Support the Guardian

Available for everyone, funded by readers

'Farming, it's all about the people'

'Farming, it's all about the people'
"We live out and embody what we do. Everyone we work with, we treat them the same because you have to be authentic in farming: - Rebecca Miller.

An Ashburton farmer is in the running for a prestigious national award for the second year in a row.
Rebecca Miller is excited to once again be a finalist for the Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year.
“This year has been an amazing process.
"I asked the kids before I put in the nomination form and they told me to go for it. So I thought, why not?” she said.
Miller farms with her husband Brent in an equity and share farming business across two farms near Ashburton, under the brand Milk IQ.
Miller completed a Kellogg’s project, Landeve, due to be launched in May.
Landeve connects farmers with events and workshops and consolidates information on a single platform.
Landeve will include a forum where workshops and events can be created based on the needs of farmers, creating a more economical approach.
“We haven’t been asking people what they wanted.
"So instead of just putting a course on, we find what people need.
“And often people only hear about courses once it is too late and can’t organise themselves to get there.
“So, I thought, let’s get this online.”
For Miller, farming is all about people.
The Ashburton dairy farmer believes this so strongly that she, with her husband Brent, came up with a philosophy and culture that values a people-centred approach to farming.
They have captured that philosophy in the word ‘farmily’, which they have trademarked.
“We wanted to create the environment where people wanted to be, so for the last 20 years, that’s what we’ve been doing.
“We live out and embody what we do.
"Everyone we work with, we treat them the same because you have to be authentic in farming.
“You can’t just say it. You’ve got to do it and you’ve got to live it,” she said.
Miller is one of four finalists for the Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year Award.
Donna Cram, Kimberly Crewther and Sheena Penwarden are also in the running for the award, which recognises an outstanding woman who has contributed to the dairy sector with passion, drive, innovation and leadership.
‘This is one of the most diverse groups we’ve ever had as finalists, each bringing incredible passion, knowledge, leadership and mana to the sector,” Dairy Women’s Network trustee Donna Smit said.
“Donna Cram influences locally and nationally through a large range of positions.
“Kimberly is our first ever off-farm finalist who plays a key role for our sector nationally and internationally.
“Sheena is driven by Maori values, passionate about educating her community on dairy and the environment, and Rebecca has a passion and vision for influencing through a heart-centred drive.
“They are all inspirational in their commitment and passion for dairying,” Smit said.
The Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year award winner will be announced on May 3 at the gala dinner of the Dairy Women’s Network 2023 Conference, Brighter, Braver, Bolder, in Invercargill.

By Claire Inkson