Thanks to farmer volunteers, 4500 children (plus teachers and parents) visited a dairy farm in the past year and more than 21,000 children have visited a farm since the Find a Farmer programme launched six years ago.
Science in schools
DairyNZ’s hands-on science kits have helped teachers bring learning alive in the classroom, and explore science through the context of dairying.
Each science kit is distributed to 200 teachers who have signed up for the resource, reaching about 6000 children. The kits provide all the tools a class needs to complete a science experiment, investigating a learning outcome within the context of dairy. The schools share their work on ourfarmvisit.co.nz.
Since the education programme started, six different science kits have been created, with each one going to 200 classrooms - that’s a total of 1200 classrooms and 36,000 children.
The science kits have covered the topics of riparian planting, water quality, cheese making, 3D design technology and bacteria.
Linking urban and rural schools
DairyNZ’s Class-ified Game of Moostery challenge has connected 200 urban schools with 200 rural schools over the last two years, helping children learn about different ways of life and the communities they live in.
The schools complete a series of challenges – concluding with a Skype session – in which each class races to identify its mystery match.
Rosie, the cowbassador of DairyNZ’s education programme, continues to delight and educate children at events and through the Rosie’s World website.
A massive 2.9 million people have visited the Rosie’s World website since its launch six years ago.
Scholarships support dairy's future
DairyNZ’s scholarship programme supports new talent into careers in dairy farming, agribusiness and agriscience.
In 2017, the existing undergraduate scholarships were boosted by a post-graduate Farm Systems Masters Scholarship, which aims to develop systems-thinking in future researchers and developers before they enter their specialist field. Up to three placements are offered each year, with students based at DairyNZ.
Providing financial support, industry connections and motivation to succeed is a key focus for DairyNZ in offering 55 undergraduate scholarships to tertiary students each year.
Demand for these scholarships has grown, with more than 130 applications received last round.
Where scholars work
About 85 percent of these undergraduate scholars are employed near or on-farm, or undertake further study.
The return on investment (ROI) for levy contribution is estimated at 4:1 – a return of $4 to the industry for every $1 spent. This ROI is expected to rise to 9:1 as more students graduate.
This article was originally published in Inside Dairy November 2017