Opinions & Sacred Cows
By Ron Goble
Events for children included: an instrument petting zoo brought by Arizona State University musicians, hayrides, calf feeding, face painting, a costumed Moozie and a robotic, talking Moozie. Gifts from Arizona Milk Producers were given to the first couple hundred 3- 8-year-olds who attended.
Founded in 1998 by Ted Dreier, the Children’s Kindness Network focuses on Moozie the Cow, their Ambassador of Kindness. Moozie began as a garage project by Dreier who grew up on a dairy farm and wondered if he could make a robotic cow.
When he visited a Head Start program in Denton, Texas with Moozie, he discovered that kids attentively listened as the programmed robotic cow talked about kindness. Hoping to help stop violence and bullying by reaching children early, Dreier stepped away from his career as a motivational speaker and began working with young children full-time.
Today, there are Moozie puppets all across the U.S., and Moozie robotic cows currently in Franklin, Tenn., Charlotte, NC, and Vallejo, Calif. In Vallejo, Moozie is part of a three-acre teaching farm. The children visit the pigs, ducks, etc. then go to a barn and listen to Moozie talk about kindness. She has become one of the main attractions at the farm. On an annual basis, between 25,000-30,000 children are exposed to Moozie’s message of kindness with that number growing each year.
It’s not hard to believe that children readily connect with Moozie, whether in the form of a puppet or a animated robotic cow. Kids love animals and of course we know that dairy cows are very special animals. With this special connection children listen as the theme of being kind – being kind to the earth, being kind to each other, being kind to animals, or even being kind to themselves.
What an important message for the dairy industry to support. I’m sure that those youngsters who visited Milky Way Dairy also learned something about the dairy industry while they were there. I’d bet they had an opportunity to drink some wholesome, ice-cold milk – regular or chocolate – in the process.
The Children’s Kindness Network is a nonprofit organization with a mission of “building a culture of kindness, beginning with pre-K.” Check-out Moozie’s web site www.moozie.com.
Have an opinion or response? E-mail Ron Goble, Associate publisher/editor, Western DairyBusiness at: firstname.lastname@example.org.