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Rosie, the ‘cowbassador’, comes to Auckland

MEDIA RELEASE
Sunday August 12, 2012

For immediate release

Rosie, the ‘cowbassador’, comes to Auckland


Rosie, the dairy industry’s first cowbassador, will be visiting 11 schools in Auckland this week in an effort to help children in the country’s largest city understand more about rural life and how milk is produced.

An educational show for schools, featuring Rosie, a cow character, has been developed by DairyNZ, the industry good organisation representing New Zealand’s dairy farmers.

The show is currently touring a number of schools in the upper North Island and this week visits schools in West, South and Central Auckland.

DairyNZ Strategy Investment Leader Dr Rick Pridmore says the character of Rosie, the dairy cow, really connects with young children.

“Around 80 percent of New Zealanders live in urban areas and increasingly we’re finding that a lot of children don’t have that much day to day contact with dairy farms, cows and farmers. They don’t know how milk is produced. So Rosie is coming to the super city to tell that story.

“Rosie talks about life on a dairy farm and helps kids understand more about what is a big part of New Zealand’s rural life and economy.”

Dr Pridmore says Auckland Council’s 30-year Auckland Plan talks about the need to keep its rural areas productive, protected and environmentally-sound. “The plan points out that actually most of Auckland is rural.”

The population in rural Auckland – including towns and settlements – has grown at a rate of 7,500 people per year over the last two census periods, making up 27 percent of Auckland’s 28,000 annual population increase.

“So it’s important that we work at making those connections between the urban and the rural – with more people moving to live in country areas but also just in terms of ensuring all of our children, even if they live in a city, grow up with a good knowledge of how farms and farming works.”

He says the Rosie show is a fun and interactive way to get some of those messages across and DairyNZ’s ‘go dairy’ education programme can also connect schools directly with farms and farmers through its ‘find a farmer’ programme.

Along with the show, Rosie has a website www.rosiesworld.co.nz, a fan club, a Facebook page, travel blog and a Rosie rap ‘from glass to grass’. There is also a range of interactive resources available for schools to use at www.godairyeducation.co.nz.

Dr Pridmore says DairyNZ would like to work with more schools keen to pick up the educational programme which is designed to fit in with the national curriculum.

Teachers at Auckland’s Royal Road School were enthusiastic about the show.

"The show was an effective, visual way for our students to experience life on the farm," said Room 13 teacher Erin Shaw.


-ENDS-


ABOUT DAIRYNZ
DairyNZ is the industry good organisation representing New Zealand’s dairy farmers. We are funded by a levy on milksolids and our purpose is to secure and enhance the profitability, sustainability and competitiveness of New Zealand dairy farming. We deliver value to farmers through leadership, influencing, investing, partnering with other organisations and through our own strategic capability. Our work includes research and development to create practical on-farm tools, leading on-farm adoption of best practice farming, promoting careers in dairying and advocating for farmers with central and regional government. For more information, visit www.dairynz.co.nz


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