21 June 2002

WIN YOUR SHARE

AND HELP THE KIDS

School Milk Matters. It

matters to farmers weekly

and it matters to Dairy

Crest. It matters so much,

in fact, were giving away

£2000 in prize money.

Are you campaigning

for your share yet?

THE health of our children and the health of our dairy industry go hand in hand. If more schools offer youngsters milk, it would benefit the next generations health and it would benefit the British dairy industry.

All children up to the age of 11 are entitled to have subsidised milk (nursery class children can have it free) but the uptake is only around 20%, according to The Dairy Council. To raise this, were offering great cash prizes for great results.

Two prizes of £500 will be awarded in each of the following two categories:

1 Individual/family, ie an individual campaigner or a family team effort.

2 School, school group/ any other group, ie school staff, governors, parent association/ or groups such as WI, YFC, FWC, youth clubs etc.

To win a prize you will need to:

Successfully campaign to get a school milk scheme started for the autumn term (Sept 2002) at a school(s) which at present does not offer milk or successfully campaign to significantly increase the uptake of milk in the autumn term (Sept 2002) in a school where a milk scheme already operates.

To enter:

You will need to keep a record of your campaign efforts. Key to the chance of a prize will be confirmation that the school(s) involved can show that a new milk scheme has been instigated to start in the new school year in Sept 2002 or that milk uptake has significantly increased (by percentage so all schools large or small will be judged equally) where a milk scheme was already operational.

Remember, youll need to do much of your campaigning before the summer holidays if you are to maximise uptake in the new term in September.

Just a few of the many campaign ideas which you could pursue are:

&#8226 Lobbying parents at the school gate, teachers, school heads, governors.

&#8226 Involving farming families to give talks in school or provide farm visits.

&#8226 Taking a stall at school fetes or local fairs and hand out information gleaned from The Dairy Council, Dairy Crest, nutritionists etc.

For more suggestions on who to target and how to start your campaign – plus full competition details – see the May 24 issue of Farmlife.

To encourage all campaigners, farmers weekly is happy to highlight some of your efforts over the coming months – so let us know what you are doing. Call 020-8652 4929 or email

tessa.gates@rbi.co.uk

Make a note now to send your entry to School Milk Matters Competition, farmers weekly, Quadrant House, The Quadrant, Sutton, Surrey SM2 5AS to arrive no later than Fri, Sept 20, 2002.

Are you interested in banging the drum for school milk? If so, its well worth getting hold of The Dairy Councils booklet Campaigning for School Milk – A Farmers Guide. It contains great tips on everything from writing to MPs to key facts and figures. To get your copy, ring

020-7499 7822.

Tasty way to make up the fluid gap

DEHYDRATION, headaches and illness can all be prevented by giving kids school milk, say experts.

Children may need six to eight glasses of fluid a day, possibly more in hot weather or after energetic activities, says paediatric dietician Judy More. But in many schools – especially if water isnt readily available – kids may not get a drink until lunchtime.

As a result school nurses often see dehydration-related problems, says Ms More. These include headaches, dizziness, a lack of concentration and, longer term, constipation, cystitis, urinary tract infections and even kidney infections can result.

"Milk is an ideal drink for children," says Ms More. "It is 90% water, not acidic and has the advantage of giving children protein, vitamins and minerals such as calcium for their bones and zinc to help them fight off illness."

Milk also provides fluid in a form that will not harm childrens teeth, stresses The Dairy Council. More than half of seven to 10-year-olds have dental problems – something it dubs as a "totally preventable" disease.

Free School Milk Matters Posters

REQUESTS are flooding in for our free School Milk Matters poster. Mrs Moore from Cleave Farm, Wear Gifford, North Devon requested two dozen. She is very keen to raise the profile of school milk and would like to hear from other people in her area who might like to make a joint effort towards increased daily consumption of milk in schools (tel 01805 623671). "I have two young grandchildren," says Mrs Moore. "And I would like to ensure they can get milk at school." For your free posters call 020-8652 4911 or email farmers.weekly@rbi.co.uk

SHOUT FOR MILK