Goal - to promote science and technology to the public. An example:
Opening of the Tokanui Dairy Research Farm
Pukekohe High School students watching calves feeding
AgResearch’s Tokanui Dairy Research farm, which opened in November 2009, is one of the most significant dairy research investments in 20 years.
Converted with an investment of $6.5 million, the 340-hectare Waikato-based research farm aims to help the dairy industry through higher productivity with a smaller environmental footprint.
1,000 farmers and dairy industry representatives attended the farm’s Open Day. AgResearch scientists discussed their research with visitors at the many display areas, which included research into high-value milk and dairy beef, improved dairy cow performance and improved environmental management decision-making. As well, 35 private sector exhibitors showcased agritechnologies.
The farm also offers much for students. The country’s first dedicated Agritechnology Educational Centre opened on site in March.
Established by Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec) in partnership with AgResearch, Innovation Waikato, the Agricultural ITO and the Coalition of 21st Century Schools, with establishment funding from the Tertiary Education Commission, the Centre will use resources and data from the Tokanui farm to provide education in dairy farming and its associated science and technology.
The farm has already received a wide range of visitors. An example was the visit by about 40 students from Years 10 and 11 at Pukekohe High School. They had a hands-on introduction to dairy farming, including putting the cups on some cows under the supervision of farm staff. Some of the students had never been on a farm before and the trip provided their first real rural experience.