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School And Education Initiatives By The New Zealand Dairy Sector

Friday, 31 August 2018 at 12:13pm

You will often find that the New Zealand media likes to focus on the negative news stories when it comes to dairy farming.  While there are definitely areas where the industry can may improvements, New Zealand is making great advancements in research and development and undertaking world-first initiatives for the industry.

One of the fantastic initiatives Dairy New Zealand (DairyNZ) started a few years ago was the Rosie's World website.  This website educates children about the New Zealand dairy sector through videos, activities, interactive games, recipes and blogs. Rosie’s World is the home of Rosie, New Zealand's dairy industry 'Cowbassador'. She is the young, enthusiastic face of New Zealand’s 4.6 million dairy cows.

Rosie’s engagement with children through the website, media and events, is part of DairyNZ’s education programme, which is all about connecting children with dairy farming and helping them learn where their milk comes from.

Campaigns such as ‘Dairy Doing Good’ help children learn about the many ways dairy touches New Zealanders’ lives. It takes children on the dairy journey, starting from their plate, with the dairy products they eat, back to the paddock and how milk is made.


Rosie was officially launched at the 2011 National Agricultural Fieldays at Mystery Creek where she was a huge hit with everyone from children to their grandparents.  Children (and adults) are still delighted to meet Rosie at events and will flock to Rosie for hugs, high fives, photos and Rosie goodie bags. Rosie regularly attends national and regional fielday events and open farm days around New Zealand.


Along with her own website Rosie's World, children of all ages can follow Rosie on Facebook and Youtube and join her fan club to receive regular emails and competition updates.


Another positive initiative DairyNZ have undertaken is in schools.  Their in-school education programme is designed for teachers of children from years 2-11. It is aimed at helping kids understand where milk comes from and what a varied and interesting sector dairying is.


Designed by education specialists School Kit, DairyNZ’s in-school education programme fits within the New Zealand curriculum to meet teaching requirements. Instead of teaching dairy as a specific subject, it looks at curriculum areas such as science, technology, economics and geography, and uses a dairy context to teach compulsory curriculum areas within these subjects.


The learning modules are easy for teachers to use, packaged with a teacher guide, fact sheet, a tangible teaching kit and a video. They are innovative, interesting and appealing to children, helping to increase awareness and understanding of the dairy sector and its contributions to New Zealand.


An annual activity in the education programme is the DairyNZ CLASS-ified Game of Moostery, which links 150 rural schools with 150 urban schools around New Zealand. It challenges children to put on their detective hats and figure out their partner school’s name and location using clues in the form of a photographic scavenger hunt and a video chat session. This resource aims to increase understanding and create empathy and real-world connections between rural and urban children.


Introducing dairy into the science curriculum is also on their agenda.  A recent education module took the approach of starting with the products children already know and love – ice cream and milk – and introducing them into the science curriculum area of investigating a change of state (in this case from liquid to solid). In addition, an extra challenge of creating a breakfast flavoured ice cream was thrown into the mix. In the module, children got to find out about what products are made from milk and where that milk comes from.


Teachers who are using DairyNZ’s education programme in the classroom can also experience what they have been learning about first hand by visiting a local dairy farm through DairyNZ’s farm visit service.


To find out more about these initiatives visit DairrNZ’s in-school education page and the Rosie’s World website Rosie's World