Versatile farmer up for major honour

Emma Hammond
Emma Hammond
Southland dairy farmer Emma Hammond is a finalist in this year's Dairy Woman of the Year awards.

Before embarking on a dairy farming career, Mrs Hammond and husband Peter farmed sheep, and she worked in the technical, compliance and quality assurance area of the meat industry.

In 2008, they converted the East Limehills property to dairy and now run it as an equity partnership milking 475 cows, while wintering the cows and grazing the young stock on their home farm at Winton.

In 2014, Mrs Hammond joined the Fonterra Shareholders Council, representing farmers in Eastern Southland.

Over the past four years, she has served on the council's representation and co-operative culture committees, budget team and leadership team.

She is also a member of the performance committee.

Mrs Hammond recently completed the Institute of Directors' governance development course, and is participating in the Fonterra governance development programme.

The Dairy Woman of the Year will be announced at a gala dinner during the Allflex Dairy Women's Network conference in Christchurch on May 1.

The other finalists are Trish Rankin (Taranaki), Kylie Leonard (Taupo) and Julie Pirie (Waikato).

DWN trustee and judging panel member Alison Gibb said the role women played in dairy farming now ''completely breaks the old-fashioned mould of public perception about what a farmer's wife is.''

''They're all farming partners, farming in their own right playing a major role in running a million-dollar business,'' Ms Gibb said in a statement.

''They are a CEO, health and safety manager, environmental watchdog, farm labourer and policy writer but, at the end of the day, tuck the kids into bed at night and send them off to school with a packed lunch.''

The strong message from this year's finalists was that, although each was very passionate about their own farming operation, they all had an inner drive to ''go beyond'' and make the dairy industry a better place for all and future generations, she said.

The winner would receive a scholarship prize of up to $20,000 to undertake an approved professional business development programme.

Last year's winner was former lawyer turned leadership coach and Federated Farmers Southland executive member Loshni Manikam.

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