Heifer Village is not a calf anymore

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (May 21, 2010) — Heifer International invites the public to a party to help celebrate Heifer Village’s first birthday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, June 19, at Heifer Village in downtown Little Rock.

Heifer Village, a unique museum-like experience developed by Heifer International, introduces visitors to the possibility of a world without hunger and poverty through hands-on exhibits and engaging educational programming.

Exhibits demonstrate Heifer’s innovative work to provide livestock and training to families worldwide to create sustainable, practical and cost-effective solutions to hunger and poverty. Visitors learn about the issues and how they can help make a difference. Just as an art museum might give a visitor a new sense of beauty, visitors to Heifer Village come away inspired to help build a better world.

During the birthday party, visitors can explore the interactive exhibits and meet some special guests from the Heifer Ranch in Perryville, Ark.—sheep, chickens and rabbits—and get their picture made with them.

Children can enjoy hands-on activities, including creating their own seed starter, designing animal thumbprint art, wool spinning and more. The Arkansas Farm Bureau is bringing along its milking cow simulator to give guests the opportunity to try their hands at milking a cow.

Zinse Agginie, an award-winning composer of drum ballet, will provide children interactive drumming activities from noon to 2 p.m. Jeff Matthews and Lisa Fischer from B98.5s Morning Rush will broadcast live from 10 a.m. to noon providing entertainment and chances to win station prizes including CDs, coupons, tickets and B98.5 promotional items.

Admission to the birthday party and all activities are free. Bring the whole family and friends and a picnic lunch or enjoy the food at Café@Heifer. Help Heifer kick off its summer season and celebrate this enjoyable, important community resource.

Heifer Village opened amid much celebration in June 2009, with speeches by Paul Farmer, founding director of Partners in Health, and Heifer leaders Jo Luck and Charles Stewart. Entertainment included Dan Zanes, Zinse Agginie, John Two-Hawks and the Mexican Folklore Ballet. The three-day opening celebration drew more than 5,000 guests.

Since the opening more than 46,000 men, women and children have visited the exhibits and attended programs, events and conferences. Heifer Village has been a field trip destination for approximately 100 schools, primarily from central Arkansas with a few schools traveling from as far as Wisconsin.

In November, it hosted the state’s first Farm to School Conference with more than 200 government, school, health and agricultural leaders talking about local foodsheds, local farm to market opportunities and children’s health. The conference spurred the creation of the Arkansas Farm to School Committee that meets monthly to continue the work of improving nutrition and increasing the use of locally grown foods in Arkansas schools.

In early April, Arkansas’s own American Idol winner, Kris Allen, shared his experiences from a trip to Rwanda and performed a mini-concert as part of the “One Day Without Shoes Barefoot Bash for Rwanda.” The sold-out event was held at Heifer Village with ticket sales benefiting Heifer International, Toms Shoes and A Bridge to Rwanda.

“Heifer Village is serving as a great resource for young school children to community leaders to come together to think about and discuss the issues and solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems,” said Michelle Dusek Izaguirre, senior director of Learning Centers. “Our visitors comment on how hopeful our approach is to sharing these issues and how they can leave with an understanding that they can make changes in their own lives that will have a positive influence on overcoming these global challenges.”

Heifer Village’s birthday celebration is a free event and reservations are not required. The party takes place at Heifer Village, located on the Heifer International campus, 1 World Avenue, Little Rock, Ark. 72202. For more information, visit www.heifer.org/heifervillage or call the Registrar at 501-907-COWS (2697).

Heifer Village is one of Heifer’s educational centers, which also include Heifer Ranch in Perryville, Ark., Overlook Farm in Rutland, Mass., and planned construction of Hidden Villa in Los Altos Hill, Calif. All of Heifer’s educational centers are designed to teach people about the root causes of hunger and poverty and how people can effect real change that brings possibility and hope to millions around the world.

Heifer’s mission is to end hunger and poverty and care for the Earth. Since 1944, Heifer International has provided livestock and environmentally sound agricultural training to improve the lives of those who struggle daily for reliable sources of food and income. Heifer is currently working in more than 50 countries, including the U.S., to help families and communities become more self-reliant.