Former Southland farmer and national Sharemilker of the
Year Elaine Cook, of Hamilton, is delighted to have been
chosen as one of two DairyNZ associate directors. Photo by
A Southland dairy farm owner and business coach has been
appointed one of two associate directors to the DairyNZ board.
Former 50/50 sharemilker Elaine Cook, from Hamilton, along
with Grant Wills, a dairy farmer and Fonterra Shareholders
councillor from the Waikato, will each sit for six-month
consecutive terms in the newly created non-voting position.
''I am rapt to be chosen and looking forward to the learning
process,'' Mrs Cook said.
Mrs Cook and her late husband Wayne won the national New
Zealand Sharemilker of the Year title in 2006, when they were
farming in Southland. She is also on the board of the
Southland demonstration farm and has been an awards judge.
Mr Cook died in 2008 and she and her three daughters, now
aged 10, 12 and 14,
moved to the Waikato in 2009 where her family was based.
Now a business coach, she is raising her children on a 9ha
lifestyle block outside Hamilton.
As a business coach, she encourages farming people to
identify goals and work out pathways and processes to
She started her role on September 1 and Mr Wills takes over
in February next year.
She sees it as a way to develop her business network, use her
passion and knowledge of the industry and also grow her
governance skills as a way of contributing to the industry.
''It is part of my values and vision.''
She is also involved in the Fonterra Governance Development
She said some of the key issues facing the dairy industry
included sustainability and addressing the sometimes negative
public perception of the industry. DairyNZ chair John Luxton
said the associate director position was aimed at building
governance and leadership skills in the industry.
''We wanted to give aspiring directors the chance to build up
experience and confidence, learn from others and ensure that
we have a pipeline of people who can step up to be on
boards,'' Mr Luxton said.
''Elaine and Grant will be great additions to our
''They are both award-winning farmers who have already served
in governance roles in the sector and in their communities.''
Mr Wills was supreme winner of the Ballance Farm Environment
Awards for 2013 and is a former Piako Sharemilker of the Year
winner and Dairy Farmer of the Year finalist.