up for Dairy Woman of the Year were Kylie Leonard, who farms north of Taupo, Julie Pirie from Ngatea in the Waikato and Southlander Emma Hammond.

Rankin said she got to spend time with this "amazing bunch of women" at the interview day in Auckland.

"I was so in awe when I left there ... any one of us could win and the other three would be just as happy for them ... it didn't really feel like a competition".

As Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year, Rankin receives a scholarship prize of up to $20,000 to undertake a professional business development programme.

The 2019 Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year finalists, Trish Rankin (left), Julie Pirie, Emma Hammond and Kylie Leonard. Photo / Supplied
The 2019 Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year finalists, Trish Rankin (left), Julie Pirie, Emma Hammond and Kylie Leonard. Photo / Supplied

"To be given the allowance of $20,000 is just mind-blowing and I'll certainly be taking some time to work out what the best thing is for me and how I can help the industry with that."

As well as being a Climate Change Ambassador, a dairy farmer, a mother to four boys and a part time primary school teacher, Rankin has also undertaken the Kellogg Leadership Programme this year.

Even with such a busy schedule, Rankin said she will make time for the "amazing" Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year allowance.

"When you're a mum and you've got four kids, you don't usually take money out for yourself from your business. So to be awarded that was very overwhelming."