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Dairy Women’s Network appoints new board representative

Dairy Women’s Network appoints new board representative

Te Kuiti dairy farmer Alison Ferris has become the first Dairy Women's Network regional convenor to be elected to the organisation's board.

Ferris, who with her husband Nick farms 500 dairy cows at Rangitoto between Te Kuiti and Otorohanga in the King Country, will attend her first board meeting in April.

Her election follows the suggestion that one of the network's more than 70 regional convenor's should serve on the board to represent members.

"A working group of convenors came together and wrote a proposal to the board," Ferris said.

"That was accepted and the convenors voted on who should serve in the position. The whole point of this is that the convenors work at grass roots level so it's good to have one on the board members ensuring the board's strategic direction aligns to what is required at a grass roots level."

Ferris was made a regional group convenor in 2014, having joined the network at conference that year, and loves networking with like-minded women. In 2015 she delivered some of the network's human resources modules across the North Island since her main focus on the farm is human resources and health and safety.

Ferris, also a qualified teacher, met her husband in her native UK in 2006 and followed him home to New Zealand. She worked on the family's Rangitoto Dairies calf shed for six seasons and is raising three daughters: Lucy 7, Emily 5 and Molly 3.

She continues to teach one day a week at Rangitoto Primary School.

Dairy Women's Network chair Justine Kidd said the concept of a group convenor representative involved at the Trust Board level was taken from sport where such a process works well.

"It provides a connection between the deliverers of the organisation to the members and the organisation's strategy and governors," Kidd said.

"We are looking forward to Alison's input around the table and expect this will continue to grow our 'leadership by doing' model of talent development in the industry. Alison will be exposed to the bigger picture of the network as an organisation and our governing processes. We will benefit from her insights and daily connection with our membership and volunteers."