3 outstanding finalists selected for Dairy Industry Woman of the Year Award

The finalists for the prestigious Dairy Industry Woman of the Year Award which recognises the achievements of women in the British dairy industry have been selected.

The award will be presented at the Women in Dairy Conference taking place on September 30 to the individual who has demonstrated the core values of Women in Dairy of connect, share and inspire.

The quality of the nominations this year have been exceptional demonstrating the skills and excellence women have right across the dairy sector.

Rachel Bowcutt, the organiser of this year’s event, said: “We were delighted with the quality of the entries and have three outstanding women as finalists.

The judging process will be tough with each of the finalists operating different businesses and involved in a range of activities. All are deserving winners.


This year’s three finalists were chosen by the advisory board and will now face an interview round ahead of the winner announcement next month. They are:

Karen Halton

After 14 years of working in legal recruitment, Karen (pictured top) joined her husband Tom dairy farming in Cheshire.

Together they rent 550ac in Congleton and milk their 530 year-round calving herd, becoming an AHDB strategic dairy farm in 2018.

Their vision is to be in the top 1% of profitable dairy farms in the country. They are winners of numerous awards including NMR’s Johnes Control Best Practice Award 2016, Supreme Champion in the 2019 Cheshire County Farming Competition and were finalists in the 2018 RABDF Gold Cup.

Abi Reader

Abi Reader is a third-generation dairy farmer working with her parents and uncle on a 750ac mixed farm in South Wales.

Reader manages the 200-cow dairy enterprise comprising 100 Holstein Friesians and 100 Dairy Shorthorns.

She is also NFU Cymru Dairy Board chairman and chairman of Cattle Health Certification Standards (CHECS) as well as a proud Open Farm Sunday host and Co-Founder of CowsOnTour – a group of farmers who visit schools to talk about food and farming.

Hannah Lawrence

Hannah Lawrence is a partner in the three-generation family dairy farm in Haverfordwest. The farm consists of 240 milking cows as well as a flock of 200 commercial Texel and Suffolk crosses.

Lawrence has also established her own pedigree Texel flock Preseli View Texels with her partner.

She is passionate about educating the public about the ins and outs of farming and has a successful Instagram account with over 1,500 followers.

Lawrence hosts live question and answer sessions online and has also hosted farm tours attracting over 600 visitors. She is also involved in groups such as First Milk Next Generation.

She also volunteers for mental health charity DPJ Foundation; a helpline for farmers.

The 2020 Women in Dairy (WID) Conference will run from 10:00am-3:00pm on September 30. The day will consist of five sessions, including talks on the state of the dairy market, sustainability, animal health, and marketing.

The online event will also include a social event in the evening where the winner of this year’s award will be revealed.