Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year 2024 announced

Herd health veterinarian Katrina Roberts is the 2024 Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year.

The award was announced at tonight’s gala dinner of Dairy Women’s Network 2024 Conference “Enhance, Elevate, Evolve” in New Plymouth.  

Katrina was recognised for her outstanding passion and advocacy for the dairy industry.

DWN Trustee Donna Smit says Katrina has raised the bar for the industry and personifies enthusiasm and the values of the Dairy Women’s Network.

“We are thrilled to award Katrina the 2024 Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year. Her commitment and passion to helping farmers and advocate for her industry and her team is outstanding. Her research and development has changed the way many farmers operate their business for the betterment of the whole industry. She has already achieved so much in a short space of time and will continue to add huge value to the agriculture industry in governance, advocacy, and leadership well into the future,” she says.

Based in the Waikato, Katrina is a herd health veterinarian for Anexa Veterinary Services. For the past 20 years she has provided farm consultancy, and has been involved in the redevelopment many DairyNZ programmes including InCalf, FeedRight, and body condition score accreditation. Her expertise is often called upon by farmers and vets across the country in both a research and project management role and keynote speaking.

She is also heavily involved in the community, volunteering with Cambridge Riding for the Disabled and is an active member of the Walton School Board of Trustees, netball and hockey coaching, and Matamata Pony Club.

Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell says the Co-op is proud to have sponsored the award since its inception.

“It’s important to shine a light on women who are making outstanding contributions to the dairy industry and helping pave the way for the next generation to succeed. We’re honoured to play a part in that by sponsoring this award and supporting the Dairy Women’s Network in the work they’re doing across the country. Congratulations to all of the finalists and to Katrina in particular for being named Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year. Katrina has worked closely with many of Fonterra’s On-Farm Excellence team who describe her as a tireless advocate for farmers, holding our industry to high, evidence-based standards and offering practical solutions that deliver real value on-farm. Through her impressive list of achievements, it’s clear to see how passionate she is about animal wellbeing and building a better future for farmers, her fellow vets and the dairy industry as a whole.

Katrina was one of four finalists, who Donna says, were all exemplary in their own right.

“Our judges had their work cut for them this year as we had such a large number of high calibre entries. The other finalists, Myfanwy Alexander, Amber Carpenter, and Michelle Ruddell are amazing women who bring a huge amount of passion, knowledge and leadership to the sector and embody our conference theme: Enhance, Elevate, Evolve. We are fortunate to have women of their calibre working in the dairy industry,” she says.

Katrina will receive a scholarship to be part of the Kellogg Rural Leadership Programme. The scholarship covers the programme fee, travel, and accommodation, mentoring and access to DWN & Fonterra platforms to share research.


Photo: Supplied by DWN; Katrina Roberts.

For more information contact: 
Sarah van Munster
Insights and Media Manager
Phone: 07 974 4852

Katrina Roberts, Fonterra Dairy Women of the year 2024