Charmaine O'Shea can now add Dairy Woman of the Year to her list of titles, after winning the award at the Dairy Women's Network gala dinner hosted in Hamilton last night.
The win means she took home a Fonterra-sponsored scholarship to the Global Women, Women in Leadership programme valued at $25,000. The programme will give her 12 months of exposure to New Zealand women in international business leadership roles.
Ms O'Shea has been involved in farming and finance for more than 20 years, and stood out to the judges because of her passion for contributing to New Zealand's dairy sector profitability.
Judge Michelle Wilson said O'Shea's passion for people also stood out.
"She has a passion for improving the profitability of the New Zealand dairy sector through supporting others.
"She's got a bright future ahead of her in the agricultural industry."
Ms O'Shea is no stranger to winning awards. She is an equity partner in a Maungatapere dairy farm with her brother Shayne. The siblings last year won the 2013 Northland Supreme Ballance Farm Environment Award winners.
Ms O'Shea has previously won the Northland Sharemilker of the Year and the North Island AC Cameron Award 1993.
Mrs Wilson said the awards, which were in their third year, had attracted high calibre applicants.
Other finalists for the award included Fonterra shareholders council member and dairy farmer Julie Pirie from Hauraki, and veterinarian and dairy farmer Joyce Voogt from the King Country.
The Dairy Community Leadership Award winner was also announced last night. Rotorua dairy farmer Chris Paterson won first place, with the judges noting that her humility, and open and friendly manner made her stand out.
Paterson receives a $2500 scholarship from calf rearing equipment specialists Milk Bar, to attend a leadership programme of their choice within New Zealand.
Dairy Women's Network chief executive Zelda de Villiers said Paterson's focus on mentoring and supporting young people had tipped the balance in her favour.
"For Chris, it isn't about her at all, it is about making a difference in her local community which she has been instrumental in helping become more inclusive.
"Her community lies closest to her heart."
- Waikato Times