The first ever Dairy Industry Woman of the Year Award has seen an unprecedented number of nominations with Cornish dairy farmer and NFU group chair Bridget Whell, livestock sustainability consultant Jude Capper and 2016 Devon county woman farmer of the year Nicky Lockyer announced as the finalists.
This brand new competition, organised by Women in Dairy, saw the finalists chosen from 17 top quality nominees. The award has been established to recognise those who show the Women in Dairy values to connect, share and inspire and nominations were open to any woman working in the UK dairy industry at any level.
“We were amazed by the high standard of nominations that we received”, says Di Wastenage, Devon dairy farmer, Women in Dairy patron and award judge.
“All of the entries demonstrated why women have such a vital role in our industry. The variety of skills, depth of knowledge and passion that all the nominees showed was outstanding. It was very tough to choose just three finalists, but Bridget, Nicky and Jude all stood out.
“They portray the values of Women in Dairy by connecting with their local community and using social media to connect with the public and the industry, sharing their knowledge with the next generation and inspiring those around them. Each one is making a difference to our industry and we’re delighted to have them as finalists” she adds.
Jude Capper, says “I have no farming background, so it’s a massive honour to be a finalist amongst so many amazing women who work hard every day to make the British dairy industry the best in the world.”
Devon farmer, Nicky Lockyer, says “I feel honoured to be nominated, let alone be a finalist. There are so many fantastic women in our industry, especially in the younger generation, who show tremendous passion and dedication to the industry.”
Bridget Whell who farms in Cornwall and is part of the East Cornwall Women in Dairy Group says she was surprised to be a finalist and had to stop and think why someone would nominate her.
“It’s encouraging to think that someone has recognised all the things that we do. I’m not as high profile as some women in the industry so it’s really nice to see others recognising work on a local, regional level”, she adds.
The winner will be announced at the annual Women in Dairy Conference, which takes place on 20 September at Sixways Stadium, Worcester. The event is organised by RABDF, Promar International, supported by AHDB Dairy and principally sponsored by HSBC. The line up features speakers from across the supply chain discussing topics including communication, work life balance, milk markets and financial planning.
Tickets are still available for the conference and can be booked at www.womenindairy.co.uk/conference or call RABDF on 02476 639 317. The full programme can also be found online.