Nominations are once again open for the Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year award, which sees women dedicated to the future of New Zealand's dairy industry recognised and celebrated nationwide.
Women are encouraged to nominate their rural role models before March, when finalists will be put before a judging panel comprised of Dairy Women's Network Trustee Sophie Stanley, 2020 Dairy Woman of the Year Ash-Leigh Campbell, and representatives from Fonterra, Global Women and Ballance Agri-Nutrients.
The recipient will be announced at a gala dinner at the Dairy Women's Network conference in Invercargill in April.
The Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year award recognised the hard mahi and leadership that women contributed to the dairy sector, Stanley said.
"While the last two years have thrown us uncertainty in many ways, we have seen so many examples of women stepping up and leading themselves, their peers and the industry through these challenging times.
"Leadership has never been more important, and we encourage all women in the sector to consider self-nominating or nominating a peer who you think has demonstrated the leadership qualities we need for the future."
No other award in New Zealand specifically recognised the capability and success of women in the dairy industry, Fonterra chief executive, Miles Hurrell said.
"In these challenging times it's more important than ever to recognise the outstanding women who are passionate about dairying, who are leaders in their communities and who work to be positive role models, bringing good people together to achieve good things and enabling the next generation of farmers to succeed."
Previous award recipients' advice for those making or agreeing to a nomination, was to remember the new opportunities and pathways that the award created for other women in dairy
Collectively, they described the next Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year as courageous and with motivation, drive and a passion for the industry - as well as for her own community and circles of influence.
She may demonstrate leadership in a different way to holding roles on governance boards or leading new industry initiatives, Stanley said.
"The award is about real and demonstrated contribution of leadership to the dairy sector in all its forms, whether that be consistently at local and regional levels or at national levels."
The award was about women the industry could look up to, and who could guide it through future challenges, Stanley said.
"It's about women who tirelessly give back to the industry through the support of others and the relentless pursuit of passion for the future.
"If you're reading these words and a woman springs to mind, make sure you submit a nomination!"
Nominations are open now at dwn.co.nz/fonterra-dairy-woman-of-the-year.
The 2022 Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year will receive a scholarship of up to $20,000 to undertake a development programme, professional and business coaching, a learning experience, or a combination of all three.