6 Aug 2018

From seaside to countryside: Bluff Primary School visits dairy farm

  • Southland
  • Dairy Days
  • Community Stories

Southland-based dairy farmer Sherwyn Calos and his team are passionate about creating a positive and memorable dairy experience for urban children.

Sherwyn and his team at Fortuna Group are volunteers for DairyNZ’s Find a Farmer service, part of DairyNZ’s wider education programme. It gives children around New Zealand the opportunity to experience a day on a dairy farm, by linking them with local farmers who volunteer their time to host schools.

Sherwyn recently hosted two classes from St Teresa’s School in the port town of Bluff, giving many kids the chance to visit a dairy farm for the first time in their life.

I would love every single urban-based primary school to visit quadrant dairies before entering secondary school to learn about today’s modern dairy farm” he says.

The children, who ranged from 5-11 years old, spent the day gaining real-world insights into where milk comes from, why it’s not green like grass, and how milking machines operate.

Prior to their visit, they had explored dairy-related videos and games in the classroom through Rosie’s World, a child-friendly and educational website run by DairyNZ. The school also participates in Fonterra’s Milk for Schools programme, which sees Fonterra Farmers providing nutritious milk to school kids every week.

St Teresa’s new entrant’s teacher Dianne Gilroy says the children loved their visit because they got to see how cows make and produce milk, and learn what jobs there are in case they want to be farmers or work on a farm one day.

There was also an unexpected sight that left a few of them in hysterics.

Heading toward the herd

They saw the cow wee when it was being milked and they were fascinated by the speed of it – one boy just laughed and laughed” says Dianne.

Rosi Coyle, another teacher from St Teresa’s who went on the trip, says that it’s important for children to see where their food comes from, and what life on a modern-day dairy farm looks like.

“We found DairyNZ’s Find a Farmer service promoted on the Fonterra Milk for Schools website and thought it was a great idea to meet one. It’s important for our kids to have experiences outside of Bluff,” she says.

“I definitely recommend other schools get involved as it’s great to be that close to lovely docile cows and see how they are treated on a farm. The close contact was great for our kids.”

Dianne believes that the dairy sector is an integral part of New Zealand, and therefore educating children about it is a must.

“I decided that it would be an essential topic as dairying is so much a part of New Zealand, and Fonterra have supported our Milk for Schools programme,” she says.


Taking biosecurity measures 2

To find out more information or how your school can visit a dairy farm, head over to Farm Tours or visit Rosie's Education

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