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One of her first jobs was to attend the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards’ (NZDIA) conference last week for training and networking.
After arriving home to her family in Wyndham, she has the Share Farmer of the Year field day on Sam and Karen Bennett’s dairy farm, also in Wyndham, next month.
Ms McDermott comes from a sheep and beef background in Riversdale, but is focused on dairy, as she is also a Fonterra Farm Source technical on-farm representative, working with 145 farmers in West Otago.
She is married to Nathan, helps run a building company with him, and they have four children: Bayden (6), Flynn (10), Kaitlyn (18) and Monique (23), as well as granddaughter Isabella (2).
Ms McDermott has been on the committee for six years. Her new role was to help lead the committee and to run the dairy awards programme for the region.
She has access to the experience and knowledge of rural professionals, previous regional leaders and competition winners who remain on the committee of 17.
"That is a lot of accumulated knowledge and a good bunch of people who work well together. We have a good succession plan on the committee."
She saw the awards as more than just a competition.
"It is a programme, which promotes career paths through the industry and provides entrants with opportunities to benchmark their businesses, see what other businesses do, and network with others. "
Ultimately she would like to see more people enter the awards to challenge themselves.
"While we get a good number of entrants, we would always love more, the cream of the crop."
Other changes include Steve and Tracey Henderson, who are taking over as NZDIA ambassadors.