Waikato dairy farmer Tracy Brown is a sustainability champion for the dairy industry, inspiring farmers to make changes to on-farm practices, protect waterways, enhance biodiversity and work towards lowering their environmental footprint.
Last night she was rewarded for her efforts by winning the "Sustainability Superstar," category at the NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards.
Brown told The Country's Rowena Duncum that she is "excited" and "proud" to take out the award which she sees as a "massive, massive win for dairy".
Brown puts her success down to the work she has done "right across different levels".
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"We've done a lot of work on our farm, a lot of work in the community, a lot of work nationally ... and then I've also done a bit internationally."
The list of roles Brown has taken on is impressive. She chairs the DairyNZ Environmental Leaders Forum, is a founding member of the Piako Catchment Forum and Mangapapa Catchment Care Group, Chair of the Ballance Farm Environment Awards Alumni, and a member of the Dairy Environment Leadership Group which oversees the Water Accord.
Another achievement of Brown's is helping farmers understand Māori values and tikanga, and encouraging them to become more culturally responsible.
Brown says her Sustainability Superstar status is the result of a lot of hard work and is definitely a group effort.
"It's not just about me. I couldn't do what I'm doing without a whole bunch of farmers, and a whole bunch of dairy environment leaders."