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Teaching Children The Origin Of Milk
March 31, 2016

With the passion and flair of a stage performer, Luke Micallef has been leading school children during the Royal Sydney Show into a day in the life of a dairy farmer.

With his wife Jess, and assistant Brooke Cowan, the dairyfarmer from Camden, NSW, estimates he has reached the hearts and minds of at least 112,000 children since he started the concept four years ago.  In that time, the couple have built enormous rapport with children.

“It is always amazing to see the children wide-eyed when they realise milk comes from a cow at body temperature, not cold from a cartoon,” Mr Micallife said.  The young couple are passionate about the industry, and intend to pass on their enthusiasm for an industry which produces basic food.

“I didn’t have a background in dairyfarming, but I was keen, and the Thompson sisters from Bringelly encouraged me, and now I want to encourage others,” he said.  He acknowledges the support of the Royal Agricultural Society (RAS), and said they recognize the importance of education in allowing consumers, especially children, to appreciate the origin of their daily meals.

“Kids are the future of the dairy industry, as consumers and as a potential career choice,” Mr Micallef said. “We are also keen to show the children the exciting aspects of dairy farming.”  He said the origin of milk is of tremendous interest to children because too few have any connection with the farming industry.  “Unfortunately, the city children don’t have the chance of interaction with farmers and dairy cows,” he said.

“This is one way Jess and I can show them the way a dairyfarmer works.  “It is important to have a concept they can relate to, that is interactive where the kids can join in and have some fun … and get their hands dirty.”  Mr Micallef said he and Jess were taking their concept to the Royal Melbourne and Royal Adelaide shows, spreading the message across the country.

They are also developing a program with schools where they take a cow along and the children get to touch it and feel the warm milk being drawn from its teats.  “Out of our association with the RAS, our rapport with schools is developing quickly,and is an enjoyable way of interacting with children … they are the future,” he said.  The concept of ‘paddock to plate’ is now an essential part of the school program, and Mr Micallef said he is proud to be able to make a contribution to their education.

By: Stephen Burns


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